How I hate the month of March and a dish of orechiette with butternut squash to comfort my ache
I don't care for the month of March. Much more than January, March always feels like the longest month of the year, the one month that seems to drag on and on and on, tiresome, tiring, an endless array of days where one is craving for something that simply seems to never arrive.
March is so very boring. It always arrives with a sense of hope, a promise of something, the end of Winter and grey, cloudy skies, the arrival of sunnier, longer days, the advent of warmer temperatures, a promise of Spring being held out in every letter on its name. Like a true politician, March never delivers.
Each morning, in March, I look outside my window in the hopes of seeing the colours of Spring - it's true, if you pay enough attention you can see different colours in the air for every season, and Spring has its own special set of hues and light - and all I get is the (by now) dull greyness of Winter skies I am already tired of.
When March comes by I am eventually already tired of dark days, of gloomy skies, I want the morning to be filled with giddy chirrups of birds upon the trees - which will be quite annoying after a few weeks, waking me up at sunrise with their insufferable noise! - I want the days to be filled with mild temperatures, and showers to be rare, I want warm breezes tousling my hair.
When March comes around I am tired of long, heavy overcoats that seem to drag my shoulders down and tire me out, I am tired of boots on my feet that seem to hinder my step and make walking a task fit for Hecules, I am tired of wooly turtleneck sweaters that seem to cling on my neck and my body and constrain me and my limbs. I don't want these anymore, come March.
The same goes when it comes to food. I no longer want heady, heavy stews, I no longer want roasts that have been in the oven for long hours - although last Sunday's roast free range chicken was to die for! - I no longer want that kind of food that warms the body and the soul in the deep of Winter. But come March, the weather is still cold, and there's gusts of wind outside that'll freeze the bones out of you, and you will still need a heavy coat, a turtleneck sweater, boots and umbrellas, and comfort food for your belly.
In all honesty, I should like March a lot more. It should wake up my creativity, as it gets me craving stuff that the weather doesn't yet allow for. I should be getting creative with my outfits, trying to incorporate little bits and pieces of Spring reminding garments, but all I do is get in a rut, wearing the same stuff day in and day out, out of sheer boredom and lack of energy. March does that to me, drains my energy. Yet, sometimes, culinarily speaking, I get my brain on the go, and something like this comes out. Orechiette and butternut squash. What a pairing made in heaven. Light, yet comforting, fresh, yet warming. Perfect end of Winter fare, with a hint of Spring in the air!
For it, you will need:
- one pack orechiette
- one butternut squash
- one medium sized onion
- three large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- good olive oil
- basil leaves
- salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
- grana padano cheese, freshly grated