Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin and Sage Tortellini

I really wish it was possible to make pumpkin dishes year round, but then again, it might be their seasonal nature that makes them all the more special?
With the pasta maker at hand, pumpkin-filled ravioli and tortellini have now taken over pumpkin soup and became the new favourite of the season. Pumpkin and sage filling, wrapped into spinach pasta is an absolute hit!

You need:

1 portion of green and white pasta (the recipe is in the Pasta Frenzy Continues)
 about 1 kilo pumpkin
3 tbs oil
2 tbsp dried sage
1 egg yolk, beaten
25 g grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp grated nutmeg
a handful of fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper


Begin the preparation with the pumpkin. Peel and dice the pumpkin, then place it on the baking tray greased with  3tbsp oil, season and sprinkle dried sage on top. Put the pumpkin into a the oven and bake it for about 40-45 minutes in 180C, until pumpkin is completely soft. Leave to cool, move the pumpkin to a large bowl and squash it with a fork, add the egg yolk, nutmeg, grated Parmesan and chopped sage leaves. Season to taste.
Flour the surface, roll the pasta dough as thin as possible, if you're using a pasta maker roll the dough through number 9 setting. Cut the dough into small squares (remember that they will swell up during cooking) and place a teaspoon of pumpkin filling leaving the edges clear. To make the edges stick together better, they may be brushed with a tiny amount of water. Put the edges together diagonally, so as you form a small triangle. Press the edges together, careful not to let the filling spill out. Then pinch together the two corners on the longer side.


Fill a large pan with water, add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of olive oil, bring to boil. Put in the tortellinis, reduce the heat and cook until the tortellini start floating. Drain and serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Alternatively you may pour sage butter or tomato sauce on top of the tortellini.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Beetroot Cake

I've never been especially focused on healthy eating, rather the opposite :) However, the idea of this cake looked interesting so I decided to give it a go. It was well worth it - chocolate cake just as I like it - moist and sweet, though there's no sugar in it!


2/3 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup honey
50 g dark chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
250 g  raw beetroots, grated
3 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp cocoa powder
a pinch salt
1 tbsp dried shredded coconut (optional)

Start with the beetroot. Place unpeeled beetroot in a pan and cover with water. Simmer for about 40 minutes, remove from heat, drain the beetroot and leave to cool.

When it's cooled the peel will be really easy to remove, then grate on the small side of the grater.

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Warm the oil in a medium size sauce pan on very low heat. Add honey and chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Add the grated beets. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then add them to the sauce pan. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt together and stir into the beet mixture. Grease a baking tray with oil and add shredded coconut to prevent the batter from sticking to side of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly dark and crackled on top and still a little sticky inside. I waited for the cake to cool and cut it horizontally into 2 halves. Then I stewed a few plums with sugar and spread them onto the cake, and added chocolate on top. Bliss!