Category Archives: Pasta

Pasta with fresh fava beans, chard and pancetta & Cream of butternut squash soup

20140330-163308.jpg

I had my second veg box delivery this week after being on holiday for a week and the main item was fava beans or at least that was how it seemed based on size.  There was also butternut squash, lettuce, chard and leeks but the fava beans were the ingredient most unfamliar to me.

For this recipe I was able to utilise both the fava beans and some of the chard and it led to a tasty pasta dish:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fettuccine-with-fresh-fava-beans-and-pancetta-recipe.html

I would definitely recommend this recipe but with the disclaimer that to use fresh fava beans, you should set aside a good few hours!!!  The ones I got seemed to be very small and the process of taking them out of the pods took almost an hour alone.  Then after blanching them in the water it was probably close to another hour to take them out of the shells.  Due to the fact they were so small, I’m not 100% convinced I could really taste them in the recipe either!  But well, one of the aims of this blog was to learn more about different foods so I will think twice about including them in a recipe in future 🙂  Also it is Sunday, so a couple of hours working on a dish is a treat anyway!

All the favas at he beginning:

20140330-163320.jpg

Step 1; taking them out of the pods

20140330-163330.jpg

Step 2; about to be blanched:

20140330-163342.jpg

20140330-163353.jpg

20140330-163414.jpg

Step 3; taking them out of their shells after blanching:

20140330-163448.jpg

The easier parts of the recipe…:

20140330-163430.jpg

20140330-163439.jpg

20140330-163456.jpg

20140330-163519.jpg

From my box this week I also made a tasty butternut squash soup. The butternut squash was the complete contrast to the fava beans as it was enormous, meaning I made quite a thick soup!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/creamybutternutsquas_88084

20140330-163539.jpg

20140330-163549.jpg

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Food blogging, Italian, Pasta, Recipes, Soup, Starter, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Ravioli con chorizo piccante (spicy chorizo and ricotta stuffed ravioli)

image

It was my birthday recently and one of the great presents I received was Gino D’Acampo’s Pasta recipe book.  I already have a pasta machine so it seemed another good opportunity to put it to good use and make a different type of pasta to what I’ve featured on this blog before.  I do remember making ravioli many years ago and thinking it was pretty fiddly.  This time was no exception and even trying the trick of making giant ravioli didn’t save me too much time!

Anyway the end result was good so it can be a once in a while, Sunday afternoon thing!

image

I started by making the pasta; mixing 2 cups of 00 flour with two eggs and drizzling over a little bit of olive oil and some salt.  I mixed it together until it became crumbly and then rolled it into a ball and started kneading for about 5 minutes (if it is too crumbly add a teaspoon of water).  I wrapped it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 20 mins.

image

In the meantime, I started making the filling; finely chopping 100g of chorizo and frying in a bit of oil with a teaspoon of chilli flakes (use a fresh chilli if you have it) for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I let the chorizo cool in a bowl and then added 250g of ricotta and 1 tablespoon of dried parsley (again if you have it fresh, use it! – I could only see it mixed with garlic yesterday in the supermarket so had to go without).  Mix well and transfer to the fridge for 10 mins, after covering in clingfilm.

image

image

image

Back to the pasta task!  I split the dough ball into three and started flattening with my hands before moving to the pasta machine and running it through all the settings until I reached the thinnest one.  Make sure you keep the sheets well floured during this process to prevent sticking.  The pasta sheets were so long I had to halve them again so in the end I had 6 fairly long sheets.

image

image

image

I let them dry a little and then placed them on a floured surface.  I added a teaspoon of the mixture about 4cm apart on one sheet and brushed the space between the fillings with some beaten egg.  Then I placed another sheet on the top and pressed in the gaps of the fillings with my fingers and cut them using a pizza cutter (I didn’t have a special pasta cutter so no pretty edges on my ravioli 😦 )  Now if you don’t want giant ravioli, I would suggest folding each sheet over rather than using two.  Up to you!

image

image

image

image

image

image

I then put them in some fast boiling, salted water for 3 minutes before trying to arrange them on the plate.  Sprinkle over a bit of salt and pepper and drizzle over some olive oil.  From these ingredients I made 16 (giant!) raviolis so I have enough for two dinners, for two people.  I have floured the 8 that I did not cook and covered them and put them in the fridge for tomorrow.  Hopefully they will keep well!

