Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter (Nick Nairn: Cook School)

(Extracted from: Nick Nairn: Cook School)
butternut squash ravioli
Ingredients (for 4)

1 x recipe pasta dough
1 medium butternut squash
1 whole red chilli, halved and deseeded
3 whole garlic cloves, skin on
3 tablesp. olive oil
1 teasp. chopped fresh thyme
25g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
Semolina flour for dusting
For the Sage Butter:
150g unsalted butter
Approx. 20 fresh sage leaves
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper

  1.  Preheat the oven to 200 deg.C or Gas Mk 6.  Using a large cook’s knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthways.  Scoop out and discard the seeds, then peel the squash and cut the flesh into 2cm dice.  Place in a roasting tin, add the halved chilli and whole garlic cloves, pour over the oil and season well.  Toss to coat, then roast in the oven for about 30 mins, or until soft and starting to caramelise.  Take out of the oven, pop the garlic cloves out of their skins and mash the whole lot together with a fork or potato masher.  Beat in the thyme and Parmesan and allow to cool.
  2. Now unwrap the pasta dough and cut into two pieces. Work with one piece, rewrapping the other half.  Using a pasta machine, put the pasta through the machine at least twice on each setting, stopping at 2 (but including 2).
  3. Lay the length of pasta on a work surface dusted with semolina.  Using a round cutter (around 10cm) cut circles along the length of the pasta, put scant teaspoons of butternut squash filling in the middle of each round.  Dampen the edges with a little water on a pastry brush and fold over to create a semi-circle, pressing in and around the mound to exclude air as you do so.  Lay in a single layer on a clean tea towel until ready to cook – no longer than 2 hours or they turn soggy.  Repeat the process with the second ball of dough.
  4. At this point, you can freeze the ravioli in rigid plastic boxe(s) trying not to overlap the ravioli and placing parchment paper in between the layers and keep in the freezer until needed.  Otherwise, place a pan of salted water on to boil ready to cook the pasta.  Drop the ravioli into the boiling water to cook until they rise to the surface. (The ravioli can be cooked this way from frozen).
  5. For the sage butter, melt the butter in a small pan and heat gently.  Add the sage, turn up the heat and cook the butter until it turns palest brown and the sage leaves start to crisp.  Do not over brown or burn the butter or sage.  Remove from the heat and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the sage butter over the cooked ravioli and serve with either grated Parmesan or shavings of Parmesan on the top.

Whisky & Chilli Prawns

whisky_and_chilli_tiger_72921_16x9Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 limes, 1 juice and zest, 1 juice only
90ml/3½fl oz whisky
180g/6½oz soft light brown sugar
24-32 raw tiger prawns, peeled, deveined
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Heat the lime juice, whisky and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has all dissolved, stop stirring, turn up the heat and boil for 5–7 minutes, or until the mixture becomes syrupy and thickens. To tell if it is ready, dip a wooden spoon in the mixture and tap off the excess – some glaze should still stick to the spoon, but it will not be as thick as honey. (Sometimes the whisky catches alight and you will see a blue-orange flame coming from the pan. Just take it off the heat and the whisky will burn itself out. )

3. Stir in the finely grated lime zest, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

4. Put the prawns in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the chilli. Brush the prawns with the oil and then with the glaze. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until the prawns turn opaque. Remove from the oven and brush with more glaze, reserving any extra glaze for dipping, and set aside to cool slightly before serving.

Supper Club Night – 11th July – A Taste of Summer

And Summer it was!  A warm, balmy night and so we ate ‘al fresco’.  The evening was kicked off with the traditional, quintessential English Summer drink – Pimms – choc full of oranges, lemons, strawberries, cucumber and mint and tumbled over ice, it made for a refreshing start to the meal. The first course was a broad bean and pistachio hummus, served over home made, toasted basil bread and dressed with a little bapistachio hummuslsamic, chopped pistachios and mustard cress. Then followed a succulent confit of salmon, glistening under a dusting of freshly chopped dill and accompanied by some crab and dill crushed new potatoes and a little dressing made from olive oil, a little lime juice and more freshly chopped dill. A generous helping of another traditional English Summer dish – Eton Mess – completed this three course dining event.

Broad Bean & Pistachio Hummus (Rita’s Recipe)

For 8 people:

Ingredients
1kg frozen broad beans
2 tablesp. olive oil
Handful of mpistachio hummusint, chopped
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
2 tablesp. creme fraiche
Enough chopped pistachios to top each crouton (approx. 2 tablesp.)
Aged balsamic vinegar to drizzle and extra olive oil
Mustard Cress or pea shoots
4-8 slices sourdough, flavoured or other artisan bread

1.  Toast your bread and then with a round cutter (approx. 7cm dia.) cut out two croutons per slice ( you may only manage one crouton per slice depending on the size of your loaf).

2.  Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 2 – 3 mins and then rinse in cold water to allow them to be cool enough to be handled.  Remover the skins, by pinching it at one end and squeezing out the broad bean.  (This is a laborious job and I would recommend, doing this in front of the TV!).

3.  Add the skinned beans, olive oil, lemon juice, S&P to a food processor/blender and puree to a mash.

4.  Top each crouton with some of the bean mash, top with some chopped pistachios, a sprinkling of cress and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.