Sunday, 25 September 2011

Homemade Spinach, Pine nut and Fenugreek Ravioli with Roast Pumpkin and Tomato

That's right I said home made ravioli! Now before you get into a bit of a panic because it is all just too hard let me assure you that actually it is very easy and once you have tried it once the next time you will whip it up so quick you won't even notice. Home made ravioli is ridiculously rewarding because sadly when you buy ravioli ready made it only seems to come in two kinds - beef and spinach and cheese. That's all very well but what about all the other things you can put in ravioli? Think pumpkin! Think mushrooms! Think eggplant! Maybe even zuccini! How great does that sound??


1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
¼ cup pine nuts
4 leaves spinach (silverbeet), chopped very finely
2 button mushrooms, finely diced
Small handful of fresh basil, finely chopped (or substitute 1 tsp fresh basil paste)
1 ½ cups fine semolina
½ cup plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil (extra)
½ cup water

Roasted Vegies:
Olive Oil (yeah, more of it.)
400g pumpkin
500g Roma tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Fresh rocket, to serve

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy based saucepan or frypan and fry the fenugreek seeds until slightly golden – only a few minutes. Remove from the saucepan and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle, food processor or spice grinder. Put the powder aside.
3. With the oil left in the pan toast the pine nuts until slightly browned and then either chop roughly with a knife or smash lightly in the mortar and pestle.
4. Now using the same saucepan lightly fry the chopped mushrooms and then add the spinach and basil and sauté until wilted. Take off the heat and mix through the pine nuts and 1/2 teaspoon of the fenugreek powder. Set aside.
5. Chop the pumpkin into small (1.5-2cm) pieces and the tomato into 8ths.  Drizzle a baking dish with oil and mix the vegies around in it to coat. Chop the cloves of garlic in half (just leave the skins on) and chuck them in as well. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so or until the pumpkin is tender (the tomato will cook a lot faster so it will disintegrate a little and become saucy). When it has 5 minutes left to cook add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and mix through, return to the oven.
6. While those are baking away make the pasta: combine the flour and semolina in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the food processor still on drizzle in the olive oil and gradually add the water. The mix should become sticky and clump together on one side, so if it seems to dry add some more water.
7. Turn out onto a well floured bench and knead very briefly to coat in flour until it is no longer sticky. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Put each the first piece though your pasta roller according to its instructions and roll to about a size 4 sheet of pasta. Put aside on the floured bench (keep everything well floured people, otherwise it will stick to your bench). Do the same with the next piece of dough.
8. So now you have two lasagne sheets lying next to each other on the bench.  Put a teaspoon full of the spinach mix in two rows along the sheet (Ok I explained that badly so just look at the picture:)
9. With a pastry brush or your finger brush a line of water around the edge of each box (remembering to do the outer edges of the sheet). Place the second lasagne sheet over the top of the first and press down gently to get the air out and to flatten the mix slightly. Then if you have one of those great zig zaggy cutters use that to cut the ravioli into squares (your pasta roller will probably come with one as an accessory), if you don’t have one just cut neatly with a knife. Put each piece aside while you do the same with the rest of the dough and mix.
10. When they are all done your vegies are most likely cooked so take them out. Bring a generous amount of water  to the boil in a big saucepan and gently add each piece of ravioli. Boil for 2 minutes or so and then drain.
11. Mix the vegies through the ravioli and serve on a bed of fresh rocket.

Serves 3-4.