Monday, April 23, 2012


We made these fresh, filled 'lunette' for Rosie and Jim's on Sunday and they went down a treat.

The wild garlic filling makes a vivid, pea green centre for the ravioli, splashing colour onto the plate when you cut through, like the perfect poached egg. 

Substitute the filling with fresh garlic and peppery rocket or artichoke hearts and fennel seed.
Serve as a light starter for a springtime lunch.


serves 4 and 20

FOR 4                                                                                 FOR 20

400g 00 flour                                                                      1kg 00 flour
pinch salt                                                                            heavy pinch salt
4 free range eggs                                                                10 free range eggs

(roughly one egg per 100g flour)

FOR 4                                                                                 FOR 20

1 bunch wild garlic, stems removed, flowers set aside      3 bunches wild garlic
200g ricotta                                                                        600g ricotta
50g Parmesan, grated                                                         200g Parmesan, grated
pinch nutmeg                                                                     1 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

FOR 4                                                                                 FOR 20
200g butter                                                                         500g butter
1/2 bunch sage, finely chopped, stems removed               1 1/2 bunch sage
1 garlic clove                     

Pour the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs to the well and beat evenly with a fork, gently incorporating the flour. When the mixture starts to form a more solid shape, use your hands, mixing in the flour until the dough loses most of its stick. 

Flour a table and take the dough from the bowl. Knead the dough for about 4 minutes until smooth, elastic, and silky. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for up to 2 hours. 

Bring a pan of water to the boil and throw in the wild garlic. Blanch for 1 minute, drain, and refresh under cold water. When cooled, squeeze the garlic to remove excess water. 

Place the garlic with the ricotta into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the Parmesan, nutmeg, and a generous helping of salt and pepper. Cover, and place in the fridge to firm up.

Lay a tray with floured baking parchment ready for the ravioli.

Remove the pasta dough from the fridge and cut into bits roughly the size of the palm of your hand. If using a pasta machine (recommended) set to 1 and feed the dough through. Fold three times and feed through again. 

Set the machine to two and repeat. 

Now set the machine to 5 and feed through once. If making by hand, roll to roughly 2 mm thick. This will be thin enough to give you a light but firm enough ravioli.

Cut the dough with a 3 inch round cutter, making two leaves for each raviolo. 

Take the filling from the fridge. Fill the centre of one leaf of pasta with a tsp of the wild garlic. Place another leaf on top and press around the outside with your fingers so the dough sticks together. Making sure each side of the raviolo has been lightly floured, place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pasta and filling. 

Once made, the ravioli can be covered and put back the fridge until ready to use.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan, adding the garlic clove. Skim off any white froth and curd from the top, remove the garlic and add the chopped sage and salt.

When ready to serve, heat up the butter, and bring a large pan or two of salted water to the boil. Gently drop in the ravioli. When they float to the top, scoop out with a slotted spoon and place into bowls. 

Serve with the sage butter, the wild garlic flowers and a pinch of sea salt flakes.

- Too much pasta? Roll it up into a ball and freeze for another lunch -

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


For the holiest shade of crimson.


serves 2


250ml double cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
bunch of dill
salt and pepper
knob of butter
2-3 large raw beetroot, finely sliced
1 large red onion, finely sliced
100g Parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Mix the cream with the garlic and dill, and season. Butter a small oval dish and lay the beetroot in the bottom. Alternate with onion and beetroot, pouring cream over each layer, until you reach the top of the dish. Scatter with Parmesan and season again.

Place in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove, cool slightly and serve with cold meats and salad or on its own.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Hot cross buns are a joy to make. They dress you in a pinny, cover you in flour, and make you instantly loved by everybody. Bring out a towering plate of warm sticky buns on Easter morning and you're anyone's.

Cut in half, spread through a little (or a lot of) salted butter and melt into marmalade goodness.


makes about 16


700g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice or a combination of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
100g sugar
zest of 1 large orange
7g easy bake/fast-action yeast
1 duck egg (or 1 large hen egg), beaten
300ml milk, warm

1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp water

2 tbsps thin cut marmalade for glazing

Sieve the flour, salt, and spices into a large bowl. Make a well for the sugar, and add the zest and yeast. Pour in the egg and the tepid milk and mix, leaving to sit for a few minutes to activate the yeast.

Now, using your hands or a wooden spoon, fold the flour into the wet well, mixing to make a soft dough. If too wet and sticky add a little flour; if too dry add tepid milk a little at a time. Knead for roughly 5 minutes, pulling the dough away from you and pushing it with your palms and knuckles.

Oil and lightly flour the bowl. Sit the dough in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot for an hour to prove.

Set the oven to the hottest it will go (roughly 240C).

Knock the air out of the dough on a floured surface, knead briefly, and set aside again to prove for 30 minutes or so.

Then, divide the dough into equal amounts (a small handful) and shape into balls. Lay into lines in a large roasting tin, leaving a three-finger sized gap between each bit of dough. Rest for 20 minutes, covered.

Mix 1 tbsp flour with 1 tbsp water. It should stretch nicely over the buns to form a cross. Do this after the dough has rested and place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until brown.

Remove onto a wire rack and glaze with the marmalade whilst still warm. Cut in half, toast again and smother with good butter. You may weep.