Tag Archives: Basil

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli

Right before Christmas some family came to town, and we had a night in at my place where we cooked dinner.  Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto mixed with some ricotta cheese and stuffed inside homemade ravioli, to be exact. 🙂 I had some pasta dough in the freezer, so all we had to do was make the filling and assemble everything.  Everyone pitched in and we created an insanely delicious meal.  Fun stuff!

We played around with the best way to make ravioli, and settled on using a round ravioli stamp.  Cutting them by hand was messier and just not as pretty.  Since they were big, the trick was not to over-stuff it, and find a good balance of pasta and filling.  I think we nailed it!

Raviolis

Raviolis

We cooked everything up and topped with a lemon brown butter sauce, fresh basil and Parmesan.  No leftovers in sight!

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli

Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Filling Recipe

1 cup artichoke heart, cooked (canned would be fine, and roughly chopped)
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
pinch coarse salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 -2 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 – 3/4 cups ricotta cheese, to taste

  1. Pulse the first 7 ingredients together in a food processor. Stir in the ricotta and the tarragon and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Note: Omit ricotta and serve pesto mixed with spaghetti or spread on some grilled bread for a tasty snack.

Fresh Pasta Recipe:

2 organic large eggs
10 organic large egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting

  1. Whisk together the whole eggs and yolks in a bowl.  Put the flour on a large board or in your biggest mixing bow, make a well in the centre, and pour the eggs into the well.  Slowly bring in the flour using a fork and then knead by hand just a few times or until a nice dough forms.  Add  a bit more flour if the dough is very sticky.  Let the dough rest under a tea towel for at least 10 minutes before proceeding.
  2. Take out your pasta machine.  Cut the dough into 8 pieces and roughly form into rectangles.  Dust each rectangle with a bit of flour.  Starting on the widest setting, put one piece through the machine, dusting with more flour if it’s at all sticky.
  3. Fold the dough over itself and go through again on the same setting (you are essentially kneading and stretching the dough). Repeat this process on each setting, going from widest to thinnest, until you are left with a long, thing sheet of pasta. Be gentle during the process and careful not to tear your sheets.
  4. Repeat the whole process with all the pieces  of dough, laying them on tea towels or your clean counter. Cover with plastic wrap or a barely damp towel.
  5. Add a few tablespoons of filling every few inches to the top of a sheet, and top with another sheet of pasta.  Stamp or cut out your raviolis, making sure the edges are sealed so none of the filling escapes.
  6. Top with sauce of choice.  I used a brown butter sauce with a bit of lemon, but I bet this would be great topped with something creamy, as well.  Don’t forget the Parmesean, basil and fresh ground pepper to finish it all off!

From:  My Father’s Daughter

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Filed under Main Courses, Pasta, Vegetarian

Drunken Soba Noodles

Waaaaay back in December I tried the Drunken Soba Noodles from Sidedoor restaurant and they definitely left a lasting impression.  I loved everything about this dish; the perfectly cooked steak, the balance between the cool noodles and the heat from the sauce, the crunchy fried shallots and the flavourful herbs.  So when I picked up an issue of McLean’s magazine one day that featured “Canada’s Top 50 Restaurants”, imagine my delight when not only was Sidedoor one of them, but they published their recipe for Drunken Soba Noodles!  Rejoice!  I wasted no time in trying to recreate this for myself – take a look 🙂

Drunken Soba Noodle Ingredients

Drunken Soba Noodle Ingredients

At the restaurant they use steak, but since I didn’t have any on hand I sautéed up a nice chicken breast instead.  No complaints about how this turned out!

IMG_2224

Sautéed chicken

Boil the soba noodles for about 4 or 5 minutes and allow them to cool.  Then pile them in a bowl and top with veggies.

Noodles and Veggies

Noodles and Veggies

Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil) and toss with the noodle/veggie mixture.  Then just top with chicken or steak!  And some black sesame seeds for visual interest.

Drunken Soba Noodles

Drunken Soba Noodles

Then all you have to do is work your way through this flavour heaven of a dish.  Enjoy the journey!

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Drunken Soba Noodles – Halfway through

Drunken Soba Noodles Recipe

 1 3/4 lb (340 g) package buckwheat noodles
Canola oil
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 lb. strip loin or rib-eye steak
Salt and pepper1 cup julienned cucumber
1 cup julienned bell pepper
1 cup julienned napa cabbage
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
Fried shallots, to taste
Thai basil, to taste

  1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.  Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook soba noodles according to package directions, about four to five minutes.  Drain and transfer to iced water.  Drain once chilled.
  3. Toss noodles very lightly with canola oil in a large bowl to prevent sticking.  Reserve.
  4. Whisk soy sauce with rice wine, sugar, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  5. Preheat grill to medium high.
  6. Season steak lightly with salt and pepper.  Grill steaks to medium rare.  Remove from heat and let rest.
  7. Divide the noodles between four bowls.  Arrange the cucumbers, peppers and cabbage on top of the noodles in separate piles.  Top with a small mound each of green onion and fried shallots.
  8. Slice steak thinly and add to bowls.  Top with a sprig of Thai basil.
  9. Divide the sauce into four small ramekins and serve with the bowl.  Let guests pour the sauce on top of the noodles and mix with chopsticks.

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July 24, 2013 · 11:55 PM

Baked Brie with Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmelty cheese 🙂

You can put almost anything with brie, put it in the oven, and 20 minutes later you’ll be in a cheese coma.  Which is truly the best kind of coma. For this batch, I poked holes in the cheese and dumped a mixture of  garlic, diced tomatoes, fresh basil and few other yummy ingredients, on top.

Baked Brie Ingredients

After it comes out the oven, serve it with a fresh baguette and you’re friends will never leave.

Baked Brie with Fresh Baguette


Baked Brie with Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil Recipe

1 wheel brie cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
2 – 3green onions, diced
Handful fresh basil leaves, ripped into small pieces
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt/Pepper
1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice  

1.  Mix above ingredients in a bowl, and poke holes in top of brie.  Dump mixture onto cheese and allow marinade in fridge for a few hours.  
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake cheese for 20 – 30 minutes until cheese looks melty and bubbly.
3.  Serve with fresh baguette or crackers and enjoy!

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Dips, Easy Peasy, Vegetarian