Sheep’s Milk Ravioli Bake

fresh sheep's milk ravioli bake 1

A good and very quick alternative to lasagne is a ravioli bake.  I use fresh sheep’s milk ravioli from the Farmers Market [Photos: Illumina Media & Mad Promotions, Accessories by Cabouxon]


For the sauce you will need:
1 medium onion
1 close garlic
a few fresh basil leaves
a pinch of dried basil
1 Kallo Natural Stock Cube
1 glass red wine
1 tablespoon tomato puree
500g fresh very ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

and

500g sheep’s milk ravioli
1 eggplant, cut into slices lengthways and cooked or 200g sliced ham
100 g grated cheddar cheese
2 peppered gbejna cheeses
salt and pepper
100 ml mascarpone mixed with 100 ml yoghurt

fresh sheeps milk ravioli bake recipe

Incredibly quick to make, a fresh meal prepared in minutes (plus the baking time of course!)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare the tomato sauce by placing the olive oil in a large pan on low heat. Add the onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, wine, seasoning, fresh and dried basil and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered so that it reduces and thickens.

Prepare an ovenproof dish with a non stick baking spray.

Start layering your ingredients but covering the bottom of the dish with either cooked eggplant or if you prefer slices of ham to prevent the ravioli from sticking to the bottom.

Then cover with a layer of uncooked ravioli.  Next cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle lightly with a mix of chedder and peppered gbejna cheese and start layering again with the ham, then the ravioli, the sauce, the cheese.  Spoon over the mixture of mascarpone and yoghurt.  Top again with a mix of the cheddar and peppered cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes and garnish with extra basil before serving.

Oat Soup

broad bean and pea soup with poached egg

Fresh pea and broadbean minty yoghurt soup with poached egg [Tableware by C&H Bartoli, photo Yan Schembri]

‘I use fresh seasonal ingredients for my soup today and in its simplicity this makes a wonderful meal.  The freshness of the peas and broad beans laced with mint leaves reflects the genuine and honest produce of this island blessed with so much.
For the creamy consistency I use oats, not too much, just enough that when cooked and pureed  result in a creamy consistency without the richness. And to finish off a crimson fruit salad of pomegranate, blueberries, strawberries and more, vibrant and so refreshing’

You will need:
1 tablespoon olive oil and extra for drizzling
1 onion, roughly chopped and sauteed in the olive oil
2 handfuls of  very fresh mint leaves
2 handfuls of very fresh flat leaf parsley
some other fresh herbs if desired and I used a sprig of fresh basil too
1 bay leaf
500ml water with one all natural vegetable stock cube
300g fresh broadbeans, peeled
200g fresh peas, peeled
50g oats
125ml yoghurt or if lactose free use unsweetened almond milk
1 lime, juice and zest
1 poached egg per person poached in water and 1 tablespoon of apple organic vinegar
salt and pepper
Place the water in a large pot with the stock cube and bring to boil.  Add the sauteed onion (do not allow it to brown when you are cooking it in the olive oil, cooked slowly on low heat to soften it up and bring out the sweetness).

Cook for 5 minutes on a low boil, then add the oats.  Lower the temperature.  Stir constantly and cook for 10 minutes.  Add half the broad beans, half the peas, and a quarter of the fresh mint leaves, parsley and other fresh herbs if you are using.
Cook for 5 minutes.  Season with salt and white pepper, add the dried mint and cook for another 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow to slightly cool down.  Add the remaining herbs keeping some back to garnish and blend to a smooth puree using a hand blender.  Add half of the remaining broad beans and peas and reheat.
Place a poached egg in each soup bowl.  Pour over the hot soup and scatter some more broad beans and peas on top.  Garnish with fresh mint leaves.


And to finish off a fruit salad.  We will be celebrating Strawberry Festival in the Northern village of Mgarr very soon and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this feast and from today you can follow my daily series of new strawberry recipes.

