8 October 2008

Pasta Of The House

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I apologise in advance if this post is lacking in my usual sparkle and moxie (presuming of course that I usually possess said qualities), Tim and I went out last night to our good friend Dr Scotty's birthday shindig and...I awoke this morning with a sliiight (by which I mean thumping) headache. And now I'm craving apple crumble and so help me, we have no apples. Tim and I had a great night though, and I made some chocolate cupcakes to add to the general pool. At the last minute I adorned them with some garish sweets that mum gave me a while ago, and took a quick photo.


Above: Yes, I took the photo on Auto but I was in a hurry, my point being to illustrate the alarming extent to which these lollies resemble plastic. And don't they just? But nothing says "par-taaayyy" like an elephant on a cupcake. They certainly seemed to go down well.


When I saw this recipe for Manti last week in the September 2004 Cuisine magazine I thought, "I've got flour, I'm got mince...cheap dinner! Kapow!" It wasn't until halfway through that I realised I was actually knee deep in home-made ravioli, which, when put like that, sounded so much more complicated.





You'd think I would have figured it out sooner, since it completely resembles ravioli In. Every. Way. It really is easy in execution though, and has that rare virtue of being something new to do with mince. This is supposed to serve 6 as an entree or light lunch...but you could also comfortably serve it as dinner for two people like I did.



Okay I have a confession to make. After extolling the simplicity of this recipe, while re-reading it to type it up I just, JUST now realised that I actually missed out an important step. Where the recipe it tells you to cut the pasta into small squares, I just...didn't. So Tim and I ended up with eight large ravioli as opposed to many small, dainty pieces as per the recipe. I mean it was delicious but...missing a whole step of the recipe? In the words of Rush, "Why does it happen? Because it happens."

Manti - Turkish Ravioli

Pasta Dough:
1 egg
190g flour

Combine the egg with 1/4 cup water, mix into the flour and knead for five minutes till the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for half an hour. Chill the dough that is, although feel free to kick back and relax yourself.

Filling: Mix the following in a bowl.

250g minced beef or lamb
1 medium onion, grated (I used some of Nigella's caramelised onion that I'd made earlier and frozen in 100g lots. I haven't blogged about it so...nevermind)
handful finely chopped parsely
pinch of good salt.


Cut the dough into six pieces, and roll out each piece as thinly as possible. I did this by layering it between two pieces of gladwrap, which made it clean and easy to roll without sticking. Cut each rolled out piece into 5 squares about 9x9cm. Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling in each little square, fold over diagonally and press down to seal. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt well. Cook the ravioli in batches for about 3 minutes each, then drain well.




Above: Yes, I did take this photo on top of the washing machine. Well, it was the only available benchspace. I'm still Laura from the block you know.


I served the giant ravioli with a sauce made from Greek yoghurt, sumac, and chopped garlic (that I'd poached in the boiling pasta water to soften and mellow the flavour). Roasted asparagus and cos lettuce on the side, coriander sprinkled over...it really was a marvelous meal, the pasta was not stodgy in the slightest in spite of my heavy-handed rolling and the sauce gave it that lovely rounded flavour that only garlic and more garlic can provide.

One more recipe, because this is too delicious to let it get lost in my archives of dinners that I've photographed...




From Simon Rimmer's excellent and meaty-in-the-non-literal-sense cookbook The Accidental Vegetarian comes Pan Haggerty, which you could describe as a kind of low-rent dauphinoise. It comprises astonishing proportions of butter, cheese, and potatoes, so need I say more?

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Pan Haggerty
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50g butter
1 onion, finely sliced
200g new potatoes, cleaned and finely sliced
75g mature Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180 C. Heat half the butter in an ovenproof fan and fry the onions till soft, then set aside. Put a layer of potato in the pan and fry for a few minutes. Layer up with fried onion and sliced potato, finishing with a layer of potato on top. Dot with the remaining butter, bake for about 40 minutes. Just before serving, grate the cheese over and pop under a hot grill for a few minutes. If you don't have an ovenproof fan, you can do what I did which was just transfer the fried onion and potatoes to a smallish pie plate. I forgot to layer the onions and just left them on the bottom but they went all caramelly and soft and wonderful so you know, serendipity! Oh and I used what was left of the Havarti cheese that mum sent down with me so feel free to use whatever you have to hand.
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Once again, sorry for lacking in lustre, I'm just pretty weary. Tomorrow Tim and I will attend our last ever lectures at university, which is pretty heavy, although we aren't altogether finished - I have a socking great essay due on Monday and we both have an exam on the 4th. Hopefully after a good night's sleep I can produce the kind of bloggery that you deserve...especially since this blog is almost one year old. Good night!

