Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Panettone French Toast

The Italian sweet bread Panettone, traditionally served seasonally at Christmas time, is something I am not too familiar with. Although I have a vague and unpleasant memory of an ex-boyfriend spitting out Panettone at people during a school trip in Junior High (wish I could say my taste in men has changed), before it made its way into my kitchen, I had actually never tasted Panettone myself. Panettone is one of those foods that comes with a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it reputation, so just as I was, you may be a bit timid to try it. Although Panettone does have a very distinct flavour, it's not one that overwhelms your taste buds (as opposed to black licorice, which has a very distinct flavour that can overwhelm your taste buds) so put aside your preconceived ideas about the treat and give it a try!

I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked Panettone. From what I had heard about it, I thought I would absolutely hate it, so I was pleased to find a new treat that I could experiment with. Panettone is something that truly begs to be used for experimentation. Sure it tastes great on it's own with it's abundance of dried fruit, but it can be made even better when transformed as a special breakfast treat! Panettone's dense texture and sweet flavour makes it the perfect bread to use for french toast. Golden and crispy on the outside, moist and spongy inside, and flecked with colourful and tart dried fruit, this is one special breakfast that can be served all year long!

2 slices of Panettone
1 egg
splash of milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
butter for frying
100% real maple syrup for serving

1. In a small bowl, beat the egg until it is well mixed and uniform in colour. Add the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until combined. Pour into a shallow dish.

2. Dip the Panettone slices into the egg mixture so that both sides are coated in egg and the bread soaks up the egg.

3. In a frying pan or griddle set to medium heat, melt the butter. When butter is hot and frothing, add the egg-soaked slices of Panettone. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the Panettone slices. Fry until golden, then flip and fry the other side until golden. The slices should be golden and slightly crisp on the outside, and soft and spongy on the inside. Serve with 100% real maple syrup (sorry Aunt Jemima, only the real stuff at my table).

Listening To:
Two Door Cinema Club - What You Know

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

On Saturday morning my parents returned from a two week trip to Chile and Peru, which meant for two glorious weeks I had the whole house to myself! Last year they took a similar trip, but at the time I didn't appreciate that independence and found myself wallowing in loneliness...not so fun. This year I went into those two weeks with a whole new attitude, thinking of it as my two weeks of freedom, able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, and not have to report to anyone about it! One of the best things about having the house to myself, was how much it motivated me to cook and bake more. I felt much more relaxed in the kitchen, able to experiment, try out some new recipes, not have to worry about everyones timing, and not have to worry about making any mistakes (after all, if it's just me seeing the didn't happen and doesn't count). Another great thing about cooking and baking with the house to yourself, is thaJustify Fullt no one has to see just how much you ate...which in my case, was a hell of a embarrassing amount in fact.

Before going absolutely food crazy and bingeing on everything in the house, I started off my two weeks quite sensibly. I would start each day with a fresh banana smoothie, and carry on having healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. I ran into a bit of an issue when I ran out of bananas. Long story short, I ended up buying two bunches of bananas, one that I thought would never ripen, and one that I totally destroyed carrying on the way home (the bruise-covered bananas looked like they had just stepped out of a boxing ring), which resulted in a kitchen that looked like a monkey lived in it. I had more bananas than I could handle and needed to use up as many as I could fast. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was definitely the best option! Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is one of those incredibly addicting foods, where you can't have just one slice, you have got to go back for more. I always carefully monitor how much I eat when my parents are home so I'm not hogging all the bread for myself, and not looking like a piggie to them, so you can imagine how excited I was knowing that I could eat as much as I want without anyone there to stop me! This is a very dangerous idea to enter my brain, as I proceeded to eat the entire loaf myself within a mere 3 days (minus one small final piece that I offered my dad when he came home). Feel free to tell me I'm disgusting! Go ahead, I deserve it...but that doesn't mean I regret it! I loved every bite of that delicious, moist, chocolate speckled banana bread and I know you will too...but for the sake of your health, please share!

Tip: If you want to make this banana bread healthier, omit the chocolate chips, but you've gotta be crazy to do such a thing!

