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
Start by washing and  dicing the butternut squash. Turn your oven on at 180º. On a baking tray, place the squash, and season it with a good glug of olive oil, plenty of salt and nutmeg and a hint of black pepper. Let it roast in the oven for about 40 minutes at the 200º mark. On a large pan, bring water that has been seasoned with a good amount of salt to a boil and cook your orechiette until they are al dente. Drain and reserve. As soon as the squash is roasted, let it cool so you can handle it, peel it and mush it on a large bowl. Add a little more olive oil and check the seasoning, if you find it too sweet, add some more nutmeg to the puréed squash, adding shredded basil leaves. Now add the orechiette and mix together well, until you've coated the pasta with the squash purée. Transfer onto an oven dish and grate some grana padano over it. Let it finish in the oven, with the grill on, so the cheese will melt. Serve warm, with a salad of greens on the side, or just like that. This is one very good vegetarian dish, actually, and here I am, carnivore that I assume myself of being, sharing nearly vegan recipes - ommit the cheese and it is a vegan meal! This one's for my Hella, the coolest vegetarian girl I know.


  1. Olá Miranda. Eu gostava do Março, mas agora, ao ler as tuas palavras, vejo que tens toda a razão. Aguardamos ansiosamente o início da primavera mas nunca é em Março que ele se materializa na verdade. Também gosto muito de massa e adorei esta tua sugestão. Ainda apetece muito este tipo de pratos.
    Beijinhos, Paula

    1. Lo, já arranjei inimigos ao mês de Março, coitado...

  2. Que combinação rica e deliciosa, bem apetitoso e ao meu gosto.

  3. descreveste isto tão, mas tão bem que eu que adorava o mês de março agora também já não o suporto! é que acertaste na mosca, promessas de primavera,esperança disto e daquilo.. raio que é mesmo verdade, babe! quanto a este prato, valho-nos estas comidas absolutamente deliciosas que tu tão bem fazes para massajar a alma, bom e o estômago principalmente! adorei!

    1. UM dia destes o mês de Março põe-me em cima um processo por difamação!

  4. É bem verdade, em Março sente-se mm a mudança nas cores!! Opá coitadinho de Março... "I don't care for March" podia ser uma música!!

    1. Yah, cantada pela Shirley Manson for sure!!!

  5. Have read through this and some archived posts. Would be remiss if not to tell you I find your content refreshing and hilarious. The recipes sound wonderful as well. Cheers !


Post a Comment