Fresh Artichoke Ravioli with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Fresh Artichoke Ravioli with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Feeling mildly adventurous, i decided to make some pumpkin flavoured/coloured pasta. So in thinking what i’d like to have with it i found some nice fresh artichokes. Then decided to use the artichoke in the dish, and fill the pumpkin pasta with
spinach and ricotta (as you do).

The sauce was then made up of left over pumpkin, cream, basil, white wine, and salt and pepper.
Basically the pumpkin sauce was made by boiling the pumpkin in salted water (although you could also roast it for a more intense flavour) until its pretty soft. Then pureed in a blender til it’s a thick gloopy consistency.

I then folded that pumpkin puree into the pasta to give it a pumpkiny flavour and colour, and used what was left in the sauce.

So that was simply adding the puree, cream, white wine, salt, pepper to a hot pan with a little butter. I’m not good with measurements because I generally cook by sight and taste… but say 100 ml of cream and 50ml of white wine.
Just reduce it down til the alcohol isn’t so strong from the wine, and til you get the consistency you’re after.
When it’s basically done you throw a little chopped parsley (flat leaf) or basil in, and then toss through the ravioli.

Stuffed and folded the ravioli, cooked them quickly… boiled the artichokes, then combined it all together. I was suprised it turned out pretty nice.

The artichokes were so tasty… must find an excuse to use them more often.

***updated with a few more details a year or so later… but hey, who’s counting :) ***

Moroccan Lamb Rack with Spiced Kipfler Potato Salad

Morroccan Lamb with Spiced Kipfler Potato Salad

Sorry the photos are blurry and out of focus. It was late and I was getting hungry…

This meal consists of basically the same kind of potato salad as was used recently in my rack of pork recipe, but this time with the inclusion of some lebanese cucumber, cumin, and red cabbage, to give it a little Moroccan/Turkish/vaguely Middle Eastern or North African flavour.

The lamb rack was marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, lime juice, and cumin before being grilled, sliced, and clumsily arranged on a plate…

Home made pasta with Salmon & Spinach

Home made pasta with Salmon & Spinach

My first ever attempt at making my own pasta. I basically combined a bunch of different techniques i found on the web into my own style, and was really happy with how it turned out.

So for the pasta:

I happened upon some ‘0’ rated pasta flour by chance in Fresh Provision’s Mt Lawley while getting essentials… milk, bread, belgian chocolate etc. I thought to myself… it’s about time i try this homemade pasta caper out… and so the seeds were sewn.

Coming home, i did the perfunctory searches for “home made pasta” and came up with enough to whet my appetite, just enough rope to hang myself, and a few other catch phrases of less noteworthy quality.

So the pasta went basically like so:


200 g white flour
2 eggs

The quantites indicated are for four helpings. Pour the flour onto a flat cool work surface, preferably marble, into a mound shape a “fontana”. Make a deep dent in the top and break in the eggs. With your fingers or with a fork, gently mix in the eggs with the flour. When all the egg has been absorbed into the flour, knead the dough for 15/20 minutes until it is firm and tiny bubbles appear on the surface. Form a ball with the dough and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, start flattening the pasta out, then roll it out into a thin even sheet. Work slowly and rythmically.

In reality the dish served 2/3 people, probably because i didn’t roll it thin enough…. having only realised after I started making it that i didnt have a rolling pin. I ended up using a sturdy left over bottle of olive oil…which was actually quite good. I just made sure to keep adding flour to the wet patches, so it didn’t stick at all, and from a novices point of view, it looked pretty good.

I also didn’t have a pasta cutter or any other fancy type equipment, so when it was time to make some shapes i took my trusty Wusthof paring knife and sliced as thinly and evenly as i could into some fat fettucini/tagliatelle-ish strips. They looked pretty funky when they came out, the relative unevenness of my rolling and the little kinks in the slicing got accentuated after cooking into somewhat rustic (for want of a term Jamie Oliver would use to describe something crappy) looking patterns. It was however, rather satisfying that it turned out like actual pasta… it was also a lot fresher tasting, with much less starchy nastiness, and took about 1 minute to cook (!)

The rest of the dish was an afterthought to be honest.

I found some salmon that had to be used, and braised it in some white wine til it was just cooked on the outside.