3 very ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tsp lemon juice plus milk to equal 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. In a food processor, process bananas until pureed. Add the sugar, baking soda, and salt, and process for about 30 seconds.

2. Add the eggs and oil and process until blended. Add the flour and buttermilk and process until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Line a 9 x 5 baking loaf with parchment paper or tin foil. Pour in the batter and bake in a 275º oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Listening To:
Maximum Balloon - Groove Me (Feat. Theophilus London)

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An iYellow Event: I Heart Beringer

iYellow Wine Club & Beringer Wines Present...
Celebrate a Saturday night with one of California's most notable brands & iYellow Wine Club
Saturday February 5th
8pm - 10:30pm
Edward Day Art Gallery - 952 Queen St. West
Showcased Wines:
2009 White Zinfandel, California Collection
2009 Founders' Estate Pinot Grigio
2009 Founders' Estate Sauvignon Blanc
2009 Founders' Estate Chardonnay
2008 Founders' Estate Merlot
2008 Founders' Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Founders' Estate Syrah
Featuring a great local DJ & Sexy food pairings

I'll be there! Come on out and say hi!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Osteria Ciceri E Tria

416 955 0258
106 Victoria Street

Although I don't go crazy buying Christmas gifts for friends each year, my best friend Alex and I always take the time to find each other something really special that we can look forward to tearing open a day or two before Christmas. This year, after expressing how broke we both were this holiday season, and how stressed we were thinking about buying all of our Christmas gifts, we decided to give each other the gift of time...and food! No matter how much I love all of the thought and care that goes into the gifts that Alex gets me, nothing could be more special than spending the night in each others company, in a great atmosphere, enjoying a fantastic meal and cocktails. We figured that we would already be going out to eat together during the holidays (we're known for hitting up restaurants to sit for hours on end, spilling our guts out to each other about our latest news, gossip, and drama), and we loved the idea of boycotting the mall, so why not splurge a little more on dinner one night, and really treat ourselves to a great meal for our gift to each other! After going through every single menu on Joanne Kates Top 100 Toronto restaurants of 2010, I decided upon Osteria Ciceri E tria for our Belated Christmas Dinner, because no matter what all you naysayers wanna say about Terroni, I still love it with every foodie bone in my body, so the idea of trying out their sister restaurant was one I just couldn't shake. This past Thursday Alex and I finally went out for our Belated Christmas Dinner and, to be honest with you, it was one of the best gifts I have received all season long!

Casual and rustic, with a trendy edge, I felt totally at home at Osteria. My favourite part? The large communal table that runs down the length of the restaurant, which encourages a dialogue between strangers. I love the mystery of being seated next to a total stranger, who's number you just may leave with by the end of the night! Me and Alex were definitely hoping to get seated at the communal table next to a group of well-dressed, attractive men...ah well, maybe next time.

A rule for any successful Girls Night Out is that every girl must always be accompanied by a fantastic cocktail. My drink of choice for the evening, a classic Bellini. Osteria knows not to mess with a good thing, keeping it simple and true to tradition with simply prosecco and peach nectar. You can't go wrong with a classic.

As alluring as it sounds to be brought five mysterious small plates, that change almost daily, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the antipasti selection. Out of the five dishes, there wasn't one that stands out in my memory. Personally, I found that they tasted unfinished, like they were missing an ingredient, seasoning or herb. True the antipasti specials change almost daily, so I may have just been on an off night, but I would recommend skipping the antipasti and digging into your Primi or Secondi on more of an empty stomach.

After wrestling over the menu for some time, unable to decide which delicious dish to choose, my server pointed out the specials of the day and I was immediately sold! I enthusiastically ordered the Primo special Fettucini Con Tartufo, which is handmade fettucini with porcini mushrooms, prosciutto, parmigiano regiano, and black truffle shavings. The handmade fettucini noodles were so incredibly light, delicate, and eggy, that the very light olive oil sauce was the perfect choice. The salty flavour coming from the porcini mushrooms, prosciutto, parmigiano regiano, and black truffle shavings could seriously knock someone out, and I mean that in the very best way possible! Although I was full about 1/3 of the way into the dish (the specials are known to be a bit larger than the primo and secondi listed on the menu), I refused to leave one noodle behind, thoroughly enjoying and savoring each and every bite!

