Homemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta

  

Nothing beats that melt in the mouth beautiful fresh pasta taste. I know I’ve posted a spinach and ricotta ravioli recipe a couple of years back now but this is my “new and improved” and it’s damn delicious… As you can see from the above picture I don’t own a pasta rack so my washing line just had to do haha. This recipe is great for dinner parties or a weekend evening dish for your other half.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 800g ricotta cheese
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper

Sauce 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jar passata
  • salt and pepper

Serves 6

Method

To make the dough use your hands to shape the flour into a circular mound and make a well in the centre. Place the eggs in the well and use a fork to lightly whisk. Use your fingertips to gradually blend a little flour into the egg mixture. Working with your fingertips, continue to gradually draw the flour into the centre (being careful the egg mixture does not run out of the well) until the mixture forms a dough. To check if the dough is the right consistency, press a clean, dry finger into the centre of the dough. If it comes out clean without being sticky, it is the right consistency. If not, knead in a little more flour and test again.

Lightly flour the surface if necessary. Firmly knead the dough by using the heel of your hand to firmly push down into it and then away from you. Lift the dough with your fingertips and fold it back on itself towards you. Turn the dough a half turn and repeat. Continue kneading the dough for 6-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and set aside for an hour.

To make the filling heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the spinach and toss for 1-2 minutes or just until wilted, then drain well. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop the spinach, then place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the passata, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the passata, salt and pepper and simmer. Reheat just before serving.

Divide the pasta dough into 4 portions, then working with one piece at a time flatten the dough firmly with the heel of your hand on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the pasta several times through the widest setting on a pasta machine and continue feeding it through reducing the settings one notch at time until you come to the second last setting. The pasta should feel silky and smooth. Use a wine glass to cut even circular shapes in the dough.

Start adding a teaspoon of filling to each circle of dough (making sure you don’t add too much filling or the ravioli won’t hold). Wet the outside with a little bit of egg so the dough sticks together. Place another circle dough on the top and press the sides then fork around the edge until the pasta is firmly stuck together.

To cook, carefully drop the ravioli into a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until al dente, then pour into a colander and drain well. Transfer the ravioli to a large serving dish, spoon over the hot passata, and top with grated Parmesan. ONE WORD: YUM!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

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Glebe Markets – review

markets gozleme tandoori wrap

Glebe Public School Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

So the last few weeks have been a little hectic, hence my lack of blogging … I am now proud to announce I’m officially an adult, I’ve recently signed the lease on an apartment in Annandale – yay! The decision was pretty easy after trying most of the cafes on Booth St – if you haven’t already been to Black Toast Café yet I highly recommend it; funky décor, great food, reasonably priced and from what I’ve heard and witnessed amazing coffee (although I don’t drink it).

I feel like I may need to create a blog on the adventures of moving out – would anyway read that though? I find my misfortunes quite hilarious… So moving out as most of you know is all about budgeting. I am a terrible budgeter when it comes to food – especially when I walk into a supermarket down the cheese and cold meats aisle. It’s too much deliciousness in one section – surely they know people can’t resist? So on the topic of budgeting I bought myself a little $15 blender last week – cheap, easy to use, and really it’s just to make my morning smoothie. I’d woken up a little later than usual Friday morning and was craving some berry goodness – I’d put the berries, yoghurt, honey and milk in the blender and turned it on to realise that it had leaked everywhere… Like we’re talking milk on the bench, floor and under the cupboard. Happy Friday right?

Anyway we’re completely losing track on what this post is about, which is food… in particular the delicious food I indulged in last week at the beautiful Glebe Markets! Living so close to Glebe is great – it’s literally 10 minutes on the bus and there are so many trendy restaurants and bars! A couple of friends had a stall at Glebe Markets last Saturday (such a perfect day) and classic Jem could smell the food a mile away, and of course already knew what she wanted. I mean who goes to any market and doesn’t order Gozleme? Can I get a mmm mmm… The markets are every Saturday with an array of vintage/hipster clothing, succulents, funky glasses, old books, artworks – you’ll definitely find at least a few great items for cheap as chips.