21 comments:

  1. Ooh, lots of lovely comfort food!!
    Well done :-)

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  2. I think I might get my Tim to try the mince/ravioli recipe. Looks like fun. Have been debating doing a spot of baking this morning as I have some bananas that call to me each time I pass by the fruit bowl. If I don't do something with them soon, they will start calling the fruit flies! Good luck with your last lecture and even more luck with your assignment.

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  3. Anna: Thank you!

    Viv: Yes it is quite fun and very simple too...I have some bananas going rapidly brown in the fruitbowl too :) I foresee a cake of some sort... Off to last english lecture soon, eek!

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  4. Thought I recognised the plastic animals. They have been ridiculously cheap at New World - maybe they know something that we don't. I give them out (including the "Finding Nemo-esque " range of fish sweets also) to my class in random acts of positive reinforcement or acknowledgement of deeds well done. We have come to know them, affectionately, as "toxic fish"; they are indeed plastic-like and feel disturbingly cold to the touch- and that's through the plastic wrapping. However, all have those who consumed them have survived. Glad to know my food parcel contents are useful.

    All the best for your last assignment and uni lesson.

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  5. Those are absolute monsterous ravioli, like UFO size :) Still very cool though...

    So very happy that you're almost done with school, what are you going to do next? Write for a magazine full time? That would be cool. Or maybe it's time to save up for the shop :)

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  6. The Manti/ravioli looks good and those potatoes...mmm...

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  7. laura!! those sweets really look like plastic fish - those you see in tanks of bubbling water at the aquarium..lol! anyway, i'm lacking the pounding headache (thank my parents for my relatively good drinking stamina) but i can safely say i've got the morning-after-drinking hunger now and i really feel like ravioli..mmm.x

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  8. I think one of those sweets is lodged in my duodenum....

    Hahah no the cupcakes were fab!! Thank you for 1) coming, 2) the cupcakes and 3) walking around drinking wine out of the bottle like a homeless person! 'Twas a fun night!

    Giant ravioli sounds fun, and I totally agree with you re garlic and more garlic.

    Thanks Kay for the sweets!! Your daughter is a gem.

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  9. Hmmm, it really is giant ravioli. Sounds really interesting! Perhaps I should give it a go!

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  10. Greetings Laura, from you Nana!!
    I will try the pastry AND the mince recipe, sounds like its easy peasy to make. Never thought I could make pastry without it being tough, but there might be a first time. We are vegetable gardening at the moment, and the climber beans are like the triffids, and the potatoes, are WOW. Celery within plastic square milk containers are growing like they should, Silver beet enough for Africa, lettuce, spring onions, and this is all in containers!!! Strawberries are in hanging baskets, once again enough for Africa.. or Otaua, Kariotahi.
    Who says Time doesnt fly? Hard to believe that your Uni days are nearly over. love and hugs, Nana

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  11. Ahhhh Everything looks sooo delicious!

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  12. Congrats on your final assignment - and, I guess, exceeding your internet allowance. Something to celebrate.

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  13. Lots of good things cooking in your kitchen :)

    Cupcakes with sweeties on top have great appeal, I like the fish a lot!

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  14. You definitely normally have more moxy. But great food! The manti recipe I have (and have bookmarked to make someday) uses wonton wrappers.

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  15. Laura I so love your blog. Your articles always make me smile. Your food is excellent................even the blue plastic sweets LOL

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  16. Plastic fish and giant ravioli - cool!
    I can sympathise here,if I ever miss out a step in a recipe (and it happens a lot) it is always a important step, lol.

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  17. New blog new blog new blog nouveau blog new blog new blog fuck exam study new blog new blog new blog!!

    We med students (ie. me) want a new blog to fill our reading time as we have no exams... kazing!

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  18. So, did you catch the finale of "Outrageous Fortune"? And, it's starting from Season 1 Episode 1 on Thursdays..... Now there's something to look forward to.

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  19. Laura from the block - you always rock. YAY on the LAST lecture - how very exciting. Can't wait to hear about what's next in life for you. :)

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  20. Just to let you know that..... it seems BIG Day Out Tickets are now sold out - Just when Mark was going to buy tickets for Julz and him. Ah well, more may turn up.

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  21. So I'm not sure if you've discovered the joys of the pre-made chinese gowgee wrappers? They are basically ravioli ready to go! You can use them for their intended dumpling use too. They are cheap, freez-able and, at least in Australia, they were easily located in every chinese supermarket and even in some normal supermarkets too.

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