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Archive for May, 2010

Greek Walnut Pie

In honour of the trashily fabulous Eurovision I will be spending my weekend watching the multicoloured glory from Oslo and eating delicious European flavours. This pie tastes like baklava but with a fraction of the time and effort involved – perfect to whip up before abandoning yourself to key changes, wind machines, gratuitous saxophones and unnecessary violins. Recipe is originally from the Pillsbury website. Enjoy!

2 sheets of short crust pastry (home made or frozen)

2 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup butter, melted & cooled

3/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Grease a round pyrex pie tin and line with first sheet of pastry.

Mix the walnuts, sugars and cinnamon together.

Pour 1/4 cup melted butter over the pastry in the pie tin; spread walnut mixture over this and drizzle over another 1/4 cup butter. Top with the second sheet of pastry, cut large slits in the pastry and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of melted butter.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, cook honey and lemon over a medium heat in a small saucepan until it has a watery consistency.

Remove pie from oven. Carefully pour over the hot honey mixture, letting it seep into the slits. Cool before serving with ice cream or cream.

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This pasta is so easy to make and is perfect for winter; texture is provided by sage leaves and crumbled pork sausage. It’s one of those dishes where the simplicity of the ingredients leads to full and lingering flavours. This could be made vegetarian by leaving out the sausage and substituting with some toasted pine nuts.

Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes

1 bulb fennel, outer leaves removed and chopped

1 head garlic, cloves separated and chopped into halves or thirds

2 tsp sugar

salt & cracked black pepper, to season

1 Italian pork sausage, skin removed and flesh crumbled

40 sage leaves

400gm egg fettucine or papadelle pasta, cooked al dente

Parmesan, grated

1. Pre heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. In an oven tray, toss together the pumpkin, fennel and garlic with the sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Add a good drizzle of olive oil and toss again. Roast for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is starting to caremelize and is lovely and brown outside.

2. Put pasta on to cook in a large pan of salted water.

3. Meanwhile, heat a generous couple of glugs of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausage mince; once this is starting to brown, add the sage leaves and turn the heat down to low. There should be enough oil in the pan for the leaves to fry and crisp up nicely. Once sage is crisp and sausage is browned, remove from the heat.

4. Drain pasta and return to pan over low heat. Tip the frying pan with the sausage and sage gently so that the oil pools down one end and can be spooned up and added to the pasta. Toss through. Add the roasted veggies and toss through with a handful of grated parmesan. Add salt & cracked pepper to taste.

5. Serve pasta and top with the pork and sage mixture and more parmesan, if desired.

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