Good Friday for Pasta

I hope you’re having a great Easter weekend. We are spending the weekend at home, cleaning, toilet training and cooking. On Good Friday I decided to was a great opportunity to make fresh pasta, while I had a couple of grandparents home to watch my tot. I love making pasta, but its something I don’t do often. However,  recently I was catching up on Gastropod episodes (my favourite podcast channel) and I listened to Remembrance of Things Pasta: A Saucy Tale. This really got me yearning to make homemade pasta.

So I finally got out the handwritten Italian recipes that I learned while studying in Milan. As part of our Food and Culture course at the university, we had about five cooking lessons that taught us how to make regional dishes. We actually had to write the recipes in Italian, while we watched and help the chef making the dishes. So with a little help from my Italian dictionary, I refreshed my memory on some of those delicious and more unusual dishes we made.

One of the dishes I prepared was Culurgiones Campidanese. This regional Sardinia filled pasta, typically containing potatoes, pecorino cheese, casu ‘e fitta (Sardinian cheese), mint and pepper, but it varies from town to town. It is served with a tomato sauce or butter and sage and can also be grilled or fried. The town of Ulassai  (Ogliastra, Sardinia), until the 1960s, only prepared this filled pasta on the day of the dead (sa di e ir mortos). Other towns throughout Oglisstra and Barbagia regions also served this dish for special occasions, such as giving thanks at the end of a wheat harvest and to honour their ancestors. The culurgiones is a symbol of esteem, respect and friendship.

The recipe that we made at the university didn’t contain cheese, possibly because some of us were dairy free. Since I’m a big lover of Pecorino cheese (a hard sheep cheese), next time I would add it for a bit more flavour. The culurgiones were filled with potato, mint saffron and black pepper. So I have shared my translated and hopefully accurate account of this recipe for you today.

For the shape of this pasta, I consulted this Youtube video. I’m not sure I nailed the shape but I haven’t had as much practice as these ladies.

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Merry Christmas: gifting and feasting

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to everyone! This is my absolute favourite holiday of the year. It’s a day of good food, lots of presents and enjoyable family time. It’s a day when everyone is happy, generous and relaxed and when we can finally catch our breath as the silly season comes to a close.

I started my day at 4:30am when my daughter came into my room to sleep. She was actually quite late because we were up late making Christmas cookies. We made three batches of cookies to share with our family and for Santa.

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The first batch were Pillowy Pumpkin Snack Cookies, from Angela Liddon’s new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day. I love the flavours of pumpkin and spices for Christmas. They seem so cosy and warm and I like to pretend I’m not living in the heat of summer. The recipe was only for 11 cookies, which didn’t seem like enough. Since I ran out of light spelt flour, I thought I’d try another recipe from the book, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. I still had plenty of fresh pumpkin puree, so swapped that for the majority of the peanut butter. Then I realised I only had 12 more cookies. So by that stage, I now ran out of maple syrup, pumpkin, oats and honey (from a double batch of Lemonsweet, I made earlier). Frantically I found another recipe on the Oh She Glows App for Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie. I have made those before and they taste amazing. I had to swap the oat flour for plain flour but they still turned out just as delicious. I can always trust Angela’s amazing plant-based recipes to make something that will wow. Everyone the next day was really impressed with the flavours of each.

Octavia was very excited to leave out cookies, soy milk for Santa and her Magic Reindeer food and carrots for the reindeers. This is actually the first year she understands what is Christmas, who is Santa and that he’s bringing presents if she’s been a good girl.

She was so excited the night before that I’m surprised she didn’t remember at 4:30am when she woke up. She actually didn’t get up until 8:30am, which is very unusual. Once I reminded her it was Christmas she was back on board and couldn’t wait to see what was under the Christmas tree. She was very spoilt this year. Her favourite things right now is Doc Mc Stuffins and Rapunzel. She got a few Disney toys and books from the franchises, as well as a Djeco Red Riding Hood puzzle and some new goggles (so she can stop stealing other peoples). She also received some beautiful organic Purebaby clothes couple of Vilac puzzles, Penny Scallan backpack, a wooden cash register and a Vtech Digi Art Creative Easel. She’s been so spoilt I’m not sure she even knows what to play with firsts.

I took this photo after we had opened up all the presents and she was in her Christmas bests before we left for lunch. The little reindeer on the tree is the ornament she chooses for this year.

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