Goat Cheese Ravioli

Photo by Gary Corbett

“I’ve got a new item on my catering menu: Goat Cheese Ravioli. I serve it with leeks, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on a roast tomato and capsicum sauce. It works brilliantly as an entree or main and highlights the beautiful fresh flavours of a Caprese salad. If you like making your own pasta this is a great dish to try. Enjoy”

You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/YZQOgKwA3kU

Pasta ingredients (Jamie Oliver recipe)

  • 200g baby spinach
  • 300g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
Pasta method
  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until they all come together. You may need a bit of cold water to help it along.
  2. When it’s all combined transfer onto a floured surface and start kneading. Once it’s got a smooth texture flatten into a disc, cover in glad wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  3. While it’s in the fridge move on to making the filling.
Pasta filling ingredients
  • 200g goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper
Pasta filling method
  1. Put all ingredients into a mixer and combine.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to make ravioli.
Other ingredients
  • Roast tomato and capsicum sauce (recipe in a previous post)
  • 2 leeks
  • Vegetable stock
  • Butter
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Pine nuts
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese

Other ingredients method 

  1. Bring vegetable stock to the boil
  2. Cut leeks into battens being sure to remove any dirt in the stalks
  3. Simmer the leeks with the lid on, turning occasionally until cooked through. You can test with a skewer to see if they’re cooked in the middle.
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside. You can reheat just before you serve by putting them back in the heated stock or using a microwave
  5. Rip the fresh mozzarella into smaller pieces. You can also use bocconcini if you can’t get a big ball of fresh mozzarella.
  6. Using a vegetable peeler, peel slithers of a block of Parmesan cheese. You can use grated or flaked Parmesan as well.
Ravioli method
  1. Cut the pasta into 4 pieces and start feeding through your pasta roller. Each time through fold in 3 and turn 90 degrees.  Keep doing this until you get an even, smooth look and feel.
  2. Reduce the thickness gauge on the pasta roller and start making a long sheet about 2mm thick
  3. Place on a floured work surface and cut into 2 long pieces.
  4. Roll a heaped teaspoon of filling into a ball and place on one of the pasta sheets.
  5. Keep doing this, spacing them about 10cm apart.
  6. Using a pastry brush moisten the pasta around the filling.
  7. Place the un-floured side of the second sheet on top and smooth the edges around the filling.
  8. I use the blunt side of a pasty cutter to seal around the filling.
  9. Using a larger pastry cutter cut the raviolis out and seal the edges with your fingers to stop any leakage.
  10. Place on a lined tray and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  11. In a large pot bring some salted water to the boil.
  12. Put in about 6-8 ravioli at a time into the boiling water and let them cook for about 3 minutes.
  13. Remove and put on a plate when they’re cooked.
  14. In a wide pan heat up some butter. You can let it turn to brown butter if you want.
  15. Put the cooked ravioli into the pan and cook on the flat side for a minute.
Plating up
  1. Reheat your sauce.
  2. Reheat your leeks and cut onto sections
  3. To plate up start with a smear of sauce. Then add a few pieces of leek. Add 2 or 3 ravioli. Decorate with the mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Season with some cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

 

Roast tomato and capsicum sauce


Photos by Gary Corbett

“I love recipes that you can cook in bulk, freeze then whip out for a quick mid-week meal. I always have containers of Bolognese, chilli con carne and pesto in my freezer and also this super easy roast tomato and capsicum sauce.  It all bakes in one tray then gets blitzed up for later use.  I’ve also included a few recipes I make using the sauce. Enjoy”

Sauce ingredients

  • 6 capsicums
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White sugar
Sauce method
  1. Halve and de-seed 6 capsicums and put them in a deep baking dish.
  2. Halve and core 6 tomatoes and put them inside the capsicums.
  3. Quarter 3 red onions and sprinkle them between tomatoes and capsicums.
  4. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and throw them in the pan.
  5. Douse in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Cover in foil.
  7. Bake in a 180c oven for an hour.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan with the foil on.
  9. Depending on the strength of your food processor you can remove the skins from the tomatoes and capsicums. I have a Thermomix so this isn’t needed. Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  10. Pour into a saucepan and heat on low. Add Balsamic and white sugar to taste.
  11. Pour into containers and store in the freezer.
Recipe for soup
  1. Heat up a few cups of soup with some veggie or chicken stock and stir until smooth
  2. Blitz some pine nuts, lemon zest and fresh basil to make a gremolata.
  3. Serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream, some gremolata and toasted sourdough
Recipe for pasta sauce
  1. Chop an eggplant into 1cm cubes, douse in olive oil and salt and bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Fry some chopped onions and mushrooms in a pan until soft. Add a few cups of sauce and the roasted eggplant.
  3. Stir in some fresh basil.
  4. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe for baked chicken (for 2 people)
  1. Pour some sauce in a small baking dish and add 2 whole chicken breasts. Cover with more sauce.
  2. Cover dish with foil and bake in a 200c oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Blitz some bread with herbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and take off the foil.
  5. Cover with your breadcrumb mix and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Serve with quinoa, roasted potatoes and green veggies.

