vegan parmesan cheese

roasted pumpkin tortellini with sage butter

30th January 2018

Making tortellini does require a little patience and time, however, the final result is worth every fiddly moment and if you get everyone on board in the assembly line filling up the table, it speeds up the process and allows for a wonderfully intimate and fun afternoon together.

roasted pumpkin tortellini with sage butter

4 servings

The fulsome sage butter is soft and simple allowing the pumpkin tortellini to shine through. The addition of the fried sage leaves adds a nice crunch which contrasts with the silkiness of the tortellini.

The inspiration for this post found here.


½ portion pasta dough

pumpkin filling

1 kg pumpkin

1 Tbsp melted ghee/butter

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp fine rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

sage butter and toasted leaves

60g unsalted butter

40 sage leaves – divided

salt and pepper, to taste

4 Tbsp peanut oil

to serve

pine nut parmesan

few rounds of black pepper

a sprinkling of fine rock salt


1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. To make the filling, slice the unpeeled pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then slice each half into 5-6 wedges and place in a large bowl. Drizzle over the melted ghee or butter and toss with your hands until the wedges are sufficiently coated.

3.  Arrange on a lined baking tray and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Allow to cool and scoop the pulp away from its skin with a spoon and place in a medium bowl and with a hand blender, puree until smooth. Allow to drain through a cloth or fine sieve for 1 hour.

4.  Place the pumpkin back into the bowl and sprinkle over the nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir to combine.

5.  Prepare the dough, divide the pasta dough into thirds. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered. Follow the detailed instructions here. Roll your dough as thin as possible – #6 on pasta roller.

6.  To shape the tortellini, cut the sheet of pasta into rounds using a 3-inches cutter or tin. Gather the scraps into a ball and put them with the remaining pieces of dough to roll later.

7.  To fill the tortellini, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each round. (Don’t be tempted to overfill, otherwise, they will break and you will have a hard time sealing them.) Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edges of the circle. Fold the rounds into a crescent shape, pressing the top together carefully and pressing out any air trapped inside and then working your way along the sides. Bend the bottom two corners round to meet each other and press well to seal. Set aside, spacing them apart slightly, on well-floured board, covered.

8.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, re-rolling the scraps. (It is important to work on a well-floured surface, to avoid the tortellini sticking as you repeat with remaining pieces of dough.) Cover with a cloth, or if you are making them a few hours in advance lightly dust them with semolina flour.

9.  When ready to cook, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. While waiting for the water to boil, make the sage butter.

sage butter

10.  Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add half the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.

11.  Toast the remaining sage leaves, in a small skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat and fry 6 – 8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels.

12.  Once the water is boiling, gently drop the tortellini into the water and cook 1½ – 2 minutes – they will rise to the top. Gently lift out with a slotted spoon onto individual plates.

13.  To serve, drizzle with the sage butter, sprinkle over a few spoons of pine nut parmesan, a few rounds of pepper and decorate with the crispy sage leaves. The tortellini goes well with a plate of sauteed kale or nettles.

late summer vegetable dish served with couscous

29th September 2015


For Yasmin – a favourite of yours and a thank-you for all your patience in holding those heavy skillets, plates, seeds, vegetables and flowers in all sorts of elements – wind, rain, cold and in all those inconvenient times…Xx

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This is one of the weekly lunches I make for the children to take to school, Jonathan to work and for me to have my first meal at around 11-ish.  I have a list in the kitchen of meals which I refer to so I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to make when I start cooking early morning and the combination works for everyone’s likes and dislikes. 


late summer vegetable dish served with whole-wheat couscous

Serves 4

This dish is perfect when needing a simple, soft tasting dish.  The key is the lightly cook the vegetables so they remain vibrant and firm.  When needing a more hearty, protein dish instead of the potatoes, add 1 cup cooked chickpeas. When available, corn fresh off the cob is a nice addition. The couscous is great as it cooks up in only 10 minutes.  Whole wheat couscous is a finely crushed form of durum wheat semolina, less processed than pasta with more fibre and nutrients.

for the couscous

2 cups whole-wheat couscous

3 cups boiling water

1 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp salt

for the vegetables

2 Tbsp ghee/olive oil

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1 fresh/dried bay leaf

2 carrot, chopped into diagonals

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut

½ – 1 cup water

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced into rounds/2 sticks celery

1 zucchini or handful of green beans, chopped into diagonals

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

3 Tbsp small dried currants

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh coriander/parsley

¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts/pine nut parmesan


1.  Place the couscous in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil and salt, pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover and leave for 10 minutes, when ready to serve fluff up with a fork.

2.  Place the potatoes in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until soft and cooked.

3.  In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the oil, when hot add the yellow mustard seeds and saute for a few seconds, then add the bay leaf, celery, carrots, red pepper, and green beans – cover and simmer for 4 minutes or more.

4.  Once the vegetables have softened slightly but still firm and vibrant, add the soft potatoes and currants – simmer for a further 2 more minutes.

5.  Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and a generous few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

To serve, spoon the couscous into a deep plate, bowl or lunch box.  Sprinkle over a good helping of fresh parsley or coriander.  Spoon the vegetables onto the centre of the couscous.  Drizzle with a good tasting olive oil, a generous sprinkling of pine nut parmesan or toasted pine nuts, garnish again with freshly chopped coriander or parsley and a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.


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