The Glebe Markets are actually known for the tasty Tandoori chicken wrap; and oh my gosh succulent chicken cooked in tandoori spices, fresh lettuce, hot sauce – this is kind of sounding like a Mc Donalds add right? Anyway it was way better than Maccas and delicious – you definitely need this in your life (except if you’re vego, then I understand)… The Gozleme was amazing as per usual too, I don’t know what is about markets but to me a Gozleme is the perfect accompaniment. I ordered the beef, lamb, spinach and cheese. For under $20 for two people you can’t really go wrong with these dishes. So now that we’ve stepped into Spring there’s no better time then to check it out; there’s usually live music too so if I were you I’d plan to go next Saturday – perch yourself on the grass, listen to some good tunes, eat (a lot) and shop around.

I rate Glebe Markets 4/5.

Happy eating, love Jem x

Fantastic frittata

frittata

Yes, this dish does actually taste as good as it looks! Frittata is probably one of the most easiest and healthiest dinners to make; and once you figure out your favourite flavour combinations you can add anything. It’s great for a small bite on the go, and you can whip up a meal with whatever is in your fridge. Frittata is packed with protein from the eggs, it’s suitable to eat on the 5:2 diet, and it’s even tastier the next day for lunch! What does your meat-free Monday meal look like? Here’s mine!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cooked
  • 5 slices feta cheese, crumbled
  • parsley, a few sprigs torn
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Serves 4

Method

Preheat oven to 180º. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Then add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Spray a round baking dish with cooking oil.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with milk. Make sure to beat some good air into the eggs so your frittata will come out of the oven light and puffy! Add salt and pepper.

Place the asparagus, feta, onion and spinach evenly in the baking dish then pour over the egg mixture covering the vegetables. Sprinkle parsley on top then pop in the oven.

The frittata will usually take about 40 minutes to cook, but keep on eye on it so it doesn’t burn on top. Enjoy hot with sweet chilli sauce and a roquette salad on the side!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Gourmet pizza topping

Screenshot 2015-03-13 15.26.41

This pizza topping is absolutely the best. Need I write more? Nothing beats a crispy base with a whole lot of beautiful vegetables, spicy chorizo and fresh avocado. Last weekend the girls and I decided on an Italian night; so yes we made amaaaazing pizzas, bruschetta and even a Nutella dessert to finish – safe to say it was an overload on carbs but who doesn’t love that every now and then. I can’t go past eggplant, I have an addiction and it just tastes too good on pizzas. For a vegetarian option just leave off the chorizo.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 3 tbl tomato paste/puree
  • handful basil, torn (not chopped or you’ll bruise the leaves)
  • 1 small garlic clove, thinly chopped

Topping

  • 1/2 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped, salted and washed
  • 1/2 chorizo sausage, chopped
  • 7 slices halloumi, thinly sliced
  • 5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • handful basil, torn
  • handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

Makes 1 pizza

Method

Boil the sweet potato until soft. Whilst that’s boiling cook the eggplant in a dribble of oil on medium heat, and then remove once wilted. Fry the chorizo and then halloumi in the chorizo juices and place to the side. Drain the sweet potato.

Place the pizza base in the oven as per packet instructions – I usually buy a thin dough so it turns out nice and crispy.

To make the sauce combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. If the paste is too thick then I advise adding a tbl of water.

Once the pizza base is cooked it’s time to start adding those delicious toppings. Spread the tomato paste thinly and evenly across the base. Then add the eggplant, mushrooms, sweet potato, chorizo, halloumi, red onion and basil evenly. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Remove the pizza from the oven and top with spinach and avocado, then dribble some olive oil and balsamic for extra flavour! Do I have to tell you to dig in now? All this talk is making me hungry!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Eden Coffee – review

image 2 image

781-785 Elizabeth St, Zetland

As I live in Zetland, Eden Coffee is my local cafe – although I’m not a coffee drinker (don’t judge me please) I absolutely adore the food – it’s fresh and seasonal with generous helpings and just delish!

