I am soooo enjoying being on holiday 🙂 And my idea of being on holiday includes (among other fun activities) cooking lots of Nice Things. This morning I biked down to the Farmers’ Market, but – because I knew I’d be coming home with blueberries – before I left I mixed a brioche dough & left it to rise. And when I got back I used it to make blueberry brioche (which I will probably write about in another post).
Also in the saddlebags were beetroot, apple juice, avocados, macadamia nuts, free-range eggs, and a whole lot of lovely long sweet red peppers, courtesy of the lovely folk at the Southern Belle Orchard booth. I had designs on those peppers! Some of them I packed away in the fridge, but I kept 4 big ones aside. After lunch (mmmm, nommilicious brioche!) I turned them into a lovely, slightly spicey sauce:
- Slice a brown & a red onion thinly & start them frying gently in a heavy pan. (It wouldn’t actually matter which kind you used; I just grabbed what was there.)
- Peel & chop the cloves from a couple of small heads of garlic & add them to the pan.
- Remove the seeds from the peppers (you could use ordinary capsicums too) and slice the flesh; add that to the pan as well.
- At this point I looked at our excess of zucchini, and then chopped 3 of them into small dice & popped them in the pan with everything else.
- Add 1 tsp of paprika – the rich red smoked kind if you have it (which I do, cos my friend Annette gave me some), 1/4 tsp chili powder (more if you like it hot), & salt to taste, before pouring in 500 ml chicken stock (I didn’t have vege stock available). Pop a lid on the pan and simmer the mix gently for about 30 mins, & then a further 30 mins with the lid off if you want to thicken the sauce.
- Finally, use a stick blender or food processor to process to a smooth-ish puree.
Now, I’d started off making the sauce without a firm idea of what to use it with, but while it was cooking (& I was doing my embroidery) I decided it would go rather nicely with cheese-&-herb ravioli. So I mixed up a batch of pasta dough (3 c flour, 6 of those free-range eggs, a couple of Tbsp of olive oil, all kneaded together & then – when I needed it – rolled out into thin sheets), & then dealt with the filling. Again, you could vary this according to what you’ve got in the fridge.
- Beat together 250 g ricotta cheese and 250 g cream cheese, plus however much grated parmesan you feel like using.
- Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and add that to the cheese, along with about a cup of finely chopped herbs: I used parsley, basil, marjoram, lemon thyme, chives, & garlic chives.
- Fry 3-4 rashers of bacon, chop finely, & stir into the cheese/herb mix, along with the zest of a lemon & juice to taste.
- Finally, mix in an egg – it helps hold everything together when cooked.
- Take a sheet of pasta (I rolled this one sheet at a time) & place teaspoonfuls of the filling on half the sheet, spacing them about 3 cm apart.
- Fold the other half of the sheet over the top & press down around each little mound of filling, before cutting into ravioli. Place to dry on baking paper on a cake rack & then roll your next pasta sheet. That amount of dough & filling gave me about
4 dozen5 dozen** ravioli.
When ready to eat, bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to the boil, drop in the pasta, & cook 3-4 minutes or till they’re al dente. Heat the sauce through while the ravioli cook. I’m just about to go & do that now. And we’re going to have it with a nice bottle of red wine, all the way from Italy!
** make that 5 dozen – I counted as I popped them into the pot 🙂