"These mashed potatoes are so creamy"....Aunt, While You Were Sleeping
I love this family dinner scene in While You Were Sleeping where Sandra Bullock is the interloper pretending to be engaged to the son/brother/perfect guy who is in a coma. It's always entertaining to watch other family dinners and rituals. I was pleasantly surprised when my sister texted me late this afternoon to invite me over for an impromptu dinner. She was trying out a few recipes she had found through Pinterest. Pinterset seems to seriously be the new thing - I have to get one that. Possibly an item for my weekend to-do list. So I headed over to my mom's house after work where clearly the fun had already started. I have no idea what I missed...
The first recipe was Pumpkin Pastina from a blog called Proud Italian Cook http://prouditaliancook.blogspot.com/. Cute name, right? We did not serve ours in a pumpkin, but that part was optional. I have not had pastina in who knows how long. As the author explains on the site it's a very common way to introduce young children to pasta. Here is the recipe originally from Michael Chiarello's cookbook "The Tra Vigne".
For the butternut squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, oil it inside and out, salt and pepper, and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Both the squash and pumpkin cook at 375F for about 40 minutes. My sister bought acorn squash by mistake, but I happen to like all varieties of squash and thought it was one of those "happy accidents" where an experiment or change turns out well.
In a pot, saute 1 cup of onions in olive oil with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Pour in
4 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken) and bring to a gentle boil. When stock is boiling,
pour in 3/4lb of your squash that has been scooped out, and 1/2 cup of good Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The consistency should remain loose, so add extra broth if you need.
While we waited for dinner, we snacked on these delicious appetizers which we served with marinara sauce on the side. These are Pesto Poppers from Three Square Chef http://www.threesquarechef.com/
These were very yummy and were gone very fast!
Yield: approx 20
1 sheet puff pastry
Preheat oven to 400F.
Roll out the puff pastry and using a 2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out circles. In the center of each place a small piece of mozzarella cheese and a teaspoon of pesto.
Pull all sides together and attach with two toothpicks per popper. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and discard toothpicks. Serve warm! (can be served room temperature but so much better warm)
Our squash dish was accompanied by a large greens salad.
Nice night! Nothing like a last minute together with good food and good company.