 

Salsa verde

Photo by Gary Corbett

“Like most cooks, I use heaps of herbs in my dishes. It’s a great way to add freshness and a burst of flavour to your cooking. That’s why I love salsa verde. Not only is it delicious, it’s extremely versatile and can be used to jazz up salads, canapés and main courses. You can also use whatever herbs you have to hand, or put more of a herb you like in. Enjoy”

 Ingredients for salsa verde

  • Bunch of basil
  • Bunch of parsley
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of chives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice and rind of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Pick the leaves off your herbs and put into a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to break them down.
  2. Add the other ingredients except the olive oil. Blitz until you get the consistency you want. It works as a chunky sauce or a smooth one.
  3. Add olive oil until you achieve the consistency you want.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Caprese salad
Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and pickled onions on a plate.
To pickle the onions I use equal parts red wine vinegar and white sugar. Stir the vinegar until sugar is dissolved and put in finely chopped white onions. It’s best to leave the for a day to soften.
Dollop spoonfuls of greek yoghurt and salsa verde over the top. You can also put layers on some sourdough bread for a healthy lunch.
Fresh and delicious.
Baked potatoes
To bake the potato, drizzle with olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake in a 180c oven for 45 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way through. Cut the potato open and dollop some sour cream inside, Add the salsa verde and grate some parmesan cheese over the top.
Makes a great midweek dinner if you’re super busy.
Cucumber sandwiches
To be a little bit classy you can jazz up your cucumber sandwiches with salsa verde.
(I actually don’t like cucumber but with the salsa verde they’re delicious).
Butter some white bread and spread on a thin layer of salsa verde on both sides.
Peel your cucumber and add thin slices to one slice. Put the top on, cut off the crusts and slice in half.
Now you’re classy as hell!

Baked beans and Breakfast pizzas

Photos by Gary Corbett

“Like many people I grew up eating tinned baked beans for breakfast. It was an easy staple that filled you up and could be prepared in no time. The only problem with the tinned version is the amount of sugar it contains.  For that reason (and because it’s delicious!) I started making my own version, playing around with different types of beans, herbs and seasonings.  This recipe is where I landed, so when I decided to do a video to launch the Spotty Kites song “Say hello”, I decided to turn it into a breakfast pizza. We had a great time cooking in my kitchen with Lauren and Costa (check out the video on YouTube). I can’t wait to see if they try it for their families. Enjoy!”

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/2UQ4ptY6oMw

Ingredients for baked beans

  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin red beans
  • 1 x 400g tin white beans
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Splash of Tobacco sauce
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 cup marinated green olives
Method
  1. Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof covered dish and add a diced  red onion, stirring until they start to soften. Dice the garlic and cook off with the onion.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to cook of for a minute. Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and stir to combine.
  3. Add 2 tins of tomatoes and the beans and stir for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the vegetable stock then add the salt, Tobacco, Worcestershire, red wine vinegar and white sugar.
  5. Put a few sprigs of thyme in the mix and cover with the lid.
  6. Bake in a 180c oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir in the diced green olives.
  8. Serve on crusty bread topped with an egg. (You can freeze portions of the baked beans and defrost for meals later.)

Ingredients for Breakfast pizzas 

  • Sprinkle – Parmesan, fresh basil and pine nuts
  • Prosciutto
  • Baked beans
  • Pizza bases
  • Pizza cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • eggs
Method
  1. Put some parmesan, fresh basil and pine nuts in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds or until they make a crumble.
  2. Lay the prosciutto on a baking tray and bake in a 180c oven for 7 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Remove from the oven to cool. Increase the oven to 230c.
  4. Cut 4 mini pizzas out of a pizza base. (You can also make a full pizza if you want to)
  5. Top with the baked beans.
  6. Top with the pizza cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in a 230c oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Lightly oil a fry pan and gently crack the eggs into it. Reduce to a medium heat and cover the pan with a lid until the eggs are cooked. (2-3 minutes)
  9. Remove the pizzas from the oven and place on a serving plate. Top with an egg and some prosciutto.
  10. Sprinkle the crumble over the top and serve. Enjoy!

