Friday Fuck Up: The Revenge of Sriracha


Editors Note: One of our favorite fans has a special treat for us. And I just love getting emails with the subject: “i have your friday fuck up for you.” Here is Belmont‘s pumpkin pasta fail. And remember to send us your kitchen disasters

I hate squash.

Actually, that’s not *entirely* true.

I love  all kinds of squash: kabocha, butternut, zucchini, pattypan. I love it in all forms: carpaccio, in a not so nicely named soup, in gratin with goat cheese, with wild rice and leeks as my favorite thanksgiving side. When I ran across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs (I am unrepentantly preppy, and I don’t care if you judge me), I had to try it. Pumpkin and pasta? There is no way this could end poorly!

Yeah, not so much.

I will confess, I made a few substitutions, and not quite the ones mentioned in the blog post. I kept the half and half, because soy milk is for hippies and lactards, and I doubled the garlic. I used sage instead of rosemary, because crispy sage is phenomenal and a classic paring for squash (according to the bible). Plus, it does not poke holes in your gums the way rosemary does. You know that stuff is basically a pine tree, right?

I also confess that I didn’t have any hot pepper flakes (absolution: I was not in my kitchen, where I am amply stocked) and decided to substitute sriracha, because it is awesome. Finally, no white wine vinegar, but there was some balsamic, so I used that instead. I also used whole wheat pasta, because I think it’s a nice contrast in rich pasta dishes, like this one consisting of cheese, squash, and cream, so I think it qualified.

The result?

Not inedible, but completely uninspiring.

I’m not sure where I went wrong, as I actually followed the directions. Come to think of it, maybe that was the problem. Here are my thoughts:

1. Perhaps I should have added a bit more sage. I couldn’t taste it at all in the final dish, even after crumbling the crispy sage when serving.

2. After frying the sage I let the oil cool a bit, then cooked the garlic, and THEN added everything else.

3. Perhaps a better parm? The dish was lacking that umami component that parm is so famous for.  I was in the Columbia Heights Giant and did not have time to go to Whole Foods for the good stuff. I mean, I used a wedge instead of the terrible green can, but still…

Thoughts? Help!

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  • gansie November 20, 2009  

    i definitely think it was the sriracha. i just can’t imagine that working well with parm.

  • Britannia November 20, 2009  

    There are some recipes out there that should just not be altered, I think there were a lot of changes made to the original. Might be worth making it again but next time going by the book.

  • PrixFixeOnline November 20, 2009  

    Before I actually went to culinary school, my rule of thumb was – if using a recipe the first time you make it – follow it to the T. Next time, start messing around and making it your own.

  • erica November 20, 2009  

    i can’t imagine the balsamic did any good either 😛 totally different animal from white wine vinegar

  • erica November 20, 2009  

    that was supposed to be a bleck face, not a smile.

  • BS November 20, 2009  

    yeah, the balsamic was where I went, oh no!

  • dosdos November 20, 2009  

    Yeah, the balsamic. Way more complex than white vinegar. I can’t imagine just a squirt of sriracha doing any harm.. plus it has vinegar in it already. I would have just omitted the extra vinegar. ps… I like whole wheat pastas with squash. They’ve got a nice nuttiness to them that works well in a fall dish.

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