Nutella Ravioli and Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce

Mmmmmm!

Many years ago I saw a recipe for chocolate pasta… I never tried it, but every so often would remember it and wonder… Then recently I started wondering if rhubarb and chocolate go together, as I have not seen any recipes combining the two…

Well, the ravioli is not chocolate flavour but the filling is, and the sauce is very rhubarby… and it all goes together like a dream!

Nutella Ravioli and Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce

The sauce (for 4 servings):

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar – taste, as this depends on how sweet/tart your rhubarb is (Use a little vanilla sugar if you have some)

Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, and the rhubarb and strawberries have “collapsed”.

The filling:

  • 150g quark/curd cheese (or ricotta)
  • 100g Nutella

Simply mash together.

The ravioli:

  • 300g flour
  • 3 eggs
  • a little olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Mix flour and eggs to a rough dough. Add a little oil, then knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for half an hour.

Cut dough into six pieces and flatten each portion. Roll through a pasta machine on the widest setting 6 or 7 times, folding each time until you have a nice rectangular sheet of pasta. Then roll through on the next setting in the same way, and continue up to setting 5 or 6. Repeat with all pieces of dough. Put a heaped teaspoon of filling at intervals on the sheets so they can be folded over, then use your pasta or cookie cutter to make the shapes you prefer. Crimp all edges with a fork to stop the filling from escaping when being cooked.

Lay all ravioli on a sheet of greaseproof paper and FREEZE! Once frozen transfer to freezer bags/containers. They are so easy to handle when frozen and can be kept for several months and cooked as required! (I got 25 out of this recipe).

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes, turning down heat a little so the filling doesn’t boil out. Serve with the warm sauce and enjoy!

Mmmmmm!

Irises

Iris:

  • a thin, circular structure in the eye
  • the 2001 film about Iris Murdoch, British novelist
  • the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods, also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky
  • a genus of praying mantis
  • a lesser-known psychedelic drug and a substituted amphetamine
  • a shade of colour ranging from blue-violet to violet
  • a genus of 260 -300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers

Strawberry Flan

Strawberry season for me means strawberries in all forms, as often as possible, as long as possible. 😀

To celebrate the beginning of the season…

Strawberry Flan

  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 75g caster sugar (use part vanilla sugar if you like)
  • 75g self-raising flour
  • butter/flour for greasing pan
  • a punnet of strawberries
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • 200ml water
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet Dr Oetker “Tortenguss”/Clear Glaze (or equivalent)
  • 150ml cream

Preheat oven to 200°C/400F and grease and flour a flan tin.

With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Fold in sieved flour carefully. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 7-10 mins until lightly golden and springy to touch. Remove cake from oven and cool for a few minutes. Turn onto a rack to cool completely.

Place on your cake platter. Slice the strawberries and spread over the flan. Prepare the glaze with sugar, 2ooml water and 50 ml elderflower cordial, or according to the instructions. Quickly spread over the strawberries and allow to set. (Can be chilled).

Whip the cream and enjoy!

Shades of Spring, Part Two

At the end of April I posted Shades of Spring; some pictures of the tulips I had enjoyed in my garden in early spring.

Now a look at my mid to late spring tulips

May brought to my garden some lovely tulips, both delicate and dramatic…

Tulipa humilis “Little Beauty”

~~~

A fabulous parrot tulip…

Tulipa ‘Estella Rijnveld’

Tulipa ‘Estella Rijnveld’ from above

~~~

Delicate hues of pink and yellow…

Tulip Angelique

Pink Tulip (name lost and forgotten!)

~~~

And fiery oranges…

Flaming Tulip (real name also lost!)

I managed to put a name to so many, as a future record, but sadly not all.

My favourite this year was definitely the parrot tulip… so cheeky and fun! I think I may put in a few more in different colours this autumn.

Any recommendations?

Do you have a favourite tulip in your garden?

Feta and Spinach Filo Pie

Filo or Phyllo?

I buy it as “Spring Roll Pastry” here in Germany, so I don’t know which spelling is more popular!

Feta and Spinach Filo Pie

This is rather delicious, and full of good greens! Use fresh young spinach if you can find some!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500g frozen spinach or fresh, washed and chopped
  • grated nutmeg and black pepper
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 sheets of filo pastry 10″ x 10″/25 x 25cm
  • Handful of pine nuts

Sauté the onion until soft, then add the garlic. If using fresh spinach add it to the pan and let it wilt, then remove from the heat. With frozen spinach, defrost it first, then add and cook through. Allow the mixture to cool a little. Season, stir in beaten egg and crumbled feta. Preheat oven to 200°C.

Lightly oil a deep pie dish (I use a pastry brush), and place one sheet of pastry in it. Brush the pastry lightly with oil and add another. They should slightly overlap each other and the dish too. Repeat with another five sheets (7 altogether). Now add half the spinach mixture. Layer another four sheets, brushing each with oil again, and add rest of spinach mixture. Sprinkle with a few pine nuts and place last filo sheet over the top. Now fold in the overlapping bits over the top of the pie. It can be as messy looking as you like! Sprinkle last pine nuts on top and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and sizzling!

It serves 2-4 people, depending on whether you serve it alone or not. It’s good with salad, bread or new potatoes.

Patience is a Virtue

The past winter was bitter, with permafrost for several weeks, little snow or rain, and extremely low temperatures of 18° C below zero or even lower for a couple of weeks on top of that. The damage to the garden was , for me, not too bad. Some casualties were an early clematis (montana), the laurel and mahonia, my last penstemon, and the lavender…

This spring I thought I’d lost all my lavenders… the basis of my rockery! A couple of neighbours brutally chopped down everything that had frozen. However, I waited until the bad frosts were well and truly over and then took the bull by the horns. I was daring and drastic! I pruned as far back as I could, and actually lost only 2 of my about 20 lavender plants. There are still some unsightly patches…

… but the plants are well-established and have come back – slowly, but surely!

Today I am hopeful that the worst damage can also be cut out without the plants suffering too much, and the poppy leaves and sweet williams are coming on to camouflage the ugly gaps.

Hardly any signs left of frost damage… Gardening is an extremely good lesson in patience!

Do you often lose plants in the winter?

Did you have any casualties this past winter?