Despite how full Alex and I both were, we knew we would regret it for the rest if the night if we didn't order dessert...and didn't each get our own! The dessert selection was fairly limited the night we went, but we still found a choice that we knew could do no wrong. No matter how many times I have had flourless chocolate cake, I still find myself going back for more, so Osteria's Doncetto Fondente, flourless dark chocolate hazelnut cake with warm gianduja sauce and zabaione was my dessert of choice for the night (although I'm wishing they had their Torta Di Ricotta that night, which sounds absolutely divine!). The hazelnuts in the dark chocolate cake set this dish apart from your average flourless chocolate cake, but the real kicker here was the gianduja sauce and zabaione, which added incredible richness, moistness and sweet flavour.

The Verdict?
All in all, I had a great experience at Osteria. Loved the atmosphere, the staff was very friendly and attentive, and, other than the slightly boring antipasti, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Osteria, you haven't seen the last of me!

Follow Alex (@freshfromalex) and I (@thisgingerrose) on Twitter!

Listening To:
Miike Snow - Song For No One

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Crepes with Berry Icewine Sauce

January is icewine month! To celebrate, here is the recipe I created for the iYellow Wine Club featuring our star, icewine!

Just as a fantastic icewine strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, any dish made with icewine should do the same. For such a special wine you want the other flavours in the dish to complement the icewine rather than overpower it. Lemon Ricotta Crepes with Berry Icewine Sauce is the perfect example of this. Despite ricotta being the main ingredient in this dish, the subtle flavours of the creamy cheese lets the icewine take centre stage. Inspired by traditional Italian cannoli filling, the ricotta mixture mimics those same sweet and acidic flavours you get in icewine, but with a touch less sweetness. Hugging the ricotta are thin, delicate crepes speckled with fragrant lemon zest, which is topped with a generous drizzle of sweet, yet complex berry icewine sauce. The addition of lemon in both the crepe and filling brings f
reshness to the dish allowing your taste buds to experience that same refreshing taste that comes with a sip of icewine. The only thing that can make this dessert more special is serving it alongside your favourite Vidal icewine.

Tip: To ensure that your crepes are not greasy, take a small piece of paper towel and rub it in softened butter. Quickly, carefully, and lightly rub the paper towel with the butter onto the hot pan so that you have the thinnest layer of butter possible on your frying surface.

3/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp lemon zest

1 400g container of fresh ricotta cheese
4-5 tbsp confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
6-7 tbsp VIDAL sauvignon blanc icewine

Lemon Crepes
1. Whisk or process (using a food processor) all ingredients until blended. Transfer batter to a bowl or container, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. On medium-low heat, lightly grease a small crepe pan (see tip above). When pan is hot, add 1/4 cup of the crepe batter and tilt your pan around so that the batter covers evenly. Fry crepes for approximately 60 seconds on one side, or until golden. Using a spatula, carefully flip the crepe and fry on the other side for approximately 30 seconds, or until golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Crepes can be made up to 2 days in advance and may be reheated upon serving.

Lemon Ricotta Filling
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Sift in the confectioners sugar (you may add 4-5 tbsp depending on your taste). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Filling can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Berry Icewine Sauce
1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, puree raspberries and blueberries until liquified, but not so much that the seeds begin to crush.

2. Pour berry mixture into a fine sieve resting over a bowl to remove the seeds.

3. Once berry mixture has been strained, stir in the icewine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

1. If crepes have been made in advance and refrigerated, reheat, wrapped in tin foil, in a low temperate oven or toaster oven until warm.

2. Lay a crepe out flat and add desired amount of lemon ricotta filling down the centre of the crepe. Drizzle with berry icewine sauce and roll the crepe up. Drizzle with additional berry icewine sauce and garnish with fresh raspberries and blueberries. Repeat with remaining crepes. Enjoy served alongside Vidal icewine.

