Looking back on 2016, there is a lot I am thankful for. I have met and made some incredible new friends, I have reacquainted with friends I had lost touch with over the years, I have learned a lot, not just professionally but about my self too. Not all lessons were easy and it has also been an emotional roller coaster a lot of the time.
In light of all the sad news that have also accompanied this last year it has become more and more important to me to spend as much time as I can with my closest friends and seek comfort in their company and 'our own little universe'. A couple of dear friends of mine came to visit us in our country home over new years, we had a campfire outside keeping us warm, while their kids grilled marshmallows over the fire and the grown-ups sipped on mulled wine.
On the first day of the new year we decided to make some pasta from scratch, the kids really enjoyed it, vigorously turning the handle of the pasta machine or putting the filling into the ravioli. Their eyes were shining with pride and joy when we sat down to dinner. In moments like this it feels like everything's good in the world. I guess my new years resolution is to keep nourishing my 'little universe' and hope the love will spread from there.
The recipe for these delicious ravioli is really simple, all you need is some time and maybe some friends that will lend some hands.
For the pasta dough
600g flour (type 00)
1tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
For the pumpkin filling
500g hokkaido pumpkin
handful of rosemary sprigs
80g parmesan, grated
For the cheese filling
50g feta cheese
50g parmesan, grated
50g mature cheese, grated
salt, pepper, nutmeg
1. Mix the flour, eggs, salt and olive oil. Knead until dough roughly comes together, transfer to a lightly floured surface.
2. If the dough is too crumbly add a tbsp of water (always one at a time) and keep kneading for 10minutes until the dough becomes shiny and stretchy.
3. Cover and rest in a cool place/fridge for about an hour.
4. For the pumpkin filling preheat the oven to 210°C top/bottom heat. Cut the pumpkin in 1-2cm thick wedges, place on a baking tray, pick the rosemary from the sprigs and together with 2-3tbsp olive oil mix with the pumpkin slices, add salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven until soft and golden, roughly 20minutes.
5. Once the pumpkin is done, using a blender, purée the rosemary pumpkin slices with the grated parmesan and add some salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.
6. For the cheese filling, roughly grate or crumble the cheeses, add the egg and blend until you have a smooth mixture. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
7. Divide the dough in smaller portions, lightly flour each portion, and either using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll out the dough 1-2mm thin. Always make sure it is lightly floured so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin or the pasta machine.
8. Place one strip of rolled out dough on a lightly floured surface. Make little shapes on the dough with a ravioli shaper or a glass, so you know where to place the filling, but don't cut out the dough yet.
9. Place a tsp of filling into the middle of the ravioli shape, leaving a 1.5-2cm empty rim. Brush on some water around the edges of the filling, now take a second piece of rolled out dough and place on top of the other, trying to get as little air bubbles within the ravioli as possible.
10. With a sharp knife prick very little wholes in the dough where you can spot air bubbles in the ravioli and lightly press out the air. Then, using the ravioli shaper or a glass, cut out the ravioli and put them on a floured tray.
11. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then turn down the heat, so the water only very lightly simmers and let the raviolis cook for about 3-4minutes, they will float on top as soon as they are ready, take them out and serve immediately.
12. I usually eat them sprinkled with a little bit of brown butter, good olive oil and some parmesan. This time I had some gravy left over and made a quick gravy cream sauce and added some sautéed kale.
To a peaceful 2017.