Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ravioli with Arugola and Dried Tomatoes Pesto

Marcowebmaster, while visiting this blog - what a  snooper! :)), wandered around my blog roll. And he discovered "Arugula and dried tomatoes pesto " that Paoletta published on her blog Anice e Cannella (Anise & Cinnamon). We liked it so much that we have already made it three or four times. We will always be grateful to our dear Paoletta for sharing the pesto recipe with the web.

 A few days ago I started wondering is this pesto could be used as filling for ravioli and if cooking would spoil it.  Last night we tried.  Excellent!  If you like making pasta at home I suggest you try it.



For the egg pasta per person

110 g. of  flour, *
1 egg.

Use a work board. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Beat the eggs. Fold in and start mixing with the flour working outword from the centre. Knead the dough until ingedient are mixed together , but no more. Cover with a plate so the surface does not dry out and set it aside to rest for about 20 - 30 minutes.

 Roll out the dough using a rolling pin or a pasta rolling machine and form the ravioli with the arucola filling.

 * quantity is only indicative because the flour can absorb more or less liquid.

per il Pesto di Rucola di Anice & Cannella Arugula Pesto for the Anice & Cannella


100 gr of arugola,
160 grams of dried tomatoes drained,
50 grams of pine nuts,
6 tablespoons parmesan cheese
E.v.o. oil - enogh to get an almost creamy texture.

Take the arucola and the sundried tomatoes and blend together . Add parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and a pinch of salt. If you have some good pepper, dust  some directly on the ravioli after serving.

About this pesto Paoletta says, "This pesto is quite simple but very tasty, do try it: it's really nice! The beauty of  pesto is that it can be prepared while the water boils and the pasta cooks. It keeps in the refrigerator for about a week covered with oil in a tightly closed jar. "

NOTE: If you want to use this pesto to dress pasta, at the last minute add a tblspn of cooking water per person to the pesto, mix and then dress the pasta in a large pan or bowl.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Violette's birthday Cake 2009 - Raspberry, blackberry and blueberry mousse cake

Violette turned three in July. Traditionally her birthday party takes place in the first week of September when all her little friends are back from their summer holidays and the temperatureis cooler.
Her mum and dad turned the garden into a real playground, with tables for drawing, toys on the lawn, lots of goodies to eat made by Violette's gradmothers. This year to mark the passing of her third year Violette's dad had a really sweet idea. An olive tree was planted in the local park during the party and all the kids took part to this. A small bottle with all their names inside was put to keep company to the roots. :) You should have seen how busy planting they all were!!!
Thanks to the costant help of Paola L.  taking ideas and in part copying the decorations in sugar paste of one of her cakes I made a cake for Violette.

DSCN4435 - tea party

The tea party

DSCN4437 - tea party


For the cake:

three cake discs about 30 in diameter 2 plain and one chocolate
for each disc:
2 eggs
125 g. of butter,
1 and a half cups of sugar,
2 cups of self-raising flour,
1 cup of milk,
for each plain disc half a sachet (half a g.) of vanillin powder,
for the chocolate disc 4 tablespoons of cocoa.

Work the butter with the eggs, add sugar and work again until the mixture becomes of a light colour.  Alternate milk and flour already sifted with the vanillin or cocoa, depending on the case. Butter the sides of a round baking dish about 30 cm. in diameter, cover the base with a disc of buttered greaseproof paper. Fold in the batter and bake at 180 °C.  Bake for about 50 minutes. Check with a skewer that the centre of the cake is cooked, turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for about ten minutes before removing the cake. After another 10-15 minutes remove the cake from the tin and place cake on a wire rack to cool.
Fill with the mousse the next day, otherwise the cake will be too soft and tend to break.

For the filling:

500 g.  Ricotta cheese made from cow milk
500 ml of cream,
300 g. of raspberry jam,
100 g. of blackberry jam,
100 g. of cranberry jam.

Work the jam with a fork to make it soft, add the same weight of ricotta cheese (this also slightly softened with a fork or using a mixer) and then very gently combine the whipped cream.  Cover the first disc with the cranberry mousse, the second with the blackberry mousse and cover the top of the cake and the sides with the raspberry mousse. Obviously you may decide to change this order and make another flavour predominant. I chose the raspberry mousse for this decoration because the colour best matched that of the little sugar paste objects.

DSCN4422 - tea party
sugar paste objects- detail

The mat, coffee table, candy holders and cups were made by cutting sugar paste with different sized  fluted cutters and then shaping them into various forms. To obtain the lace effect I followed Paola's  suggestion of using size different toothpicks or skewers.  For the coffee table (Paola docet here, too) I used round biscuits to make the base on which I then rested the tablecloth to dry . Cups, teapot and sugar bowl made got me crazy but eventually I succeeded.

The drawings were made with food color markers.