ravioli


Squash ravioli with sage butter is one of the most delicious things on the planet. It’s not hard to make, but it is a bit finicky. But it’s worth it.

This recipe here is the one I use most often. Over the weekend, I was in Toronto visiting a girlfriend who recently spent a fortune on all the pasta-making attachments for her stand mixer. We had fun playing with all the gear, rolling out sheets of pasta dough for our ravioli filling and so on. Mostly, anyway, because we were a bit overly ambitious and by late afternoon were quite ready to be finished with it all.

If you are looking for a quicker fix, follow the recipe exactly and use wonton wrappers as your noodles — super easy and quick. Alternatively, you can buy fresh sheets of pasta (like lasagna noodles) at an Italian grocer.

ravioli

Here is a photo of the filling…

filling

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

sweet dumpling squash


These are lovely little darlings, aren’t they? A bugger to crack open, though. I busted the blade of a $100 chef knife last night trying to cut it in half. Oops. I guess the santoku masters didn’t think of the sweet dumpling squash when testing for indestructibility.

squash

Thankfully, the squash was rather tasty. I actually had two of them to bake, one from last week’s bag, the other from the week before. I halved them both, and then, in each half, put a pat of butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg. Into a pan with an inch of water, then a 350F oven for 40ish minutes and you have a nice little snack. Some might even call it dessert. The whole thing came about after a Google search for “sweet dumpling squash,” which led me to this food blog.

baked squash

I ate one half myself after dinner last night and the other three halves were scooped out and mashed up with the idea that it could be spoon-fed to our household’s littlest eater. He entertained two or three bites — reluctantly — and then shook his head vigorously. Clever Mama repurposed the rest into wee pancakes, which were inhaled.

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

baby risotto


So, I call this baby meal “Baby Risotto,” but it isn’t, really. All it really is, is tarted-up rice cereal, but my boy loves it. And it’s a good vehicle for hiding vegetables when I feel he would reject them if presented with them straight-up, which is often. It’s a fast, foolproof little person meal.

To make this recipe, you’ll need some ground up rice. I buy organic brown rice and put it in the blender and grind it until it’s nice and fine. You can do this ahead and keep a jar of the stuff in your fridge. (I actually use a Magic Bullet for grinding, which was a gift to me and has turned out to be one of the greatest little kitchen appliances I’ve ever owned.)

To make, put 1 cup of water in a little pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and stir in 1/4 cup of your ground rice and stir until you’ve got a nice, smooth consistency — just a few mintues. Stir in some grated cheese (or smooth cheese, like goat) to taste.

Here’s where you can get creative adding in whatever veg you’ve got in your fridge. Last night, I used some of this week’s spinach, which I chopped up into thin ribbons, and some tomatoes that I oven roasted, then froze. But you could use anything else, like maybe some of your broccoli, chopped up small, or grated beet, carrot or sweet potato (in which case you’d want to saute them first, until nice and soft, then add the water and the rice). You could roast some of your dumpling squash ahead and stir it in. For something breakfast-y, you could omit the cheese and add cinnamon and grated apple — maybe even a drizzle of maple syrup.

Irv, my 13-month-old, opens his mouth wide like a little bird for this stuff. He likes it so much he forgets to wrestle me for the spoon. I often save this idea for his Friday night supper, when I am fully out of ideas, ambition and want to just get him fed, and fast.

baby risotto

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.