Tag Archives: Cooking

New Post, for New Site … Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli …

A beautiful recipe to introduce my new site … to read the whole post click here…

Just to polish off the fresh egg pasta thread, here’s the recipe for the ravioli filling.

When something works, why change it!? This recipe is a timeless combination of baby spinach, creamy ricotta and fresh herbs, all cradled in a springy homemade pasta and anointed with the majestic flavour of sage.

To read the full post click here…

As the credit-crunch bites, so do my posts … Fresh Egg Pasta recipe

The Food Flunky Blog is now hosted here (thefoodflunky.com) click here to see the new site and read all your favourite posts!! Tom aka The Food Flunky

With reference to my last post on thrift here’s the Egg Pasta recipe and a rather cringe-worthy ditty. All things taken into consideration, it is actually cheaper to buy fresh pasta but I haven’t come across any that are suitable for Ravioli. Once again, the ‘value’ of making your own pasta far outweighs the cost.

Ode al dente

My 3 free-range creamy yolks of embryo gone,
break forth unto ‘double-0’ and spill your song.

Enrich, elasticate and empower these humble milled means,
and let me fill your slippery skin with my wilted greens.

Apologies guys … definitely ‘barred’, rather than ‘The Bard’ …

… anyway that’s the ingredients in a nut-shell (egg-shell?).

This recipe makes about 250g of fresh egg pasta, enough for 12 large Ravioli and 1 large Lasagna (3 layers of pasta).

Equipment:
Pasta machine
Damp tea towels
Workspace

Ingredients:
250g ’00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
3 large free-range eggs (2 whole eggs and the yolk only of the third)
Pinch of salt
Water to keep your hands moist

Method:
Tip the flour onto a large clean work surface. Make a well in the middle and add the whole eggs and yolk into the middle making sure all the yolks are broken. Add a pinch of salt.

Using your finger tips, work the ingredients together by pulling the flour into the eggs in a circular motion. Start building up the mixture until completely combined.

Work the flour and eggs much like you would bread dough. Keep your hands moist to avoid the dough drying-out.

After about 5 minutes of work you should have a stiff yellowy ball of dough. Wrap the dough in a damp tea-towel and leave to rest for about an hour.

Once rested, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roughly flatten to about 2 cm thick with a rolling pin.

Set the pasta machine to it’s highest (or lowest?) setting. Basically the setting with the widest gap between the rollers. Run the dough through the machine a couple of times, and then knock the setting down (or up?) and repeat.

Work the ever lengthening pasta sheet all the way through the machine to it’s lowest (or highest?) setting until you have 1 long sheet about 1.5 mm thick.

Fold the sheet over on itself to the approximate width of the pasta machine and repeat the above steps but feed the pasta through width ways. This will help to strengthen the pasta.

Cut the pasta sheet into more manageable lengths if preferred. Dust each layer with a little flour and cover with a damp tea-towel. I would recommend using immediately however to avoid drying-out.

When the cost of thrift becomes more enriching …

The Food Flunky Blog is now hosted here (thefoodflunky.com) click here to see the new site and read all your favourite posts!! Tom aka The Food Flunky

I made fresh egg pasta the other day and subsequently Spinach, Ricotta and Parmesan Stuffed Ravioli with Pine Nut and Sage Butter (recipe to follow) and it got me thinking about the notion of thrift

The basket spend for the ingredients far outweighed the cost of buying ready made tortellini, for instance, but in the pursuit of making an affordable, memorable meal and enriching my culinary skills, the end result was far better value.

discuss …

And so to the fungi, the mushrooms, the spores … Wild Mushroom and Goats Cheese Pasty Recipe

The Food Flunky Blog is now hosted here (thefoodflunky.com) click here to see the new site and read all your favourite posts!! Tom aka The Food Flunky

The finished mushroom pasty article...

The finished mushroom pasty article...

I’ve found myself justifying my blog title namesakes of late and therefore promise to keep the posts brief and to the point. Again the scene: a damp Saturday morning, the bewer, a hangover and a mission.


1. Clear the hangover
2. Keep the bewer happy
3. Pick mushrooms

1 out of 3 aint bad?!

Armed with my innocent looking, bravado inspiring, forager romanticising, £1 “Mushroom Hunting” by Collins, from the local charity store I endeavored into the wilds of Wimbledon Common (pre-empt: No Wombles on this trip). Now a “common” to a common man such as myself pertains to a … common, a field or grassland if you will, not a forest. Granted the eerie sounds of fauna are replaced with the A4 and various other major road truncations but here I’ve found a woodland Mecca on my doorstep (via the 219 Bus from Balham to Wimbledon Broadway and a 15 minute walk up the hill).

Excited with my Earth Balls, disappointed with their promised nauseating tendencies, reinvigorated by the crop of Cortinarius, again disappointed by their kidney failure inducing properties but elated by the Birch Puffball and the Yellow Swamp Russula. 3 hours later, with a chest proudly puffed, I had a babies-fistful of edible mushrooms and after a swift, rather fitting pint of real ale it was on to the kitchen.

Not wanting to detract from the earthy flavours of the mushrooms it was a toss-up between buttery mushrooms on toast or the pasty option. The latter winning out.

This recipe is so simple and really does justice to the mushrooms. To avoid swamping the dish with the richness from butters, I recommend adding the goats cheese. The creaminess of the cheese will obviously compliment the butters but the slight sharpness harnesses all the gout inducing goodness and perks the dish, helping unravel the complexities that may have otherwise been lost.

I must confess that the foraged readies did need a helping hand. I simply bulked up the puff pastry filling with Portobello mushrooms from Trinity Stores in Balham, Merchant Gourmet pre-cooked chestnuts, just a touch of seasoning and served the beast with a dressed bitter leaf salad.

(A Cheats) Wild Mushroom and Goat’s Cheese Pasty

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main meal):
400g wild mushrooms, wiped with any nasties removed and coarsely chopped (or try oyster, field, chestnut, or any other in season mushroom)
70g salted butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
100g pre-cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, woody stalks removed
splash of white wine
handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
zest of 1/2 lemon
100g tangy Welsh goats cheese
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
freshly ground salt and black pepper
1 beaten egg

To serve:
1 handful each radicchio and frisee leaves
a glug of good olive oil
juice 1/2 lemon

Method:
Pre-heat a baking tray in the oven to 200℃.

In a large sauté pan over a medium to low heat, sweat the onions with a knob of butter for 10 minutes. Once translucent, add the thyme sprigs, the remaining butter, mushrooms and chestnuts.

Once the mushrooms have released their juices and reabsorbed them (approximately 15 minutes) add the splash of white wine to remoisten. Cook for a further 5 minutes and season to taste with freshly ground salt and black pepper.

Cut the puff pastry into a circle with a diameter of approximately 25cm. Add the parsley and the lemon zest to the to the pan and give one final stir. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the centre of the pastry disk, leaving a 5cm outer ring for crimping. Dot the mixture with the goat’s cheese and carefully fold one-side of the pastry to the other to make a bulging semi-circle.

From the bottom point of the semi circle, pull the 5cm rim over onto itself and tuck underneath each fold to completely encapsulate the mixture. Brush with the beaten egg and carefully transfer the pasty to the preheated baking tray. Dress the leaves with lemon juice and oil.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until the pasty turns a golden biscuit colour.

Fanfare the pasty from the kitchen to the table on a wooden chopping board, Allow the chosen few to serve themselves and watch them happily fight for the corner you haven’t already laid claims to. Cleanse each pasty mouthful with a chomp on the dressed leaves.