image

image

The taste was very good!  Nice and spicy with the cheese as a contrast.  I couldn’t find ricotta in the supermarket here, so I used queso fresco which somewhere on the internet told me it was a suitable substitute (closer to cottage cheese I would say).  I think ricotta has a slightly stronger taste so would be better if you are able to get that easily!  It was time consuming but enjoyable to make and I’m looking forward to cooking another pasta dish from the book!  Especially as the intro to the book spends a long time saying pasta is in fact a very healthy carbohydrate!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of 00 flour
  • 3 eggs (2 for the pasta, one for brushing the made pasta)
  • 100g of chorizo
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 250g of ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes

4 Comments

Filed under Cheese, Food, Food blogging, Herbs, Italian, Pasta, Recipes, Uncategorized

Spicy salmon mousse and homemade tagliatelle with chicken and asparagus

image

image

Today’s blog is more than one recipe again 🙂  A starter and a main;  spicy salmon mousse served with rocket and bread followed by homemade tagliatelle with a chicken and asparagus sauce.

The starter is from a book I have from the TV show Come Dine with Me.  Definitely recommend it to anyone who has not watched it although like most reality type tv shows, the earlier shows were the better ones!  The commentator still makes me laugh though even though the contestants have gotten more extreme over time!

The main course was decided as after 3 years living in Barcelona, I finally found the flour I needed to utilise my pasta machine!  I’ve probably moaned on here before about the limited range of flour in Barcelona so this flour came from a specialist Italian store.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a bag of flour 🙂

To start the salmon mousse I added 100g of smoked salmon (keeping a couple of small strips aside for garnish), 1.5 tablespoons of double cream, 150g cream cheese, a squeeze of lemon, half a teaspoon of parsley and a teaspoon of chilli flakes to a blender and mixed until smooth.  This made enough for 3 ramekins where I added the garnish on top and put into the fridge to set.  It goes great with rocket leaves and fresh bread for dipping directly in the mousse 🙂  These ingredients make enough for 3 people (same for the main).

image

image

image

image

For the main, I added 2 cups (200g) of 00 flour and 2 eggs into a blender and mixed until the dough started to form.  Then I kneaded it for a couple of minutes on a floured surface, before putting it into the fridge for one hour (wrapped in cling film).

image

image

After one hour, I removed it from the fridge and sliced in half ready for rolling.

image

I rolled it into two relatively long strips before getting some help from the pasta machine!

image

image

The biggest challenge with the machine was attaching it well enough to a surface!  The table would not work despite my intense level of concentration….

image

…neither a chair, nor a coffee table!  In the end a bedside table seemed to do the trick but still with an element of holding the machine steady!  Another day where I wished for a bigger, more equipped kitchen!  But anyway, got there in the end!

I put the strips through the machine 6 times (twice on three different settings, getting thinner each time).

image

image

Then I used the tagliatelle attachment of the pasta maker, cutting the long strips into two pieces so the tagliatelle was of a normal length!

image

image

I find it quite a fun process, pretty simple but it’s always nice to make something that is shop bought 99% of the time, at home 🙂

image

I put the plate of tagliatelle to one side while I concentrated on the rest of the main course.

I chopped half an onion, one quarter of a courgette, about 5 pieces of asparagus and one chicken breast.

image

I cooked the chicken and the asparagus for 4-5 mins in a little bit of oil, before adding the onion and courgette for a couple more minutes.  Once they were cooked, I added one clove of garlic (crushed), 150ml of double cream and 100ml of chicken stock (I substituted this in place of white wine) and heated until the sauce started to thicken.

image

image

In the meantime I cooked the pasta in boiling water with a bit of salt and olive oil for 3-4 minutes.  I added 1 tablespoon of fresh basil and 50g of freshly grated parmesan to the sauce, mixed well before also adding the cooked pasta.

image

image

The result was so good!!!  I think this is actually one of my simpler posts but actually it has to be one of my favourites 🙂  I even went back for seconds which is not like me!  The taste was really rich and the pasta did taste fresh.  Just a really nice, simple dish that I really recommend!

6 Comments

Filed under Cheese, Chicken, Fish, Food, Herbs, Italian, Pasta, Recipes, Starter, Uncategorized