Ravioli

IMG_20160228_181634547I made goat cheese and what is perfect for goat cheese? Ravioli! Hubby was out of town over the weekend so I surprised him with it when he came home. I love making pasta so it was as much for me as for him (maybe even a little more for me….)

I mixed the goat cheese with an egg and seasonings— a crushed garlic clove, thyme, savory and some S & P. It was simple but perfect!

Pasta is so much fun to make and it is so good. I use both pasta flour (00 flour) and semolina in equal quantities for ravioli. One egg for every 3/4 C flour- for this recipe I used 1 1/2 C flour (combined measure) and 2 eggs. Mix it up and add a little water if it is dry. I always seem to add a bit of water. I combine this in my kitchen aid mixer. After combined I set it up with the knead hook and let it go for several minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 – 30 minutes. Or you can refrigerate it and use it later in a couple of days. Just remove it from fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling.

Some roll pasta by hand with a rolling pin. Some have the automatic roller that you can get to attach to the Kitchen Aid. I am somewhere in the middle. I have a hand crank pasta roller which I love. If you have not used one before, pinch off some dough – a little larger than a golf ball. Start at level 1 or 0 (however yours in marked). Take the dough multiple times through the first setting. It will start to feel good and get pliable. Then put the sheet of pasta through the pasta machine and increase your number on your dial on setting at a time. For ravioli I don’t go beyond 5. It seems to get too thin and falls apart. Roll two pieces so you have a top and bottom for your raviolis.IMG_20160228_182708657

Put a little filling down. This is the hard part! I mean a little – 2 teaspoons or so. Too much will either seep out or not close up well. So control is the key!

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Then wet the edges and between the filling with water using a pastry brush. The idea is that when you add the top pasta sheet you want them to stick together. Press it together and use a knife, ravioli cutter or a cookie cutter (biscuit cutter) to cut them out.

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To cook place them in gently boiling water for 12 – 15 minutes. I know that may seem long AND you will find all different times out there. But homemade pasta is thicker and just seems to take a bit to cook. You will know what works for you after trying it a couple of times.

A couple spoonfuls of sauce from the Italian tomatoes I canned from last summer’s crop created perfection!

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And hubby liked it too. 🙂

Do you have a favorite recipe you love to make?

Happy cooking!

FGU

 

 

 

Roasted Tomato Sauce

I love canning tomatoes. I love trying different things with them. I have several ways that are my “tried and true”. But Roasted Tomato Sauce is a favorite. Not just because of how it tastes but because it is EASY. AND easy is my friend this year. I have short periods of time that my stove is plugged in and available since floors and walls are being done in the kitchen. This past Sunday, with no construction folks around, I took to another round of canning. One thing I made was this sauce. Super easy! Here’s how you do it!

Half your tomatoes and pop them on a cookie sheet. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes on 375. No need to peel or season. Just roast.

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Note: These are Granderos which are a type of Roma. I highly recommend adding them to your garden. They just keep going and going and going. I am in Indiana and I just picked another 25 pounds yesterday! (yes on November 2). 

When they come out you can peel them. But like I said I do this because it is easy so for me that means NO PEELING. Yipee!! I throw them in the Vitamix and puree.

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That takes a few seconds. You can see how taxing this process is. 🙂

Then grab your strainer and pour that lovely sauce from the Vitamix into it. Turn your handle a few times and the seeds and remaining peels are removed. Since they have been roasted and pureed this is the easiest thing you will ever do in your strainer!

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Minimal waste. Below pic shows all the waste. AND this is not a large bowl, it is a little cereal bowl to give you some perspective. Easy and efficient. Even better huh?

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Pour the lovely sauce into a pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or longer for a thicker sauce. I do not season this sauce. I prefer the sauce plain to season as I use it.

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It is such beautiful sauce.

I add 1/4 tsp citric acid to each jar and add the sauce. I follow my water bath directions to a T. Mine said to process 35 minutes, lid off, wait 5 and remove jars. Follow your directions for safety!

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It is pretty, easy and delicious! If you still have some tomatoes to get through I would encourage you to try this.

Do you have a favorite canning recipe?

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

Roasted Tomato Sauce- Canning Recipe

San MarzanoI love, love, love tomatoes in the summertime and like I have said lately, I am still in summer. I have so many tomatoes to eat and preserve, I am in heaven. The apples and pumpkins are just going to have to wait on me to catch up!

I have canned a lot of tomatoes as of late and this week I decided to can tomato sauce instead. I have not canned sauce before so I was excited to give this a whirl.