Listening To:
Science of Fear - The Temper Trap

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Sesame Seed Chicken

You know when you're a kid and you have those same handful of favourite meals that you ask for over and over again, that you never seem to get sick of? For most kids that seems to be pizza, Kraft dinner, and even cereal, but for me it was always Sesame Seed Chicken. I remember whenever I would have friends over for dinner, I would always request Sesame Seed Chicken so that I could impress them with a delicious meal (that, at the time, I had no role in preparing). I even remember my friends parents calling up my mom to ask for the recipe, because they couldn't believe how their children had raved about this chicken (Sam Young I'm talkin' about you!). What really amazed me was that just about any time I would ask to have Sesame Seed Chicken for dinner, my request would be granted! It can baffle a child's mind that something you like so much can actually be something you can get just about whenever you want it! I mean, whenever I wanted cotton candy I would never get that for dinner. So how come Sesame Seed Chicken?

The truth is Sesame Seed Chicken is incredibly easy to make, requires very few ingredients, is inexpensive, a good source of protein, and...well, it tastes pretty damn good so my parents didn't mind having it over and over again either. Just like your average chicken fingers, Sesame Seed Chicken features moist and tender chicken on the inside, with a light and crunchy breading on the outside. My chicken is given a twist with the nutty flavour of sesame seeds shining through every bite, a simple addition that changes the dish entirely!

Tip: To make this dish healthier, bake your chicken strips in the oven as opposed to frying them!

24 Ritz crackers
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
dash of paprika
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 egg plus 2 tbsp water
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
oil for frying

1. In a food processor, pulse together the crackers with salt, pepper, and paprika to make fine crumbs. Stir in the sesame seeds. Transfer to a flat plate.

2. Beat the egg with the water and transfer to a flat plate.

3. Cut chicken into strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. The size and shape doesn't have to be exact, just try to make each piece similar so that they all fry (or bake) at the same time.

4. In a large frying pan or griddle, heat a generous layer of oil at medium heat.

5. Dip and coat the chicken strips in the egg mixture, then dip and coat in the crumb mixture (keep one hand clean so you can ensure there is no cross contamination!). Brown strips in hot oil in batches (making sure not to crowd the pan), for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels, and serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Listening To:
Metronomy - On Dancefloors

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eggplant Ravioli in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

My family and I have gotten into a bit of a funny habit. Each and every time we prepare a meal that we have deemed "amazing", we sit with our empty plates and half-drunk wine glasses and discuss how much we think our meal would have cost at a Toronto restaurant. We go through each and every item that we have prepared, considering the cost of ingredients, labour, etc. and usually end up charging ourselves with an imaginary whopping bill that we would never be able to afford considering just how many of these "amazing" meals we prepare within a week (seriously, I feel very lucky to have such fantastic home cooks as my parents). Sure we have our staples like a great steak dinner, ribs, pork tenderloin etc. that always end up on our "this could be served at a top Toronto restaurant" list, but every now and then we experiment with a totally new creation, inspired by our imagination that may very well end up being an utter failure, but could also be perfection!

Perfection, a word I don't often use when describing my own cooking. I am definitely one of my worst critics, and can almost always find something that can be improved in anything that I do. Whether it's in cooking, writing a blog post, or even curling my hair, nothing is ever perfect for me. Well, maybe that's not true. Who knows if it was in the stars, luck, or actual skill that allowed me to create magic when cooking up my favourite don't-wanna-change-a-thing dishes. But my Rustic Mushroom and Cream Cheese Tart, Chicken Marsala, Strawberry Crumble Muffins, and Lemon Ricotta Crepes with Berry Icewine Sauce were nothing short of exceptional...if I do say so myself. Once again magic entered my kitchen this past Thursday in creating this Eggplant Ravioli in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