In the meantime i made a simple roux and added to it some white wine, basil, rosemary, salt, pepper, and peccorino cheese.

Once the sauce was done, i poured it over the salmon, added the pasta, and then threw in the baby spinach on top… gave it just a minute to soften and then served it up.

So there you go. A simple meal in the finish, but very tasty. Bouyed by the relative success of this effort, i’ll definitely be giving it a shot again in the near future, with perhaps some more exotic variants and/or additions.

Let me know in the comments if you found this recipe vaguely interesting :)

Sadly, my skills as a photographer are not improving, but the food is still getting eaten…

Honey Braised Rack of Pork with Kipfler Potato Salad

I’m not the biggest fan of pork, but occasionally like to dabble with it. This is one of my more successful dabblings.
The only rule i’ve learnt is that honey and pork go well together (i got that mostly from the fact that most pork flavoured snacks also contain some form of honey flavouring). So it must be a match made in heaven… because this was delicious.

Recipe to follow… but for now, note the use of Kipfler potatoes in the salad… tres yummy.

Red Wine Risotto with Beef & Bok Choy

I made this meal tonight. It’s the first heavily savoury risotto i’ve made, and a bloody ripper, even if i do say so myself.

– Good quality fillet steak (i used rib eye, something nice and juicy preferably)
– Carnaroli rice – higher starch content than arborio rice means creamier risotto.
– Red wine (mine was the 2002 Riverbank Estate Cabernets, my nana bought it for my birthday… what a great nana :) )
– Tomatos (both real and pureed)
– Quality beef stock
– Bok Choy (this is for a change in texture from the rest of the risotto to add some bite)
– Rosemary
– Risotto stuff ( ive made a lot of risotto lately, so i seem to be repeating the same ingredients and steps, basically this means, chopped onion, garlic, and leek, combined in either butter or olive oil, used to coat the rice before adding stock)

So basically you cook it like you’d cook any risotto, except that before you cook the rice, you cut the beef into strips (or chunks should you so desire) and braise it in a combination of red wine, rosemary, garlic and a little beef stock. Then set it aside just as its medium rare.

Continue with the rest of the risotto, creating the base stock out of beef stock, red wine, and rosemary.

When your rice is ready to go, begin adding the stock, stirring when you need to, and towards the end add in the chopped and pureed tomatoes (as many as you like depending on how ‘tomatoey’ you want it). Then when the rice is almost done, add your beef back in, stir it through, and then add the bok choy and let it soften slighty before serving.

What you get is big juicy pieces of steak combined beautifully with succulent and crisp bok choy and tender carnaroli rice.

And yes, my photography skills are not improving… but fortunately my cooking skills are… so whilst it looks kinda ugly, it tasted really good …

Kipfler Potatoes

Kipfler Potatoes (by Abstract Gourmet)

Apparently people have been coming to my page looking for ‘Kifler’ potatoes. Well i had inadvertently spelt ‘Kipfler’ wrong in an earlier post, and so i thought i’d best correct the matter, as well as give those hardcore kipfler fans out there the real deal.

Kipfler (or German Finger Potato) are a waxy potato, finger shaped with creamy-coloured flesh. They are great boiled, steamed and in potato salads and look awesome for presentation purposes.

They just scream out to be sliced in funky angular type patterns, and i always feel a little guilty chopping them into chunks to boil them up. You can find my other uses of Kipfler potatoes by clicking the recipes catgerory in the menu.

If you’re one of the people who’s been looking for Kipfler potatoes and got here somehow, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Check out the related posts below to see recipes i’ve made that use Kipfler potatoes.

Atlantic Salmon w/ Warm Tomato & Avocado Salad

Well ok, its not really a salad.

Basically you cut the tomatoes up, crush a few cloves of garlic and roughly chop some fresh basil. Then mix all three together with lashings of olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Then oven bake or fry until the tomatoes are just soft, and infused with oily/herby goodness.

Then slice some avocado, and try and arrange it all nicely on a place with the tomatoes in the middle.

Voila !

At least it tastes better than it looks…

The salmon was seared for a short time in a hot pan and then transferred into the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.

It was lovely and medium rare all the way through the middle.

mmmmm :)