Since starting a new job in August, I have had to take a hiatus from blogging because I’ve also had to take a break from sewing. It would be an understatement to say that adjusting to my new job responsibilities has kept me busy. It is likely to keep me equally busy after the new year too, but I hope that I will be able to return to keeping up the space a little more regularly. I still feel like there are many things I’d like to share with you in regards to my creative doings. Please be patient and stick around as I try to figure out how to balance the new with the slightly old.
As a peace offering/bribe, here is a wonderful recipe that was inspired by a dish I once ordered in a restaurant. It’s perfect for the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you want something that tastes hearty, without being too filling. It makes great party fare too. Just make all the parts a few hours or days ahead and keep in the refrigerator. Assemble and finish baking right before the party.
Winter Squash Topped Flatbreads
This recipe basically consists of three layers—an easy to make flatbread, a creamy herb-seasoned ricotta and toasty bits of pancetta and winter squash. They make a delicious light meal or can be cut into bite-sized pieces to serve as appetizers.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.
Divide dough into 2 or 3 pieces and roll out each piece on a sheet of parchment paper or silicone mat until it is less than ¼ inch thick. Transfer dough with parchment/mat onto a baking sheet.
Partially bake the flatbreads for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven to be topped.
Make Herb Seasoned Ricotta:
1 cup ricotta
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, rosemary or sage, finely chopped (all three taste great, so choose your favorite or a combination)
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients above.
Make Pancetta and Winter Squash:
¼ lb. pancetta (find in the deli; bacon is a great substitute if you can’t find it)
1 small acorn squash, half of a butternut squash or other winter squash, peeled diced into ¼ inch cubes (approximately 2 cups of diced squash)
Put pancetta into a hot frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta from the pan and let drain on paper towels. When slightly cooled, break or cut pancetta into little bits. (If there is an excessive amount of fat in the pan, drain some off before continuing.) In the same pan, add diced winter squash. Cook until tender, 7-10 minutes.
Assemble the Flatbreads:
Divide the seasoned ricotta between the flatbreads and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle pancetta and squash over the top.
Put topped flatbreads back into the oven to crisp up, about 5 more minutes at 450 degrees.