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Posts Tagged ‘Primi Piatti’

 

The last time I attempted to make Ravioli I was living in Franschhoek and barely knew the difference between a fish knife and a butter spreader. Back then when I tried to impress a girl with home-made dinner I would make toast topped bully beef mixed with burnt onions and scrambled eggs. (I kid you not!) Things certainly changed since then. 

Making da pasta

Anyway, my previous ravioli efforts resulted in disaster, since my only knowledge of ravioli was what I read from cook books and that one time I had dinner at Primi Piatti. My pasta pockets would pop open, swarming the pot of boiling water and turn my “impressive” meal into a wonton soup combined with floating bits of mince meat. 

So this month my sister came to visit us from the U.K. and one evening we decided that we would like to attempt this recipe: 

We made a butternut and ricotta ravioli and the recipe went as follows: 

Daring moves

The Ravioli Filling: 

1 kg of butter nut, which we peeled and chopped into chunks 

2 table spoons of Olive Oil 

125 gr Ricotta Cheese 

100 ml Crème Fraîche 

 of Sage leaves 

Parmesan or Pecorino shavings 

Drizzle the butternut with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry in a pan until soft. 

In a mixing bowl add the butternut and all the ingredients and add a dash of chopped sage leaves. Blend with a hand blender untill the mixture becomes a pulp. 

A few year ago I have invested in a pasta machine that I have bought from @Home. They are very handy and sell out almost over night at R250.00 each which I consider a steal. I made some basic pasta dough which I rolled out with the maker untill I had a couple of thin pasta sheets. 

Little Butternut Bombs

Sis filled them with small lumps of the filling which was cover by another layer of pasta. Most of the air was removed (you don’t want your pasta pockets to balloon) and the edges was pressed with a fork and dashed with water. 

I left the ravioli to dry a bit and had it dusted with a small amount of flour. 

The cooking was very simple, since home- 

Forkit!

made pasta cooks so much faster than the regular shop bought pasta. Cooking time was approximately 5 minutes in boiling water. 

I carefully removed the pockets with a slotted spoon and tossed them in hot pan with melted butter and sage leaves. 

We had wonderful pasta, slightly browned with butter and sage, inside creamy butternut with ricotta filling. 

Yum! 

P.S. I wanted to take a photo of the final result, but it was so good that everything dissapeared before I could get a proper photo! 

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Over the past couple of beers years, the Nymph and I became very well acquainted with Jack Black Beer. It was served on tap at the local watering hole,

Queue Hallelujah music...

The Elephant and Barrel Pub, in the Food and Wine Capital of South Africa, Franschhoek. After having similar micro-brewed offerings via Dieu Donne Winery/Restaurant cum Microbrewery and the late Birkenhead Beer on tap at Primi Piatti, regular beer did not quite do it for me anymore. Thus, I have decided to get some of the troops together for a Blind Microbrewery Beer Tasting!          

Quickly a taskforce was assembled which included the Nebbiolo Nymph, her parentals, Norman and Eppie, flat mate Kevin and Filip Sundström (most voted to become an Bond villain)  

The Team

Beers where bought, snacks were arranged and glasses were hired for our very, very “technical” tasting. Since all of us is very much involved in the food and wine industry, we did not quite know how to approach the method of beer tasting, so we stayed to the format that were quite familiar to us all, a wine tasting sheet.      

Beery Goodness

The aim of the evening was not to see who makes the best beer, since none of us are beer connoisseurs, but rather to taste the difference in the five beers that I have selected.      

  • Jack Black Premium Lager: Non-beer drinker Eppie’s consensus was that the beer was light and refreshing. Wonderful for hot summer days. The beer had a good head and consistent bubbles.
  • Mitchell’s Foresters Draft: The Nymph’s comment; “FAB!!” Butterscotch, caramel and vanilla. Lingering finish of yeastiness and caramel.
  • Birkenhead Premium Lager: Food and wine writer, Norman said that the beer had a pale honey-yellow colour with needle point bubbles. Crisp yeasty nose with nutty undertones and a broad palate with nutty flavours that linger. (Good to have a pro at the table)
  • Birkenhead Honey Blond Ale: Chef Kev said the beer was pale-gold with a sweet, malty, nutty nose and a slight honey-like palate. Very easy drinking. 
  • Mitchell’s Milk and Honey: Bond Villain Filip, notes said that the beer was very appeasing; with a pleasant honey nose but the long bitterness that eliminates all the other characteristics.

