Excuse my self-indulgence, as this post is a thinly-disguised opportunity to write about a little something I’m proud of.

I fatter myself that I have a green thumb.  Growing up with a golf superintendent/landscape manager Dad and Mum being an avid gardener, I’ve been encouraged to grow things from an early age.  In fact, the balcony of our little suburban flat holds a healthy aloe vera plant, an overachieving frangipani (that flowered twice last summer and is set to do so again), and Matt’s ‘pet’ bromeliad (Brom), our ‘pet’ pineapple (Spike) and Spanish moss.

But by far more interesting and impressive are the window boxes full of herbs that abide there.  Here’s a sneak peak of them:

Parsley and Mint

I was excited when my Dad brought me 2 parsleys, a mint, a coriander and a sage plant from a trade show he’d been at.  These were added to my rosemary, oregano and thyme plants already in residence.  Now I have a great little patch from which to season endless numbers of meals.  And I can tell you: fresh picked herbs have much superior flavour to dried, bottled or store-bought herbs.  You should grow some!

Thyme and Oregano

So what should I make with my fresh herbs?  Why not some fresh pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with sage butter sauce?

Ingredients:

1 quantity of pasta dough (see Dinner for the Parents for dough recipe.  You don’t need the parsley)
1 tub ricotta
1 cup pumpkin (I used butternut), chopped and steamed
1 handful shaved parmesan
1 small handful pinenuts, toasted in a dry pan
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper
60g butter
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
Additional shaved parmesan to serve

Mix together ricotta, pumpkin, parmesan, pinenuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl, mashing the pumpkin a little.  Set aside.

Using a pasta machine, roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets (I rolled it out to the 2nd thinnest setting on my machine).  Lay out flat.

Take 1 sheet and dot teaspoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture about 2cm apart in rows on the sheet, leaving a border around each spoonful to be able to seal the ravioli.  Brush around each spoonful with a little water and top with another sheet.

Slice in between each row, then seal each ravioli by pushing a fork down around the edges.  This makes it look rustic too.

Pumpkin ravioli

Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook ravioli in batches (not too many at a time to avoid sticking) until it is al dente.

Meanwhile, place butter and sage in a small saucepan and cook on low heat until butter turns nut brown and the sage becomes crisp.

Serve ravioli topped with burnt butter and sage sauce and parmesan.  Delish!

Not very colourful, but simple and delicious!

Any suggestions for ravioli fillings and toppings?  Let us know!

Lyn x

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