Dinner in Five Minutes

Possibly an exaggeration, but ultimately, that’s the kind of dinner I’m looking for during the week. Today’s recipe came about somewhat haphazardly when wandering through the aisles of our new local grocery store.

You know you live in a small town when the opening of the grocery store leads to near riot type of excitement. We, of course, had to check it out on the opening day. Us, and the rest of the people that live here. Crowds: who doesn’t love them?!

Anyway, the grocery store is kind of swish, when compared with the other available options nearby. It’s not the type of store you go to for your big shop. You go there to pick up your bits. You know, those fancy random products that sit in your pantry after you’ve used the one required teaspoon for your recipe.

Convenience is the name of their game, so I picked up a container of grated butternut squash, some pancetta and some scoobi doo shaped pasta (read: the curly kind).

In getting home, I boiled some fairly heavily salted water for my pasta. Have you watched or read Salt Fat Acid Heat? In watching the new Netflix series from Samrin Nosrat, I learned that I have definitely been under-salting the water in which I boil pasta. Essentially, her point was, with the exception of rice, the less time your food item spends in the boiling water, the more salt it requires. Rice being the exception, as it absorbs all that salt.

Anyway, boil your heavily salted water and cook your pasta until about a minute away from being done.

In the meantime, in a fairly big skillet over medium-high heat, fry up your pancetta for about 4 or 5 minutes in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Thinly slice 5 or 6 cloves of garlic and add them to the skillet. Add a teaspoon of red chilli flakes. Add a little bit more, if you like your food spicy. Then, add 3 or 4 cups of grated butternut squash. I mean, realistically, if you can’t buy your squash pre-grated, then grate one small-medium squash and use that quantity. Stir your mixture occasionally, but really let the heat steam your squash until it almost looks sauce-like. It may take around 7 minutes to get to that point.

When your pasta is done, add it to the skillet and roll everything around to combine your squash sauce with your scoobi doo pasta. It almost looks like a cheat’s mac & cheese with that nice orangey colour.

This doesn’t even register on the hassle scale.

However, I took horrendous pictures of this in really crappy light. I can almost guarantee that I will make this again, so I WILL take a picture of this soon.

To be continued…

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