Local is lekker my brew!

The final conclusion was that Microbrewed beer were much better than the conventional mass-produced beer that is readily available to the consumer. The beers we tasted were fuller in flavour and had more of a pleasant lingering aftertaste. The fact that the Mitchell’s beer was bottled in 1 litre plastic bottles, straight from the keg, was my only dissapointment. This gave a significant handicap against the bottled Jack Black and Birkenhead and made it taste flat in comparison. I have drank the Mitchell’s at the V&A Waterfront on Monday and fell absolutely in love with it.

My progressively bad handwriting

 

After this, we all kicked back and had a good old fashioned South African KAKpraat. Topics like political history, wine writers, FHM models and ostrich burgers flowed like a pint of the good stuff…

Wish you were BEER!

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Over the weekend we had to entertain eight wine bloggers, who arrived for lunch and a wine tasting at the farm on which I work. I wished that I could sit in at the conversation and see what I can learn from these seasoned bloggers who have already established a good following of readers. Alas, I was busy conducting winetastings for eager clients waiting to try and buy our produce.
This is not necessarily what I want to write about.

More importantly was the rugby between the Blue Bulls and the Stormers, which was the kick-off to the big belated birthday bash for myself and fellow wine friend, The Nebbiolo Nymph, at Primi Piatti, Somerset West. The kick-off started at 17:00 and at 17:15 I sprinted like Bryan Habana out of the door and burned my Volkswagen Chico at 140km/h through the Helderberg. Arriving at Primi, I hurriedly ordered a Birkenhead Lager just to calm my nerves.  

Birkenhead beer is produced on the Birkenhead Estate, just outside Stanford near the Klein Rivier Mountains. The lager is a malty beer that is lightly hopped and is slightly sweeter and reminds of honey, dark wood, caramel with a faint herbaceous hint of buchu.

In other words: Heavenly Goodness. Benjamin Franklin was definitely on to something by quoting “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” All this is of course topped off with the Stormers beating the Bulls 38 – 10. Okay, maybe it was the Bulls B team, but as my flat mate, an avid Bulls supporter once told me “A wins a win, buddy” This I smeared in his face with a huge amount of gloating.
Soon after the rugby the whole party arrived and the Merry Making was kicked into full gear. Pizzas and burgers was the order of the day and even non-meat eaters were seen wolfing down a seared rump bruchetta. (?) It seems to be THAT good.
Somewhere a mysterious bottle of Tukulu Chenin Blanc 2009 appeared and The Nymph and myself engaged into Wine-Mode and quickly grabbed a taste. It was my comment that the wine reminds me of nails on a blackboard… on my tongue! The pallets were soon cleared with copious amount of Birkenhead. I was surprised to find, after doing some research later, that the Chenin in questions was awarded  3 1/2 stars in a certain wine guide and notes that the wine has an intense, succulent fruited character… I think not. I will have to retaste the wine in a “controlled” environment to reassess the rating of the wine.
The sad news is that I was informed that Primi, due to franchising conditions, will no longer serve the Birkenhead beer, since they are supposed to sell Peroni. Now, Peroni is a good beer but come on guys! Let’s supports our local beer producing boys like Jack Black and Mitchell’s Beer. Also it has been decided that we will conduct a blind beer tasting in the near future. Not necessarily to find out who is the best local producer but rather to explore the characteristics that make every microbrewery unique. Bring on the Beer-Belly!

All in all we had a great evening at Primi and we would like to thank Esmé and her staff to make our evening a great success and making me particularly useless the following morning.

Primi Piatti Somerset West

Tel: +27 21 850 0029

http://www.primi-piatti.com

Here is the contact details for The Birkenhead Estate. Definately a place I would like to visit on a roadtrip next time we head off towards Hermanus.

Birkenhead Estate
Tel: +27 28 341 0183
http://www.birkenhead.co.za

  

  

  

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