Here we are. Day 47. Strangely, it’s exactly like day 46. And 45. And 44.
This is what these days look like for me:
Wake up at 7. Feed child. Clean up. Exercise. Pack snack and get child ready to leave the house so my husband can actually get some work done. Take child on a forest walk where he brings one of his stuffies and then makes me talk like said stuffy for 2km. Implement quiet time at home which usually consists of me insisting it’s quiet time while he catapults off the couch. Do an hour of half-assed home schooling (sorry if his teacher is reading this, I love you, I could never be you). Play games, paint, clean up all the paint, why is there so much paint? Make dinner. Bribe child into eating three bites of it. Clean up. Clean child. Start bed time routine which can go either way depending on his mood and can thus be a half hour or an entire 90 minutes. Try to enjoy a couple of hours of “us time” while semi-comatose in front of the TV. Go to bed but somehow stay up too late. Repeat.
It’s not like it’s a hard routine, so I’m not whining about it. Or at least trying not to. It’s just monotonous. How do you switch it up when you have nowhere to go and no one to see? How do you explain to a four and a half year old that he won’t be going back to school until the fall and still can’t hang out with his buddies? How many times can you clean out a closet and scrub a floor? Also, how the hell am I spending as much money as I am when I can’t even leave my house?
So many boring questions!
Anyway. I’m just cooking my little heart out over here (hence the daily workouts) so I might as well share. I made this ridiculous orzo pasta dish using ingredients we mostly already had like frozen kale and a butternut squash that needed to be cooked and some prosciutto I made into chips. I do a cute thing at the grocery store lately where I irresponsibly splurge on crazy shit we don’t need, so this giant fresh mozzarella ball got broken up over the top of this dish and finished with a drizzle of fruity, delicious, good quality olive oil. (god, I sound vile). It was so good, I ate two bowls full and regretted nothing. Also it was even better cold the next day as a lovely little pasta salad I once again ate too much of.
You can use spinach in place of the kale of course, and omit the prosciutto if you’re going meat-free. This would be just as delicious.
Don’t forget to treat yourselves. Might as well. Unless it’s buying Tiger King merchandise off Etsy, because I really have to stop doing that.
Butternut Squash and Kale Orzo Carbonara with Prosciutto Chips
1 small butternut squash
8 slices prosciutto
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup of white wine (or chicken broth)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup frozen kale, stems removed and chopped
2 cups orzo
6 oz goat cheese
1 ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella
Salt and black pepper
Optional: a drizzle of good quality olive oil. I always have a bottle on hand to make salad dressings with or to elevate a dish. Don’t cook with it, though. Best to not heat up the good stuff and just use it for finishing.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Peel the butternut squash and trim the ends. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Dice into half inch cubes. Set them on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until fork tender.
Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto slices on the tray and bake in the oven for 8 minutes until crispy. Cool and then break up into bite sized pieces.
Cook orzo in salted boiling water according to package directions, usually about 7 minutes. Before draining, set aside 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
In a deep skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute until just golden, then add the onion and red pepper flakes. Add the white wine and let it simmer down to half the liquid, about three minutes.
Microwave the kale in a microwave-safe bowl with two tbsp of water for about 3 minutes. Drain. Add the kale to the skillet and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer at medium heat for another few minutes, letting the flavours incorporate.
Crack each egg one at a time into your hands and separate the yolks from the whites by letting the whites slowly slip through your fingers over the sink (or reserve them in a bowl for an egg white omelet!). Add the egg yolks to a bowl with the reserved hot pasta cooking water, one spoonful at a time, stirring and tempering the yolks so they don’t scramble.
Add the egg yolk pasta water mixture to the skillet. Add the cooked squash and prosciutto chips and stir it all together to combine.
Pour the orzo into the skillet. Crumble in the goat cheese and stir to incorporate. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Plate and top with some broken up fresh mozzarella and an extra drizzle of good olive oil. OMG