 

Roast eggplant and tomato pasta

“I seem to be making a lot of vegetarian dishes lately.  It’s forced me to come up with new recipes to make things interesting.  One of my favourite ingredients is eggplant.  It’s also the only thing I haven’t been able to kill in my garden and have had a plentiful supply for months.  You can use it in eggplant parmigiana, baba ganoush and vegetarian lasagne but I also love roasting it and stirring it through a pesto pasta.  Having just bought a Thermomix (Instructions included) I decided to make an easy tomato sauce then stir the roast eggplant and a few other ingredients through.  It was an instant favourite at our house and will satisfy those pesky vegetarians when they drop over.  Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients

  • 700g eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Flaked sea salt
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 60g grated parmesan cheese
  • 60g sour cream
  • 40g roasted pine nuts
  • 60g sundries tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • Shaved parmesan
Method
  1. Cup the eggplant into 1.5cm cubes and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.  Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 30 minutes or until slightly browned.  Flipping the eggplant once during this time helps get an even colour.
  2. Add the spaghetti to a medium saucepan of salted boiling water and cook until al dente.  Drain when cooked.
  3. Cut the sundries tomatoes into strips and roughly shred the basil leaves. Put aside with the roasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan.
  4. Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a medium saucepan with a small amount of olive oil until translucent.
  5. Add the tomatoes, Dijon mustard and sugar to the onions and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the sauce is still hot add the parmesan cheese, then using a stab blender, blend the mixture until you get a smooth sauce.  Just before serving add the sour cream and stir through the sauce.
  7. Drain the pasta and in a large bowl stir through the sauce, roasted eggplant, sundries tomato strips and half the basil leaves.
  8. Once served into pasta bowls sprinkle on the pine nuts, remaining basil and shaved parmesan.

Thermomix method 

  1. Cup the eggplant into 1.5cm cubes and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.  Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 30 minutes or until slightly browned.  Flipping the eggplant once during this time helps get an even colour.
  2. Add the spaghetti to a medium saucepan of salted boiling water and cook until al dente.  Drain when cooked.
  3. Cut the sundries tomatoes into strips and roughly shred the basil leaves. Put aside with the roasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan.
  4. Add onion and garlic to Thermomix bowl and process on speed 4/3 seconds
  5. Wipe down the bowl with a spatula then add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook for 6 minutes/100 degrees/speed 0.5
  6. Add tinned tomatoes, Dijon mustard and sugar and cook for 6 minutes/100 degrees/speed 0.5
  7. Add parmesan cheese and sour cream then blend 20 seconds/ speed 7
  8. Drain the pasta and in a large bowl stir through the sauce, roasted eggplant, sundries tomato strips and half the basil leaves.
  9. Once served into pasta bowls sprinkle on the pine nuts, remaining basil and shaved parmesan.

 

Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast

“As part of my push to lose weight and get fit and healthy I’ve been redesigning some of my favourite recipes with less fattening ingredients.  Obviously I want to do this without losing the flavour hit that comes with high fat foods and cooking techniques so I can confuse my taste-buds into thinking they’re still being spoilt.   I have a recipe from my classical music range called “Nutcracker Chicken”.  It consists of a chicken breast that’s been filled with a combination of goats cheese, blue vein and pistachios, coated in macadamia and panko crumbs, then fried and baked.  I serve it with roast capsicum sauce, roast potatoes, asparagus spears and honeyed pine nuts.  YUM!  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!  …but for now here is a much healthier alternative that packs a huge amount of flavour in the sauce and chicken filling.  Enjoy!”

Stuffed chicken breast ingredients

  • 1 leek
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 mushrooms
  • 150g sun-dried tomatoes
  • Splash of white wine
  • zest and juice from half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 12 slices of prosciutto
  1. Clean the leek then quarter and dice.  Add to the pan with a small amount of olive oil.  Cook until leeks have softened slightly.
  2. Finely dice the garlic and add to the pan for a few minutes.
  3. Dice the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and add to the pan with the white wine.
  4. When liquid has reduced to almost nothing remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts and diced basil.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Cut a cavity in the chicken breast and put stuffing inside.
  6. Wrap 2 slices of prosciutto around chicken to keep the stuffing in and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  7. Heat a small amount of light olive oil in a pan and on medium heat cook the chicken on each side until prosciutto has cooked (about 1 minute per side)
  8. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees c or until chicken is cooked all the way through.

Roast Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

  • 2 red capsicums
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Light olive oli
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 tbsp kecap manis
  1. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove stem end.
  2. Cut capsicums into quarters and remove stem ends and seeds.
  3. Peel and quarter onion.
  4. Place all in a roasting dish and drizzle with light olive oil and some salt
  5. Roast for 30 minutes in a 220 degree c oven or until capsicum skins start to blacken.
  6. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender adding the kecap manis.  Don’t throw out any of the remaining juices from the pan as you will use them later!
  7. Blend on high until smooth.  Season to taste. (If you want a smoother sauce pass the mixture through a drum sieve)

Vegetables

  • 4 carrots
  • 12 asparagus spears
  1. Peel and cut carrots into battens and transfer to the roasting dish you cooked the tomatoes in and coat with the juices.  Add a little more olive oil and salt in needed.
  2. Bake in a 200 degree c oven for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Cut asparagus into thirds and steam until cooked.

Plating up the dish

  1. Gently reheat the sauce and put a generous smear on the plate.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into 3 rounds and lay onto of the sauce (You can save the off-cuts for lunch tomorrow!)
  3. Put a pile of asparagus and carrots on the plate and garnish with 2 basil leaves.