Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Ravioli

We chose this as the menu because of the fall-themed party that included pumpkin carving. We didn't, however, use the jack-o-lantern scraps. We chose a variety that smells like candy and brown sugar, almost like an instant pumpkin pie upon cutting the squash open. It was a wonderful sensation. The color is much like that of the eggs we get here, a very deep yellow/orange that is truly beautiful.

Delicious fall squash.
After slicing the two halves up I placed them on my Silpat and roasted them in the oven for about an hour each (there were two batches). Though this step was not pictured and that's a shame because there were pools of caramelized juices on the Silpat that were wonderful to behold as well as taste. Then everything went into the food mill, the glorious food mill. While I was spending about five minutes to turn the squash into a tasty purée I reflected on the hour and a half or so it took me last year to use a spoon and sieve to do the same job. I relished this fact though the palm of my hand started to hurt in memory of the spoon digging into it for an hour and a half last year.

Hurrah for foodmills!

This purée was wonderfully cooked and was very complex for being squash simply roasted. Because it was quite moist and wasn't planning on roasting the slices for a long time I decided against adding even butter or oil to them. Though this would have added more flavor I was very happy with my nearly instant pumpkin pie filling. Now if I can just find a damn pie tin...

Freshly pureed pumpkin.
Once the filling was finished with some cinamon, freshly grated nutmeg, turo, brown sugar, and salt. Franny and I rolled out the pasta. Quickly dropping down tablespoons of pumpkin filling we sealed them and cut them in no time at all. We cooked them in batches of five then put them in the frying pan with browned ghee and sage. Happily the sage was from our very own plant!

Pumpkin ravioli in the brown butter bath.

To finish plating we grated some fresh Parmigiana Reggiano.

Plated ravioli


We finished dinner with a fresh dessert of Apple Crisp that Franny quickly whipped up. It was a family recipe and absolutely delicious!

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If a pumpkin grows in Hungary does anyone carve it?

Meditating over this question we invited Emily and Tomi over to take part in our fall festival. It was lots of fun and included roasting pumpkin seeds and making pumpkin ravioli (but that's another post). I think Emily and Tomi had a lot of fun; we sure did!

The three stooges.

Franny and I carried these pumpkins home by hand, along with our usual market list of groceries. It was hard work, but so worth it for the reward of fresh pumpkin seeds and friends wielding knives and smiling!

The three stooges when lit.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Zucchini Soup

It's really hard to figure out where to begin. I'm not even sure where the beginning is so it's hard to start there. So after some reflection I found a picture of zucchini soup that I made on a few occasions this summer and absolutely loved! It became the defining soup of the summer because of the perfectly fresh and small zucchini I could find at the farmer's market that allowed me to step back from the recipe and let the vegetable do all the work. This soup, plenty of bread, and an ice-cold glass of homemade hibiscus tea (jamaica) became one of the most comforting meals of the season. Enjoy!

Zucchini Soup

1 kilo zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper

Saute the onion and zucchini until they begin to brown. Be sure to use plenty of salt to season the vegetables during the saute. Add broth and pepper, adding more salt to taste. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes then put the stick blender to it. Serve with dumplings or simply with bread.
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