I've gotta say, the process to get to this final perfect dish was quite arduous. Thankfully I was not on my own in creating this dish, I had my two helpers, my sister Justine and her boyfriend and my friend Duncan, to help me out throughout the long process. Other than the pasta sheets, we had no recipe, just our wild imaginations, and a fridge full of ingredients, which is really the best way to cook anything! No one was assigned to a particular task, we all pitched in when needed, we all had a say in the flavours, and each of us tasted every single step along the way to make sure everything was "perfect". For a brief moment we feared our homemade ravioli mission had failed when we attempted to fill our raviolis in the gorgeous, yet way too small, ravioli mold that my sister had got me for Christmas. As I said, the mold was ridiculously small, I can't even imagine filling it with anything more than a few poppy seeds! We gave it a try anyway and unfortunately we lost a little filling and some pasta dough along the way, but quickly readapted and cut our own, larger, raviolis by hand. After three long hours of kneading, rolling, sauteing, chopping, filling, and so on, we were exhausted, starving, and weren't even thinking about how the final product would taste. After quickly snapping a photo, we lugged our tired plate-holding bodies to the couch, reclined, and dug in. This is when the sparks went off. I took the first bite: "woah...this is like...really really freaking good!". Justine: "Oh my god! This is amazing!". Duncan: "Wow this is quite good...very good....Wow" Pretty sure we continued on with the "wows", "amazings" and "oh my gods" until our plates were empty! It was THAT good! Which, of course, led to "I would soooo order this at a restaurant!", the final stamp of approval allowing the dish to be deemed perfection! The pasta was tender and held its shape, the filling creamy and bursting with fresh flavours, and the sauce bold and spicy but not too overpowering so you can't taste the savory filling. Yes, it is quite time consuming, and it does take a bit of elbow grease, but this is actually a very simple dish to prepare. You don't need any special skills or experience, literally anyone can make this, and I promise you, it is certainly well worth it! Dare I say, this just may be one dish I've gotta call priceless!

Note: After spending literally hours creating this dinner, the best advice I can give you is to cook this dish in stages. Make the filling the night before, the sauce the morning of, and the pasta dough that afternoon or early evening. You can even make up the raviolis and freeze them to boil another time. Simply lay them out on a lightly floured baking sheet, dust lightly with more flour, place in freezer overnight. Remove raviolis from baking sheet and transfer to a ziplock bag. Simply remove from freezer and boil when ready to prepare.

Note: I have not listed a specific cheese to use in the filling as I don't even know what type of cheese we used! It was wrapped in plastic, unmarked in my fridge. I tasted every cheese in the fridge to find one that I thought would go well. The point here is that you can play around with what flavours you like. Don't feel restricted! Taste and play!

Eggplant Filling:
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
1/2 sweet onion (you may substitute with red onion), chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp thyme
1/4 of a roasted red pepper, sliced
1/4 cup any semi-hard mild in flavour cheese, grated
salt and pepper

1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and lay out eggplant slices. Sprinkle the slices with salt, flip and sprinkle the other sides as well. Let stand for an hour to let the bitter juices from the eggplant drain. Rinse the drained slices and pat dry. Dice the eggplant slices.

2. In a medium skillet set to medium heat, heat olive oil and garlic. Add the eggplant, onions, roasted red pepper, and thyme and saute until onions are soft and golden, and eggplant is soft and has darkened. Let cool.

3. Add the cooled eggplant mixture to a food processor, add the cheese, and pulse until mixture is pureed, with a bit of texture. You don't want to make eggplant mush! Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until raviolis are ready to be filled.

Pasta Sheets:
3 cups flour
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
cold water
1 whole egg, beaten

1. In a medium-large bowl add the flour and make a small well in the centre. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the beaten yolks and the salt into the middle of the well in the bowl of flour. Keeping one clean hand for mixing, and one for adding water, mix and form the dough, adding a little bit of water at a time until you have formed a nice, firm, but slightly sticky dough.

3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.

4. Tear off a piece of dough bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a baseball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough using a rolling pin, until dough is paper thin and you can see your hand through the dough when lifted. While rolling, continue to lightly flour the surface, dough, and rolling pin so that dough does not stick, but try to use as little flour as possible! Repeat with remaining dough. Reserve the 1 whole beaten egg for the assembly.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
olive oil
1 tsp garlic
2 3/4 roasted red peppers, sliced
1/2 sweet onion
1/3 cup tomato sauce
generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried basil
parmesan cheese (optional for garnish)

1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and garlic. Add the roasted red peppers and onions and saute until onions are soft and golden. Let cool.

