I don’t know how to feel about St Patrick’s Day. It kind of gives me the hibbie jibbies. I met my 1st girlfriend on March 17th, I was 19 and it went unnoticed. But I remember, the days when I used to play Breton and Irish music in the “Glasgow Pub” in my hometown. I had befriended three young Irish students from the local I.T ( I.U.T in French). They were quite cool and I was drawn to them like a pathetic magnet, having had so much overwhelming adventures in Donegal, Glenveagh National park, where I got the gig of a two months contract plucking freaking rhododendrons off the side of a mountain… I loved it, I was me again! Back home, I was lonely, I missed the hills, the red deers, the ocean, the solitude and the social aptitude…
I wanted to impress my Irish friends; with a few amigos, and before St Patrick’s day got fashionable on the continent, we gathered 14 musicians from the area, all skilled in the art of a good Irish/ Breton session; my three pals, from Mayo and Sligo, stood against the bar, sobbing and homesick like hell while we were playing popular tunes… I never understood what ” homesick” meant until I saw Raymond, pouring hot tears into his very expensive pint of stout!
As the day is coming, “Zee” big National day, and before I decide to hide under the freshly spring aired duvet cover that was swinging outside on the line, I wanted to do something a bit special. I had promised my friend Helen Cahill that I had a little special recipe in mind for St Patrick’s Day… I like Helen; young mother, farmer, cheese producer, she is not afraid, not only to travel the length of the country, but like my Irish friends from days gone by, go overseas to share some of the wonderful things her family has to offer. Cahill’s Cheese is famous for their Porter Cheese ( Black beer, stout, you name it…), and here is the way I decided to accommodate it with a bold and unusual recipe…
You’ll need: For the pasta dough
- 350g of pasta or semolina flour
- 3 fresh eggs
- and a tiny bit of water… ( The dough should remain strong)
Mix the flour and salt together, then make a well in the middle for the eggs. Start with a whisk from the centre, then use your hands. Add a bit of water, and knead the all thing to hell. Roll in a ball, wrap in cling film and rest for at least two hours…
For the filling:
- 2oog of black pudding
- 100g of Cahill’s Porter Cheese
- 12 leaves of fresh spinach
- a small grating of nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
Pre-heat the oven at 200c and once hot, bake the pudding for 25 minutes. Rinse and chop the spinach, with the garlic and let it reduce. Take the black pudding out of the oven, grate the cheese on top of the spinach, crumble the black pudding on top, and pick up all the big lumps that might remain. Let it cool, let it cool…
My friend Pauric, from the Forge Restaurant lent me his pasta making machine… You can go with it, or if you feel confident enough on the pin, knock yourself out!
For The Dough:
Roll the dough into a super thin strip. Well, as thin as you can. Place a little bundle of the wonderful filling, leaving plenty of room in between. Use a lot of flour, egg wash between the intervals and cover with the other sheet of dough. Cut the ravioli to be with the neat little piece of kit below, and with a spatula, lift them on a waxed paper, full of flour… Make sure you remove the air from the ravioli pockets…
For the Pistou:
Well, Pistou is like pesto without the nuts and cheese. Chop finely the wild garlic ( with some spinach leaves if necessary) a clove of garlic and salt. An old tip, salt keeps chlorophyll together ( to remain green)… Just saying. Whiz the whole thing together .
In a salted pot of water, and when it is at boiling point, put the ravioli in, gently and for 5 to 7 minutes… Pour a bit of the pistou and enjoy!
Keep well and Eat happy