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Blog posts of '2013' 'October'

BEETROOT RAVIOLI WITH POPPY SEEDS
BEETROOT RAVIOLI
INGREDIENTS (serves 6):
  • 80g butter;
  • 1tbsp. poppy seeds;
  • 100g freshly grated pecorino cheese;
  • 400g plain flour;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 125 ml milk;
  • 1 kg. beetroot;
  • 40 g. butter
  • 4 tbsp. of homemade breadcrumbs (or 2 pieces of bread);
  • 200g. ricotta;
  • 1 egg;
  • 0.5tsp. of grated nutmeg;
  • sea salt and pepper.

 

STEPS:  
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice off the beet leaves close to the tip of the beet, then wrap each beetroot loosely in foil. Transfer the wrapped beets to a baking sheet and roast for 50-60 minutes. Let it cool and peel;
  2. Put a paper towel in a sieve, top with ricotta, leave for 1 hour to get rid of excess liquid;
  3. Meanwhile take two slices of stale bread (if you do not have stale bread just take two pieces of bread and toast them in the oven), break them into small pieces and whiz them in your blender or food processor to get the crumbs. You can add 0.5 tsp. of rosemary or thyme leaves and whiz it together with the crumbs to add some flavour. Put aside;
  4. Take the flour, two eggs, the milk and pinch of salt and prepare the pasta dough. Let it rest for 20 minutes while you preparing the filling.
  5. Whiz the beetroots in blender or food processor. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. of the breadcrumbs and let them color a little, then add the beetroots and cook for about 5 min. to reduce any excess moisture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Place the beetroots to the bowl, add the ricotta, 1 egg and the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. If the filling looks too soft add some more breadcrumbs;
  6. Roll out the pasta into very thin sheets. Lay out a sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface, then cut into squares (apx 5 cm) with using a fluted ravioli cutter. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of the square, brush the edges of the pasta with a little water and place another pasta square on top. Seal by pressing the edges together.
  7. Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile melt the butter with the poppy seeds in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the butter is very hot and foaming. Lift out the ravioli using a slotted spoon and place on serving plates. Sprinkle with the pecorino and dress with the melted butter and poppy seeds.

 

OPEN TOP LASAGNE
OPEN TOP LASAGNE
INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
For the pasta:
  • 500 g(1 lb.) plain flour;
  • 2 pinches of sea salt;
  • 2 eggs;
  • warm water if needed;
For the filling:
  • 2 large eggplants peeled and chopped;
  • half of the herb mixture;
  • 75gr. of grated parmesan cheese;
  • 100 gr ricotta cheese;
  • 3 eggs;
For the herb mixture:
  • 1 tbsp. of finely chopped mint leaves;
  • 1 tbsp. of finely chopped thyme leaves;
  • 1 tbsp. of finely chopped basil leaves;
  • 2 small garlic cloves finely chopped;
  • pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
For the base:
  • 2 large eggplants;
  • 75 ml. of olive oil;
For the sauce:
  • 60 ml. of olive oil;
  • half of herb mixture;
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced;
  • 45 gr. of pecorino cheese grated;
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese;
  • 12 basil leaves;

 

STEPS:  
  1. First make the paste dough;
  2. While the dough is resting, mix together all the ingredients in the herb mixture in a bowl, and set aside;
  3. Now prepare the lasagne filling. Peel and chop the two eggplants and place the pieces in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to sweat for 10 minutes;
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the eggplants in batches, for 5 minutes adding more oil if necessary. Tip the eggplants onto a wooden board and chop them finely. Place the chopped eggplant into a bowl and add half the herb mixture, plus the parmesan, ricotta and eggs. Mix well;
  5. Now prepare the base. Slice the egg plant into 12 disks, sprinkle a little salt and let them sweat for 10 minutes in a colander. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add eggplant slices and fry them in batches, for 2 minutes each side, or until golden brown;
  6. To make the sauce heat the olive oil in heavy-based frying pan over low heat. Add the remaining herb mixture and sizzle for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, mixing often with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat;
  7. Roll out the pasta into very thin sheets and cut them into 8-sm squares. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add a little oil to stop the pasta from sticking and cook the lasagne squares, a few at a time for 5 minutes. Remove one at a time with a slotted spoon, and put them in a bowl;
  8. Working very quickly place a thin layer of sauce at the base of each individual plate, arrange the eggplant slices on top, sprinkle with some pecorino, then build the lasagne - place the square of pasta, add filling, sprinkle with parmesan, add another layer od pasta and so on. End with sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan. Serve immediately.

 

DUCK WITH FIGUES
DUCK WITH FIGUES
INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6):
  • 1 large duck;
  • 8 plump dried figs;
  • 5 Anchovy fillets;
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil;
  • 2 leeks trimmed and chopped;
  • 5 juniper berries, washed;
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves;
  • fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper;
  • 1 egg;

 

STEPS:  
  1. Chop the figs and anchovies;
  2. Heat 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the figs and sauté briefly, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Let cool;
  3. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Moisten with 2 tbsp. water and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the anchovies, juniper berries and thyme. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool for 10 minutes;
  4. Add anchovy mixture to the figs in the bowl and stir in the egg.
  5. Using tablespoon, put the fig stuffing into the cavity of the duck, making sure you do not pack it in too tightly. Secure the opening with crumbled piece of parchment paper.
  6. Season the duck, rubbing the salt and pepper into the skin;
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes;
  8. Preheat the oven to 425℃F/220℃C;
  9. Place the duck in a roasting pan and pour in 1,25 cups of water. Cover loosely wit foil. Roast for 1 hour;
  10. Take the duck out of the oven and remove the foil. Return to the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350℃F/180℃C and roast for another hour;
  11. To test, push a skewer through the thickets part of the leg and check that the juices run clear. If not continue roasting for another 10 minutes;
  12. Remove the duck from the oven. Close loosely with foil and let sit in a warm place to rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper before serving.
Original recipe from Cooking school PROVENCE