I love roasted tomatoes and thought instead of blanching and peeling the tomatoes to prep them I would roast them.  I had read you can do this and I went about taking this for a run. I had a full Homer bucket of San Marzanos and thought they would make the perfect sauce. I washed them, halved them and popped them on large cookie sheets with the skin side up. No oil or seasonings; just red tomatoes.

I had 3 full size trays and 2 half trays in the oven. Let the roasting begin!

cookie sheet

In Oven

They roasted so beautifully.  I decided not to peel them but to simply remove them from the tray and get them in the Vitamix. The tomatoes right off the sheets were good enough to eat. I had to restrain myself!

Off the sheet

Roasted

Blend

After the Vitamix I had this…

after blender

The skins were taken care of by the Vitamix, but I had seeds.  I wanted to remove them for this sauce. That is optional, but I put this sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds and then brought it to a boil.

Sauch

I used my Ball book for processing instructions and started canning the sauce and ended up with the most lovely product ever. I am looking forward to opening these during the cold days of winter!

out of the canner

I am also going to make some more! Six jars will not last I can guarantee!

Are you still harvesting and preserving summer?

Happy Unleashing,

FGU

 

Indulging in the Harvest

After I shared my harvest with you last week, it was time to start indulging in it. Yes, I mean EATING it! One of the things I love about gardening is the harvest and the taste of freshly picked veggies. When you grow your own you can grow your favorites so everything you pick is your favorite! With 52 pounds of tomatoes, 20+ pounds of summer squash, green beans and more, we have been feasting.

The first thing I had to do was do something with all those lovely tomatoes. We were heading over to my mom’s in Ohio and I had promised dinner. It seemed a “no brainer” to do tomato something with pasta. I made a slow cooker sauce based on this recipe from Food Renegade.

Sauce in Crockpot

I took liberty and made a few tweaks of my own. I added a tsp. of fennel, deleted the tarragon and used a bunch of thyme tied up with string (that I discarded). The sauce was so lovely that I did not blend it with my immersion blender and instead left it in its final state. We tossed over pasta added fresh, ribbon cut basil from the garden and it was heaven! It was so great that when I came home and made some more.  I froze 4 pints in ziploc bags for future feasting in cooler days.

Next came the squash. I have lots of squash and I am thrilled about that. I love it and will keep on loving it.  This recipe is for yellow summer squash but you really could make it with whatever is your favorite.

Squash Quiche

For the crust, I asked hubby to make me a crust since he is the baker. He added fresh thyme to the crust since thyme is used in the filling.  You could also use a store bought crust (that is a crime in our house according to my hubby so I won’t) or make your own favorite crust to use. We pre-baked the crust about 15 minutes and let it cool.

The recipe is easy!

  • Melt 1 Tbl of butter and 1 Tbl of olive oil in a pan to medium heat
  • Add 1.5 lbs of squash cut into 1/4 in. rounds. Add fresh thyme (I added a lot; you can add to taste) and let everything saute until squash softens.
  • In the meantime, whisk 6 eggs, 1 C of 1/2 and 1/2 (or cream), 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce (of your choosing).
  • By now the squash should be done.  Remove from heat and cool a bit.  You don’t want it to cook the eggs on contact.
  • Arrange squash over the bottom of crust. Add sliced fresh mozzarella (about 6 oz) or grated mozzarella if you prefer.  I prefer sliced fresh, but that is a personal choice. Pour the egg mixture over (you may have a bit left). Put the quiche dish on a cookie sheeet (in case of run over) and bake until golden- about 35 minutes at 350. Let it cool for 15 minutes.

OK this is so good, that I am making it again this week.

Another over the top meal was our Heirloom Tomato Pie from Food Network and a side of Green Beans. We used slicers and freshly picked green beans (these were the first of the season and there are tons more to follow).

green beans

slicers

 

When hubby made the crust for the quiche, it made two, so I did not follow the crust on this recipe, but used his instead. I also substituted the manchego cheese for asiago (only because that is what I had).  I also added fresh basil– one because we have ALOT of it and two because I love it.

It was fun to prepare and the bottom layer filling makes it stand out over any other tomato tart I have made.

Tomato Tart Prep

We simply steamed the green beans and oh it was great!

Tart and Beans

Tomato Tart

 

Now you probably have guessed that this did not use all of our first harvest, but it was a start and nightly we are cooking it. We stuffed the greens into a swordfish steak along with some tomatoes and feta and that was supreme. (I forgot to take a picture in my excitement).

Next up was a day of canning and drying.  That is another blog for another day.

Happy unleashing your harvest!

FGU