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Happy Easter: Torta Pasqualina

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Torta Pasqualina, table accessories by Cabouxon

‘After the fast comes the feast and this Ligurian pie busts with eggs, hard cooked and also as a binder for the filling and I use a mix of kale, fresh herbs and spinach.  The pie is baked in a bundt tin using filo pastry and I sprinkled it with sesame seeds.
I love Easter, as just like Spring, it is all about new beginnings and looking forward’

‘I thank you dear readers for stopping by every day.  I know I have reached you in many parts of the world where I still dream to go one day.  I appreciate that you read my posts,  look at my pictures and cook my food.  

A writer is not fulfilled without readers and therefore I am truly blessed.  

From an island with all the good things in life, I wish you a happy easter.’

For the Torta Pasqualina you will need:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 kilo of mixed kale and spinach leaves
a handful of flat leaf parsley
a handful of fresh herbs of your choice
a pinch of allspice
a grating of nutmeg
250g sheeps milk ricotta
100g grated fresh mature gbejna
100g grated goats cheese cheddar
9 eggs (5 of them being hard boiled)
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 packet filo pastry

In a pan cook the chopped onion in a few drops of olive oil. Clean and trip the spinach and kale leaves, roughly chop and place them in a large bowl. Scald them with boiling water and leave them to soak for 5 minutes.

Drain the water by passing the leaves through a sieve. Place the leaves in a clean kitchen towel, wrap it up and squeeze the water out but wringing the kitchen towel tightly. Do this several times. This process helps to retain a better colour and freshness to the leaves.

Place the leaves in a large bowl. Add the flat leaf parsley and the fresh herbs, the rest of the olive oil and the eggs (4) and use a hand blender to get a smooth consistency.

Add the cooked onion, grated gbejna, the cheddar, the organic apple vinegar, allspice, nutmeg, ricotta and mix using a large metal spoon. I do not like to blend the ricotta to give the filling a more interesting texture. Season with salt and pepper.

Use a brush to lightly coat the bundt tin with olive oil. Line with a layer of filo pastry leaving the edges hanging over the edge, brush with olive oil, then layer another sheet of filo pastry and repeat with a third sheet.

Spoon the filling neatly into the pie dish.

Place the whole hard cooked eggs inside the filling and push down.
Bring together the overlapping pastry and cover up the top of the pie. If necessary use another sheet of filo pastry to cover up the top by scrunching it up lightly and then brushing with olive oil. Scatter some sesame seeds on top.

Cook in a preheated oven at 150C for 45 minutes. I then turn off the oven and place the pie in the bottom of the oven to carry on cooking the bottom of the pastry and avoid it from being soggy.
I like to allow this pie to cool completely before cutting. It is delicious cold but can also be cut and then reheat the slices to expose the hard cooked eggs.

Getting ready for Easter with Connie

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Getting ready for Easter, sugarcraft class with Connie Spiteri at Lifelong Learning 

‘You can get a glimpse of Connie and her class preparing for Easter !

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Sunday times big

In this week’s Sunday Times, some quick last minute recipes for easter treats


Photography:Gino Galea

Easter Simnel Cake topped with raw marzipan

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Gorgeous bows by Hilda for my mini Simnel Cake, photo Illumina Media

‘a light fruit cake rarely seen in Malta brings back memories of an English Easter.  Hilda made a lovely bow and I topped the cake with raw marzipan during the show the day after it was baked.  I base my recipe on Delia’s as you can never go wrong but these days I tend to swap the butter content with mascarpone as it has a lower calorific value’


Prepare the raw marzipan the day before you are going to decorate the cake and keep it in the fridge. You will need:

1 cup ground almonds
2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon agave
1 vanilla stick
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons warm apricot jam to brush the surfaces and assemble the cake.

Mix the almond flour and icing sugar. Add the other ingredients and make sure that they are combined evenly and pliable. If necessary add a few drops of water to bring it to the right consistency. Wrap in cling film and allow to harden up overnight

For the cake you will need:
250g mascarpone by Zappala
180g sugar
4 eggs
250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
a pinch of salt.
1 stick vanilla
300g mixed dried fruit, I use dried apricots and figs
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
grated zest of half an orange, half a lemon and half a lime
2 tablespoons ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 150C.
Cream the mascarpone and sugar with an electric beater until the mixture is creamy and light.  Add the eggs one by one and carry on beating on low speed.
Sieve the flour, add the mixed spice, salt, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda.  Add the flour mixture to the mascarpone mixture and use a large metal spoon to fold in the flour.   Mix and add the ground almonds., followed by the chopped up dried mixed fruit and the chopped roasted almonds.

