Last week I cooked from the Babbo cookbook for the first time. I've never been to Babbo, I'm kind of scared of Mario Batali, and I only have the book because I got it for free a few years back. But something made me pick it from the pile, and I got excited about making braised shortribs with pumpkin orzo. Though the dinner was nothing spectacular (cook's fault, I'm sure), the next morning I adapted his recipe for pumpkin cake to make these butternut squash muffins with rosemary, which were so tender and fragrant I ate one after another in a futile attempt to locate the exact source of their irresistible appeal. (Andrew, who was not as enthralled as I was, says I liked them so much because they occupy some weird middle ground between sweet and savory.) Since I had neither cake flour nor canned pumpkin puree, couldn't include the pine nuts, and didn't want to include the raisins, there's a good chance my muffins bore little resemblance to the pumpkin cake. I can't imagine liking them more, though, and they are deliciously autumnal.
-Preheat oven to 325. Prepare a standard 12 muffin tin.
-Stir together 1 cup of flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking soda.
-Beat two eggs with 3/4 cup light brown sugar until very light. Since I didn't feel like dealing with appliances, even small ones, on Saturday morning, I did this with a fork, and it was fine.
-To egg and sugar mixture add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Beat in 3/4 cup olive oil. Stir in the dry ingredients.
-Now you stir in 1 cup of mashed roasted butternut squash. I had this left over from roasting squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper the night before. Consistency need not be perfectly smooth, though it should not be chunky; mine was a little watery, too.
-Bake until skewer comes out clean/top springs back when you press/muffins have achieved muffiness. This took between 20 and 25 minutes in my oven.