2. Pour red pepper and onion mixture into a blender. Add the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and basil. Blend until you have a smooth sauce. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Heat sauce on stove at medium-low heat. To thin sauce add fresh pasta water (reserve about a cup of the water that you cooked your ravioli in).

1. Using a circle cutter or the rim of a glass, cut the pasta sheets into circles about 2-inches in diameter. Lay out the circles in pairs.

2. Scoop about 2-3 tsp of filling (use your discretion, you want enough filling to get a burst of flavour, but you don't want the filling to literally burst out of the pasta) into the centre of half of the cut pasta circles, so that each pair of circles has one with filling in the centre.

3. Bring out the 1 whole beaten egg from the pasta sheet stage. Dip a clean finger into the egg and spread a little bit of the beaten egg around the outside of the pasta circle to act as the glue that will hold together the ravioli. Top the eggplant filled circles with their empty counterpart and lightly press down around the outside of the circle to form a seal. Use the prongs of a fork to press along the outside seal to ensure the ravioli is well sealed and to add a ribbed look.

4. Cook raviolis in salted, boiling water for about 6 minutes. A trick to judge their doneness is to wait until all raviolis are floating, then wait another 1-2 minutes.

5. While raviolis are cooking, heat sauce. Drain cooked ravioli and place on platter. Top with sauce and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Leftover Lovin': Butternut Squash Cannelloni

Love it or hate, everyone seems to have an opinion on leftovers. I myself have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. There are some foods that truly taste better a day or so after it's made, while others, after sitting in their tupperware for days on end, will inevitably end up in the compost, making me feel bad for wasting food. In order for me to feel the love for leftovers, I generally have to use my imagination to transform them into something else entirely. Leftover chicken gets tossed into a stir fry; grilled vegetables get stuffed into an omelette or panini; baked potatoes get cut up and seasoned to become home fries; almost any leftover can easily be transformed into a completely different dish so that you feel like you haven't been eating the same thing all week long.

A few weeks ago (er...maybe even a month...damn procrastination) I decided to experiment with some leftover roasted butternut squash. The evening prior, my family roasted butternut squash tossed with some butter and brown sugar and there was a great deal left over. We also had a few sheets of fresh pasta leftover from our homemade lasagna, so I wanted to use those up as well. In hardly any time at all I had a completely reinvented, delicious meal steaming hot, ready for me to devour! The sweet butternut squash had the perfect texture and flavour for my filling. The cannelloni was topped with tomato sauce and the same cheese sauce my mom uses for her lasagna, which added a fantastic creaminess to the dish. Needless to say, I loved eating every last bit of these leftovers!

Note: You don't have to be meticulous with leftovers. I have given a guide as to the amount of each ingredient goes into this dish, but it is all approximate, and you by no means need to follow it exactly.

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
about 2 tbsp butter, melted
about 1 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to season
about 1 cup tomato sauce
3-5 sage leaves, chopped very fine
1/2 250g container cottage cheese
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 package fresh lasagna pasta sheets (you may also use fresh cannelloni tubes or fresh large shell pasta)

1. If using fresh butternut squash, not leftovers, toss squash with butter and brown sugar. Spread squash in an single layer on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and bake at 400º for 45-55 minutes.

2. Mash cooked squash with a fork, add the sage and stir to combine. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, puree the cottage cheese and parmesan cheese using an immersion blender. Set aside.

4. Lay out pasta sheets and cut them in half widthwise. Spoon about a 1/4 cup - 1/3 of the filling down the centre of the pasta sheet, and roll up to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining squash and pasta.

5. Spoon on a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a medium baking sheet. Place in the cannelloni, seam side down, in a single layer, The cannelloni rolls should be touching.

6. Spoon over the tomato sauce and top with dollops of cheese mixture. Bake in a 350º oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Listening To:
Adele - Rolling In The Deep

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(If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that this has been my favourite home-alone-belt-it-out song for the past week! Ginger love!)