This is what we had for Christmas Eve dinner. We selected something that would be fast and easy, yet hopefully tasty, and a dish that would give us a chance to try out a new pasta dough. Originally, we weren’t going to bother writing this one up, so we only have a few photos, but we thought it turned out well enough that it deserved a shout-out.
Since Thanksgiving is coming up and we know we’ll be having some nice crusty bread, we decided to make a compound butter — basically, butter with other ingredients incorporated. What better to mix in for T-day than cranberries? Plus, perhaps some walnuts. So, we looked around, with the goal of finding the proportions of each ingredient.
When we picked up a large spaghetti squash at the CSA, we were slightly crestfallen that there wasn’t another squash option. Sometimes we can choose from among several winter squashes, or sometimes there’s a good variety in the sizes. Not this time. It was a large spaghetti squash. We were disappointed primarily because we find it difficult to do something great with spaghetti squash. After some thought, we figured we might be going about using spaghetti squash the wrong way, and that we need to turn everything on its head.
You haven’t heard of gnudi? We hadn’t, either, until we read about them in Pasta, by Gianni Scappin, Alberto Vanoli, and Francesco Tonelli, which provided us with a recipe for Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi, on which this recipe is based. Gnudi are simply small dumplings, somewhat like gnocchi, but easier to make. Easy is good. So, with a pumpkin from our CSA share, we went about making up a batch of dumplings.
You remember that, yesterday, we posted how to make a Delicious Super-Easy Hot Fudge. Well, we made that with this sundae in mind. We don’t have ice cream sundaes all that often, so, when we do, we try to go all out, and make the best we can. To us, that means making everything from scratch. It’s more effort, but, we believe it’s worth it.
We put our CSA share pickup on hold when we’re away on trips, which means that, when we get back, we sometimes have to go almost a week without fresh vegetables. We know we could pick up some at the store, but we generally don’t, as we find it somewhat unexciting and often it’s not super fresh (we do buy fruit, mainly because we don’t get a lot of fruit through the CSA). That means we have to be more creative when it comes to meals, making dishes from staples around the house.
As regular readers know, we make small treats to bring down to our Monday evening walk on the nights we volunteer. It gives us the chance to try new recipes and see how the other volunteers like them. But, we often feel badly because there are a few people who don’t eat anything with gluten, and almost everything we make involves flour. Now, we could get gluten-free all-purpose flour, but we prefer finding recipes that are naturally gluten-free, at least when we can. So, when we saw this recipe in Ciao Biscotti, by Domenica Marchetti, we figured we’d give it a whirl.