To assemble the cake:
Bake for 55 minutes and allow to cool completely before decorating.
Roll out the marzipan to a round and cut to the same size as the cake.
Brush the top of the cooled cake with warm apricot jam, top with the round of marzipan. Tap the marizpan gently around the edges to give it a  smooth finish.
Roll 11 balls of marizpan and place them on top of the cake.  Decorate with easter eggs if you wish.

Dr Klown

Dr Klown Inglott Malta with Stefania, Nakita, Olga and Marzia x

My ingredients are available at GS Superstore and maltasupermarket.com

White Asparagus with Truffle Oil #recipeoftheday

White asparagus 1

White Truffle Oil is available from Dical House  Photo Illumina Media

A few drops of Dical House truffle oil by Tartuf Langhe turn this simple dish into something quite amazing.  For my #recipeoftheday go to  timesofmalta.com

Source:  Recipe: White Asparagus with Truffle Oil

Chocolate Nua Cake by Devon

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Chocolate Cake Nua

‘My #recipeoftheday in the Times of Malta is Chocolate Cake Nua.  Small pockets of ricotta are baked inside the cake and I am sure you will be delighted with it as much as I have been.  You can also watch me making Cake Nua by clicking here

Source: Recipe: Chocolate Nua Cake

No bake: Gluten Free Easter Nests

Easter nests with chocolate cornflakes 2

No bake gluten free Easter nests as seen on TV

‘Quick and effective, these can be prepared in advance and frozen until needed, then decorated with mini easter eggs. I use gluten free organic cornflakes and dairy free no added sugar chocolate


You will need:
100g chocolate
50g butter
1 tablespoon honey
150g Cornflakes, organic and gluten free
An assortment of mini Easter Eggs

easter nests with chocolate cornflakes 8

You will find my kitchenware at Tescoma and ingredients at Good Earth and GS Superstore

Break up the chocolate and place it in a large bowl with the butter and honey.
Place the bowl on a simmering bowl of water (bain marie) making sure it does not touch the water. Stir the ingredients until the chocolate and butter melt and it appears consistent.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add the cornflakes. Mix until the cornflakes are all coated with the chocolate mix.
Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cases OR line the whole tin and cavities with cling film.
Divide the mixture into the 12 spaces and use a spoon to press down and make an indentation in the middle of each chocolate nest.
Put them in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
Peel off the muffin cases or cling film. Arrange the nests on a decorative plate and place the mini easter eggs in each nest.

Easy and healthier blueberry muffins

blueberry muffins 4

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins using pumpkin flour, lactose free with no processed sugar

‘ These blueberry muffins are made with a mix of pumpkin and coconut flour and brushed with warm maple syrup.  They are also lactose free.  The pumpkin flour gives them an orangy colour and crumbly and light texture.  Do not overmix, that is the secret, just fold in using a large metal spoon until barely mixed and definitely no electric mixers.’


You will need:
200g pumpkin flour
100g coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cornflour
a pinch of cinnamon
vanilla pod
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a pinch of salt
equivalent of 100g stevia
4 eggs
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
50ml coconut milk
1 apple
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
300g blueberries

Preheat oven to 160C.
Sift the pumpkin flour, the cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and stevia.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, use a hand held blender to beat the eggs, olive oil, coconut milk, apple and apple organic vinegar.  Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cases.  Use a large metal spoon to quickly and gently fold in the liquids into the dry ingredients.  Do not overmix.  Then add half the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the muffin cases.  Do not fill it to the top to allow room to rise.  Put into a hot oven to bake immediately after topping each muffin with some more blackberries.

Bake at 160C for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and before they cool down brush lightly with some organic maple syrup.
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