MFaM — Day 22

October 22, 2007 on 9:30 pm | By | In Food Musings, Recipes | 1 Comment

GOD! This is getting tough. It’s all I can do to keep from thinking about meat. Today was particularly excruciating as smells kept wafting toward us during our bike ride (including burgers from Kidd Valley. Mmmm… burgers!) I even dreamt I was gnawing on a big slab of steak. Perhaps my darling is right — maybe I AM the biggest carnivore on the planet! Fortunately we’re now into the single digits — only nine more days and we can indulge (assuming I don’t tear into the package that should be arriving at my doorstep on Wednesday).

I suppose I should fess up — I tasted some meatballs and flank steak during a client cook date last week. Technically tastes are allowed, but the reason for tasting is to adjust the seasoning. Once the meatballs were baked and the flank steak was grilled, there ain’t no adjusting. It wasn’t a huge taste — I merely scraped up a couple bits of meatball left on the baking sheet and sliced off the teensiest piece of flank steak — but the damage was done. I’ve only managed to go six days without eating meat (assuming you don’t count the beef broth for the Asian soup).

Goat cheese ravioli

 

But once again I’ve added some clear winners to our vegetarian repertoire. As I was organizing my kitchen cupboards I found the box of whole wheat pasta flour I received at the personal chef conference this past summer. I’ve been meaning to come up with my own recipe for whole wheat pasta, but this was so easy: all I had to do was add water and send it through my pasta machine.

At first I thought about doing some sort of squash ravioli — either butternut or pumpkin. But I just couldn’t face making them without including the classic pairing of bacon, prosciutto or pancetta. As I was perusing Epicurious for ideas I saw a recipe for goat cheese and arugula ravioli. Viola! What a great way to use up the last bit of arugula in my crisper. Topped with a chunky sauce of baby grape tomatoes, spinach, Kalamata olives and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, they were light, yet filling (my recipe follows). The next night I used up the dough to make cheese-filled ravioli with a sauce of tomatoes, basil, garlic and pine nuts.

Another night we enjoyed a modification to a recipe already in my repertoire: quinoa and black bean salad. The first time I had quinoa was years ago at the 74th Street Alehouse — long before it gained wide recognition. Of course my friend and I had to ask the waitress what it was, pronouncing it “kwin-oh-a” (it’s “keen-wa”). We loved the fluffy texture and the nutty flavor. Now you find quinoa on most store shelves, and there’s even a red quinoa that’s been recently introduced. It’s an ancient grain that’s packed with protein.

For our salad I mixed white and red quinoa, then mixed in a can each of red kidney and garbanzo beans, chopped bell pepper, cilantro, minced jalapeño and sliced green onions. For the dressing I tossed together lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. While it’s good on its own, it would be doubly delicious paired with some grilled chicken or fish 🙂

 

Goat Cheese & Arugula Ravioli
Serves 3

Note: for the pasta, you can use a mix like I did, or prepare your favorite pasta dough recipe

Filling
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups arugula, rough chopped
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
5 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup ricotta

Sauce
3 cups grape tomatoes
5 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, rough chopped
Loads of garlic
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon of butter
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Toasted pine-nuts (optional)

For the filling, sauté the shallots and garlic in the oil over medium heat. Add in the arugula and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until arugula is wilted and it releases most of its liquid. Take off heat and stir in lemon zest, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Transfer mixture to a strainer and strain off the remaining liquid. Let cool. Toss cooled arugula mixture with goat cheese and ricotta and set aside.

Roll out pasta dough into sheets and form raviolis (I used a ravioli maker so they’d be uniform). Let dry on a lightly floured baking sheet for at least an hour.

Ravioli

 

Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and gently boil raviolis for 3-5 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, sauté the garlic in extra virgin olive oil until fragrant, then add tomatoes, spinach and Kalamata olives. Sauté until spinach starts to wilt, then add wine. Reduce by half, then stir in butter. Add ravioli to sauce and heat through. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toasted pine nuts, if desired.

1 Comment

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  1. That looks delicious! All my favorite flavors rolled up into one dish.

    YUM!

    Comment by Kitchen Bitch Lisa — October 23, 2007 #

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