The challenge set by Tandy from Lavender & Lime is to use one of your many recipe books that you have not experimented with, and make something. Now, I have so many recipe books, magazines, pieces of paper and often in my diary at a recipe or two. I love looking at pictures and going “I want to make that my way”.
It was hard choosing which book to use, considering I have a few that I have not played around with…after looking through all of them, and deciding on recipes I would like to try, I finally decided that I will start with my Justin Bonello – Cooked in Africa. If you remember, I did a short post when I received this book.
The first recipe I decided was Ravioli stuffed with Mussels & Homemade Tomato Sauce. Having discussed this book with a few people, and being my first time ever using a Bonello book, I found that his recipes are wonderful and simple, yet, I don’t always see them working out. So I tweaked the recipe here and there.
This recipe was inspired by Tandy who loves to make pasta. My brother bought me a pasta machine for my birthday 2 years ago, and I have used it very little, I am going to make it my personal mission to use it more often as nothing beats homemade pasta.
For the pasta dough
200g flour – the best to use is MN100, however I didn’t have, so I just used cake flour
2 eggs (or 3 egg yolks)
1tsp olive oil
2 tsp fine salt
Sprinkle the flour onto your work surface and make a well, add salt and kind of mix in, add the eggs and oil and slowly bring the edges of the well together by stirring the eggs into the flour. Carry on until you have a nice crumb, start kneading your dough together, you want a slightly dry dough, but not overly dry, if you find your dough is to wet, add a little more flour, if your dough is to dry, add a dash more oil. It’s all about feel. Knead your dough for about 10 minutes, you want smooth dough. Place in fridge to let rest. I did this in the morning, that way by the time I get home, all I have to do is bring it to room temperature and work it through my pasta machine.
If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can roll the dough out with a rolling pin, this is a very tedious task, so be warned, you will hate it!!
For the Mussels
I used frozen, as I don’t have fresh – if you can get your hands on fresh, definitely go that route!
2 glasses of dry white wine
knob of butter
Place your mussels in the pot with a handful of parsley, add the wine. And let simmer for a few minutes over a medium heat. Remove mussels and place the liquid one side to add to the tomato sauce later.
Finish of the ravioli
Mix a knob of butter and parsley and a 1 clove of garlic until well incorporated.
Work your dough through the pasta machine until you have thin, roughly 3-4 cm thick pasta sheets. Cut into squares, big enough to hold a mussel. Using an egg wash, brush the edges of the pasta squares, place a mussel in the middle with a little of the parsley garlic butter and cover with another piece of dough. Using a fork pressed the edge so that it seals.
For the homemade tomato sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
3 anchovy fillets, just tear up the fillets with your fingers
Fry of the onions and garlic until transparent, add the tomatoes and can of tomatoes, and the liquid from the mussels, let simmer over a low heat. Cook out for about an hour and half, add the anchovy fillets and cook for a further 20 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to boil and salt the water, gently drop the ravioli and cook for about 4 – 5 minutes, plate the ravioli, with a nice spoonful of the sauce, some parmesan and top with fresh parsley.
Now…what did I think of this pasta. It is a very interesting dish, and I have to admit, very time consuming, the anchovy & mussels work beautifully together, I just find that it was missing that something special. Next time, I would like to add some fresh chili to the sauce, I think it will take the sauce to a new level and will work wonderfully with the mussels. With this, I just had a small salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and feta, with Verlaque Mango Chili Dressing.