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.
We wanted a quick and easy dinner the other night, so, we decided to go with a pasta dish. Easy enough, but, when we looked in the refrigerator, it was lacking, because we’ve not picked up a CSA share since we got back from our recent trip. That meant one thing. No, not order take-out. Ugh. No, not head to the store, either. It meant we had to use what we had on hand: simple staples. We came up with the idea of making an olive-based pesto for pasta. How’s that?
We wracked our brains trying to figure out a use for the squash blossoms we picked up from our CSA. We know they don’t last, so we figured we’d use them that night. We also knew we’d probably get between 8 and 10, so it wasn’t as if we’d have enough for anything large, such as a soup. Then we remembered that we had a small piece of Pâte Brisée sitting in the refrigerator (we’d made a Strawberry Balsamic Pie and had leftover crust), so, if we could use it at the same time, so much the better. By thinking about it on the way home, we had a plan by the time we got there. See if you like it.