It was July 1996, I had moved a couple of months earlier in Galway, over staying my welcome from my West Belfast friends I had met the previous summer. The company and the craíc were good which didn’t entice me to find my own place. I didn’t take up too much space, a sleeping bag behind the sofa and a few boxes in the corner, a safe little space, peaceful… But the peace got broken that night in July; a stand off over the annual orange order parade in Drumcree, outside Portadown in County Armagh, escalating in riots that spread across the North, resulting in two deaths and hundreds injured. The North was on lock down and the house turned into a refugee centre, friends literally fleeing violence, others, holidaying in the south, unable to go home. The TV was on all the time, the radio and the huge anxiety was palpable when the phone rang in the middle of the night, fearing for the safety of a loved one as most of them had experienced at some stage. I was going to throw a bit of humour on the whole thing, calling this post “Orange is the old Black”, but instead this story inspired me to do a little recipe, with butternut squash, a cheese from Newtownards in the North, called Young Buck Buckwheat from Brittany, and fresh fennel from the garden, to more peaceful times, may long it continues!
For the pasta dough: You’ll Need
- 150g organic pasta flour
- 150g of Organic Buckwheat flour
- 3 eggs (happy eggs)
- 1 pinch of salt
Mix the two flours and salt together and put the eggs in the middle. Mix well and knead well until you get a nice dough ball; add a bit of water if it is too dry… Film it and let it rest in the fridge until you work on the butternut squash…
For The Ravioli: You’ll need…
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 bulb of garlic
- a generous drizzle of olive oil
Cut the butternut squash in half, and the base of the bulb of garlic. I crisscross the squash to help it cook better. A sprinkle of salt and pepper and in the oven it goes at 200 c for 20-25 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through…
This looks good now…
Scoop the squash and mix the garlic cloves with it. I am still waiting on my pasta machine I was suppose to get for my birthday in April, so I took the rolling pin out. Make sure you use plenty of flour and that you roll the dough quite thinly. Place little nuggets of the squash and allow a good bit of space in between to allow the brush of the egg wash before sealing with another sheet on top…
With a special ring, cut your ravioli and get a pot of hot salted water at the ready, they will need about 7-8 minutes to cook…
While you do that, prepare the fennel sauce.
- A handful of fresh fennel
- 25 cl of fresh cream
- 100 g of Young Buck cheese ( or a mild blue)
- 1 organic lemon
- Black pepper
In a hand blender, mix and whiz all the ingredients together until thick; you can heat the sauce up or just scoop it on top of the hot ravioli it will melt nicely with this wonderful dish for July… If you want to cheese it up, a grating of Goat Gouda at the end will do it justice…
Peace and Love everybody!
Keep Well and Eat Happy