Sunday, October 22, 2006

Take half a dozen eggs...

I'd been extremely keen to try out the poached egg contained in ravioli ever since I finally stumbled on the recipe courtesy of Anna and Jamie. I'd encouraged M to get the new Jamie Oliver book - "Cook with Jamie" for several cunning reasons - a) I'd hardly had a moment to get fully acquainted with his new book and looked unlikely to until I managed to get the special secret extra day a week to just read my cookery books, b) I needed the recipe for the gooey egg ravioli and really didn't fancy carrying such a large book and c) if I persuade M to do more home cooking there's plenty in here for inspiration.

And now I have had some quality cookbook reading time I can comment more on Jamie's new tome. I love his take on salads; it was Jamie who got me eating and really appreciating salads again. He doesn't treat them as as just garnish on a plate but makes the leaves and the dressing and all the interesting ingredients part of the main feature. In this new collection there's the "all day breakfast salad", the "Fifteen Christmas salad" and the "amazing potato and horseradish salad with fine herbs and bresaola".

And then of course there's the pasta. I've been making fresh pasta way before Jamie was showing us his nieces helping him to pod broad beans to make his smashed broad bean, mint and ricotta ravioli. I'd got my Imperia rolling machine years ago and I used to take it with me when I visited friends and make everyone fresh pasta. Needless to say this applied to visitees fairly locally and not a flight away. Can you imagine the horror at Heathrow if they discovered it in my hand luggage? They'd probably make me prove that it was what I claimed by getting me to whip up a bit of tagliatelle!

I've always found making pasta very relaxing. I like the gently kneading until you get the smooth elastic consistency and the rolling of the lumps of dough until you have the long sheets of the silkiest pasta which I always hang over the kitchen cupboards to dry on crisp white t-towels. Jamie has some interesting recipes for "black angel tagliarini with scallops", "lovely crab fusilli", "proper blokes' sausage fusilli", "summertime tagliarini", "ravioli of pecorino, potato and mint" and "open stain-glass lasagne with roasted squash" in his new book. I've only tried using fresh herbs in pasta once. It was in an early experiment with making nests of tagliatelle for drying. Unfortunately I didn't dry the parsley enough and it went greener round the edges than I intended. I've stuck to fresh pasta since, if you're going to make it fresh you might as well eat it fresh to really appreciate it. If I want dry pasta now I'll just grab a packet of Del Cecco.

But gooey egg ravioli awaits.

I've decided to make pasta with two eggs and 200g of '00' flour so they'll be plenty left over.


Jamie's recipe contained ricotta but I didn't have any and I opt to use a finely chopped leek fondue instead - well it's not as if I ever really follow a recipe anyway they're more for reference and inspiration.

I sauté the leek fondue whilst making the pasta so there's time to let it cool.

Jamie's recipe made twelve raviolis but it wasn't clear how many this was to serve. I guessed two per person so I made four ravioli with one back up in case one split whilst it was cooking. The timing specified two minutes to ensure the pasta was cooked and the egg yolk remained runny. I found however that even though I only gave them the requisite two minutes, some were softer than others. I think next time I'd split them between two pans or give them a bit less. You finish them off with butter and a bit of the cooking water.

I thought the taste was great but it wasn't the most attractive dish I've ever cooked. I'll have a rethink for next time. I'd like to try it with the mash potato to restrain the egg yolk perhaps. Okay, now I just need another half dozen eggs.

1 comment:

Satis Fah said...

have you thought about poaching the eggs really quickly first?