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  • Soul Food

    There's nothing more comforting on a cold, windy day than a warming, indulgent dinner. Proper soul food, to pair with a glass (or two) of red wine. 

    Cue five of our favourite comfort eats, recipes filled with melted cheese, hearty seasonal vegetables and rich sauces to see you soundly through the week... 

    Meatball & Spinach Ravioli Bake

    Serves 2-4

    I N G R E D I E N T S 

    250gs-400gs spinach and ricotta filled ravioli
    150g ball of buffalo mozzarella
    Parmesan to grate over and serve
    3-4tbsp olive oil
    Fresh basil leaves as garnish (optional)

    Tomato sauce:

    1 small red onion or half a large, finely chopped
    3t olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tins of peeled tomatoes
    ¼ cup dry white wine (or 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar and ¼ cup water)
    1 small stock cube, crumbled (chicken or vegetable)
    Pinch of dried chilli flakes
    6-8 basil leaves, chopped
    Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
    Salt and pepper


    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    500g free-range lean beef mince
    60g dried breadcrumbs
    10g parsley, finely chopped (about 2 ½ tablespoons after chopped)
    2tsp dried oregano
    salt & pepper (a good few pinches)
    2tbsp tomato paste

    M E T H O D

    Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the olive oil. Fry the onions over a low heat until softened. Add the garlic and briefly cook. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and then add the tomatoes, stock cube, chilli and basil and cook until the sauce has thickened. Add a splash of water if it gets too thick. Cook for around 25 minutes, while the oven is heating up. Preheat the oven to 180c / 350 F.

    While the sauce is on the go, mix all the meatball ingredients (mince, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper and tomato paste) together – hands are best for this job, and roll into small to medium sized meatballs.

    Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs until they turn brown on all sides. They may still be a bit raw in the middle but this is fine. 

    Bring a large pot of salty water to the boil and cook the ravioli for 3 minutes until just below al dente. Drain and set aside.

    When all of the above are done combine the meatballs and ravioli in the ovenproof skillet with the tomato sauce. Tear the ball of mozzarella into small shreds and scatter over the surface. Grate over some Parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

    Recipe & photography by Drizzle & Dip 

    Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo with Fried Cheese

    Serves 6

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    6 tablespoons butter
    3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
    1 1/2 cups whole milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    1 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan
    1/2 cup shredded Raclette cheese + 4 thin slices (or other Swiss style cheese)
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    Salt + pepper
    1 pound Fettuccine
    6 fresh sage leaves

    M E T H O D

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    Heat a large skillet with sides over medium high heat. Add 4 tablespoons butter and allow the butter to brown, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 15-30 seconds or until fragrant, then slowly pour in the milk, heavy cream, and pumpkin pure. Whisk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook 5-10 minutes. Stir in the pecorino romano, 1 cup raclette and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

    Boil the fettuccine until al dente. Drain and add directly to the pumpkin Alfredo sauce. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Add the raclette cheese slices and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until a crust forms and the cheese has "fried". Remove the cheese from the skillet and add the sage, fry 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat.

    Divide the fettuccine among plates and top with fried cheese and sage. Drizzle with any browned butter left in the pan. 

    Recipe & photography by Half Baked Harvest

    Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce

    Serves 2

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    1 cup chickpea flour
    1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
    1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
    1/3 cup greek yogurt
    2 serrano chilies, seeds removed and minced
    1 onion, minced
    2 teaspoons coriander seeds
    1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
    1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed
    1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated)
    Cooked rice

    M E T H O D

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium. Add coriander, mustard, and cumin seeds; cook for about a minute or until they begin to pop. Add curry powder, one serrano pepper, and 1/2 the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes (with juice from the can), turmeric, ginger, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for ten minutes or until it has thickened up.

    While simmering, combine the rest of the serranos, onions, chickpea flour, cilantro, oil, yogurt, and salt in a bowl. Stir until a thick dough has formed.

    Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough into the stew; repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover mixture and let steam / simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Enjoy right away with cilantro and yogurt as garnish.

    Recipe & photography by Vegetarian Ventures

    Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic-Sage Brown Butter

    Serves 8-10

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes halved lengthwise
    1/2 pound Russet potatoes halved lengthwise
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
    Freshly ground black pepper as needed, plus more for garnish
    1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
    1 large egg lightly beaten
    3 tablespoons honey
    1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    12 to 15 fresh sage leaves
    2 medium shallots quartered and thinly sliced
    3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    M E T H O D

    For the gnocchi: Heat an oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, season with a few good pinches of salt and a few cranks of pepper, place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.

    Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh out of skins then pass flesh through a potato ricer (or mash with back of a fork) and stir in cheese, egg, honey, and the 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Taste and add additional salt, as needed. You've added enough flour when you touch the back of the dough and it is damp but not sticking to your hand.

    Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a square. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into a rope (about 1/2 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. (However, don't add too much additional flour, as too much will make for heavy gnocchi.) Cut each rope into 1/2 -inch pieces. Stop here or, as desired, using your thumb, roll each piece down over the tines of a fork to indent.

    Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, simmer gnocchi until they float then cook and additional 30 (if fresh) to 60 seconds (if frozen). Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a clean rimmed baking sheet. Reserve 2/3 cups of pasta cooking water and drain the rest.

    For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it foams, add sage and cook until crisp and fragrant. Remove sage to a plate and return frying pan to stove. Add shallot and, watching it carefully and stirring often, allow the milk solids to begin to brown and the butter to become fragrant and nutty. Scrape along the bottom to prevent the solids from sticking and burning.

    When the butter is brown, immediately remove from heat, and carefully stir in the vinegar (otherwise it may sting your eyes). Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, return to heat, and cook until just coated in the sauce. Add a lot of freshly ground black pepper, taste for seasoning and finish with additional pasta water, salt, black pepper, the crisp sage, and freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    Recipe by Salt & Wind, photography by Christopher Kalima

    Beef Sinigang 

    Serves 4

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    700g rib-eye steak
    1.21itres water or Bone Broth
    2 medium onions, diced
    6 garlic cloves, diced
    5cm piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic), thinly sliced
    20 cherry tomatoes, halved
    3 tablespoons tamarind paste (or to taste)
    A big pinch of black or white pepper
    3-4 tablespoons fish sauce
    400g green beans, tops trimmed
    400g Pak choi, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
    2 whole fresh red Chilies
    400g spinach

    M E T H O D 

    Cut the meat into 3cm cubes, retaining the fat as it will flavour the stew. Place in a large saucepan and pour in the water or broth. Bring to the boil,  then cover and quickly reduce the heat and cook at a medium-to-low simmer for 20 minutes.

    Add the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes with the tamarind paste, pepper and fish sauce. Bring back up to a simmer and cook, covered. for a further 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more tamarind paste for a sourer flavour, if desired. Remember fish sauce is salty and brands vary in strength.

    Tip in the beans, pak choi and whole chilies, then bring back up to a simmer and cook covered for 5 more minutes.

    Add the spinach and remove the pan from the heat, leaving the lid on the pan to allow the spinach to wilt the residual heat. Remove the chilies and serve immediately. 

    Recipe from 'Good + Simple' by Hemsley & Hemsley, published by Ebury Press. Photography by Nick Hooper.