Sunday, 30 August 2009

Potato Salad with Sundried Tomato and Basil dressing

1 kg new potatoes
6 pieces of sundried tomatoes in oil
large handful of fresh basil
1 clove garlic
150 ml bought mayonnaise
black pepper

Boil the potatoes in the skins in salted water until tender.
Drain, and put to one side until cool enough to handle.
Skin the potatoes - the skins will lift off easily of the potatoes are still warm.
Cut into large bite sized pieces and put into mixing bowl.
Slice the sundried tomatoes thinly and add to the potatoes.
To make to dressing use a food processor or hand held blender and blend until smooth, the mayonaisse, the basil, the garlic, 4tbs of the oil from the jar of tomatoes, black pepper and some salt. Blend until smooth.
Mix together with the potatoes and sundried tomatoes, put into a serving dish and put in the fridge for several hours to allow the flavours to develop. Bring to room temperature before serving, as the flavour will be better, but don't leave in a warm place for too long.

These proportions are a rough guide, generally allow 150g - 200g potatoes per person and use a full jar of sundried tomatoes for anything up to 2kg of potatoes. Use as much basil as you have available.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Potato Ravioli, with Mushrooms, Garlic and anchovies

Here is my version for potato ravioli, based on a recipe of Paul Rankins, It sounds very plain and dull, but it is completely the opposite - try it.

50gm butter
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
175ml milk
20g dried mushrooms
3 tbs chopped chives
Salt and black pepper
Fresh pasta( made with 285g pasta flour or strong plain flour, 1/2tsp salt, 2 large beaten eggs, 1tbs olive oil, flour for dusting)
1 egg
6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped

Heat 25g butter in a large frying pan,
Add the chopped onion and 1/3 of the garlic.
Sauté gently for about 3 mins.
Add the potatoes, half of the dried mushrooms and the milk and cover, cook over a very low heat until tender.
Mash the potato mixture with another knob of butter, add 2 tbs of chopped chives and season.
Put remaining chopped dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover with boiling water - leave to soak until later.
Make the pasta in a food processor. Then using a pasta machine roll out into thin sheets the width of the pasta machine.

Place one sheet of pasta on a flat surface, lightly floured, On one long side of the pasta place small spoonfulls of the potato mixture about 7.5 cm appart.
Brush the edges of the pasta and between the potato mixture with beaten egg, fold over the other half over the filling and press to seal around the potato mounds. Cut the ravioli into square and make sure the seals are closed by using the prongs of a fork to seal the edges of each pasta parcel.
Put to one side on a lightly floured tray.
Repeat with the remaining pasta.

To serve, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until the ravioli rises to the surface, this only takes 2 - 3 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the dressing.
In a small pan heat the remaining butter, add the remaining soaked dried mushrooms, cook for a few minutes and boil off the liquid until a small amount is remaining. Add the anchovies, the oil from the tin/jar, remaining chopped chives and the garlic and a little course ground black pepper and just heat through.

Drain the pasta and serve on warm plates, drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.