The theme of the cafe is the ‘Garden of Eden’ from the bible – this theme is present in many of the dishes on the menu, and of course the coffee “Adam’s Brew” and “Eve’s Blend”.

The decor is leaning on the industrial look with graffiti art on the walls, very spacious, industrial looking lights and brick interior. There are many seating options which is great (especially with children), and the outdoor setting is lovely in the sun on a weekend.

My boyfriend is a creature of habit and once he finds something on the menu he likes, he orders it every time. I must agree with him though that the ‘open club s/w on sourdough’ is amazing! It is basically a delicious BLT upgraded to the max with succulent chicken, avocado and yummy herbed aioli. This sandwich has such simple ingredients and flavours which work perfectly – plus he does like his large portions and he always comes away feeling satisfied.

I’ve had the ‘pulled lamb open s/w’ twice now, and it’s divine – the lamb is very generous and cooked to perfection. The combination of the meat with feta, red onion, spinach and kale pesto is mouth-watering! I’d never had kale pesto before and I’ve definitely come away inspired to make it.

The breakfast is all day with a selection of delicious dishes which cater for vegans, vegetarians and there are many gluten-free options available.

I like the fact that Eden isn’t trying to be “too cool” – they simply have good, seasonal cafe style food in an urban environment. I’d definitely recommend the ‘Eve’ brekkie too – it’s my favourite!

I rate Eden Coffee 4/5.

Happy eating, love Jem x

Spinach and ricotta ravioli

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I absolutely adore pasta and I could eat it probably every day. It’s so versatile as you can fill ravioli with any ingredient and make a yummy little sauce to complement. This recipe is an easy one for homemade pasta and you don’t even need a pasta machine, yay! I will warn you though this is not a 15 minute meal, so allocate a good hour or so just to be safe. Spinach and ricotta is my favourite filling as the flavour combination is divine!

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach
  • salt and pepper

Dressing/sauce 

  • olive oil
  • pine nuts
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • parmesan cheese sprinkle
  • parsley to garnish

Serves 4

Method

Use your hands to shape the flour into a circular mound and make a well in the centre. Place the eggs in the well and use a fork to lightly whisk. Use your fingertips to gradually blend a little flour into the egg mixture. Working with your fingertips, continue to gradually draw the flour into the centre (being careful the egg mixture does not run out of the well) until the mixture forms a dough. To check if the dough is the right consistency, press a clean, dry finger into the centre of the dough. If it comes out clean without being sticky, it is the right consistency. If not, knead in a little more flour and test again.

Lightly flour the surface if necessary. Firmly knead the dough by using the heel of your hand to firmly push down into it and then away from you. Lift the dough with your fingertips and fold it back on itself towards you. Turn the dough a half turn and repeat. Continue kneading the dough for 6-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Kneading is an important part of the pasta-making process as it develops the gluten in the flour, giving the pasta a firm, tender texture.) Wrap the dough in cling/plastic wrap and set aside for half an hour.

While the dough is resting it’s time to make the filling! Cook spinach in olive oil in a pan until wiltered then set aside to cool. Once spinach is around room temperature add the ricotta then mix and add salt & pepper to season.

Dust a clean surface with flour and start rolling the dough until quite thin (about 1.5 mm). Once the dough is at the consistency you are happy with then divide it into two sheets. With the first sheet of pasta start adding the spoonfuls of filling (make sure you spread this out and don’t add too much filling or the ravioli won’t hold).

Wet with water around the outside of each little filling on the pasta sheets and then cut around so there’s individual pasta mixture with fillings. With the second sheet of pasta cut to fit over the first sheet with filling and fork around the edge till they are stuck together.

Once the ravioli is made and looking firm then start boiling water. They should cook for about 20 minutes in the boiling water but the time varies so it is best to keep your eye on it.

While the pasta is cooking, lightly fry the pine nuts and chilli in oil.

Once the ravioli is cooked drizzle the oil, chilli and pine nut dressing then garnish with parsley. I can’t resist adding parmesan cheese too. Enjoy!

Healthy fact 

Spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.

Happy cooking, love Jem x