Tortellini or Ravioli…You Choose…

Pasta parcels stuffed with minced beef, pine nuts and parsley.


These little lovelies are stuffed with a filling that is usually used in a Lebanese Yoghurt and Dumpling Soup which I will one day blog.

But for now this is what I’ve been craving for a few days.

Pasta dough:-

(enough for 3-4 serves)

1 & 1/4 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 tsp olive oil

Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and olive oil. With a fork break up the eggs and slowly start bringing the flour into the middle with the egg. Once all the flour has been mixed into the egg tip it all out onto a clean floured surface and using your hands bring it together into a ball and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Cover and let it rest while you prepare the filling.



175g lean beef mince

1/2 small onion – finely diced

1 large clove garlic – finely diced

2 Tblsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley

1 Tblsp pine nuts – lightly toasted (optional)

salt, pepper, cinnamon to taste


Mix altogether in a small bowl.


If you don’t have a pasta roller, roll out the dough very thinly. If you do roll the dough out to number 5 on the setting wheel.


I recently bought a ravioli mould so I though I’d try it out.



Think I need a little practice on it, but not too bad for a first go.

Or you can make tortellini by cutting out little circles (about 5 – 6 cm diameter). Place a little filling (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) in the centre of each circle. Fold each over to form a half moon and pinch the edges together to seal. Bring the corners of the flat egde together and press them tightly to form the ravioli.


Leave on a floured surface or clean tea towel while you get the pasta sauce ready.

Simple tomato pasta sauce:-

2 Tblsp olive oil

1/2 brown onion – finely diced

3-4 cloves garlic – crushed

1 x 400g can diced tomato

1 – 2 tsp dried Italian herbs or (if you’re lucky enough) some of your favourite fresh herbs i.e. basil, oregano, lemon thyme, chilli etc.

Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large fry pan heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring for a minute or two then carefully add the tomato and give it a good stir. Add your herbs, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down and you have a thick luscious sauce.


Bring a large sauce pan of water to a rapid boil. Add a couple teaspoons of salt and gently lower your tortellini or ravioli into the water, give a little stir. Once the pasta floats to the surface, give it 5 -6 minutes more then lift them out with a slotted spoon and add them to the pasta sauce.



Toss together for a couple of minutes and it’s ready to serve.








Fun Food Friday (Nachos)

Friday night at our place is Fun Food Friday. It’s the end of the working week and we can sit back with some wine or beer and look forward to work free weekend. Unless, of course, my husband has to work on Saturday in which case we make Fun Food Friday really count……Image

Beef and Bean Chilli

To a small saucepan add 2 tbs olive oil, 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1/2 finely diced brown onion and 2 finely chopped red chillies and cook on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions start to brown on the edges. Be sure to stir occasionally.

To this then add 1 tsp each cumin seeds, fennel seeds and hot or medium paprika, and 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, tumeric, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper (optional, depending on how much heat you like). Stir well and cook for 1 minute before adding 200g lean beef mince and stirring in really well, making sure to break up any clumps, until the beef is browned.

Throw in 200g diced canned tomato (with the juice), 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt.

Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down to low, half cover the saucepan with a lid and let it simmer away gently for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 200g canned 4 bean mix (or whatever beans you like – red kidney works very well), mix it all in and allow to continue simmering for another 10 – 15 minutes.

I love serving with lots of corn chips, grated tasty cheese, some hot tomato salsa, sour cream or Greek yoghurt and heaps of guacamole :

In a bowl mix together 2 mashed avocados, 1/4 very finely diced or grated brown onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp  salt, sprinkle of pepper and a sprinkle ground cumin.Image Tonight meal was accompanied by a glass of Peter Van Gent Verdelho for me and a Coopers premium Lager for  Brian.



Lahme B’Ajeen (Lebanese Pizza)

image This is a go to recipe when I’m running a little short on time or when I feel like a pizza without wanting an actual cheesy pizza. I found these pitta breads in my local butcher of all places. They’re perfect for this dish. You’ll need :-Image 400g lean minced beef 1 medium onion – finely diced 2 medium tomatoes – finely diced Salt, pepper, cinnamon (to taste) Pitta or Lebanese bread. In a bowl mix together the beef, onion, tomato and seasonings. (Mum adds finely chopped flat leaf parsley too but I didn’t have any. Still tastes great though. Image Spread the mix evenly over the bread and grill until brown and cooked. Yes, that simple. Serve with a salad or a plate of spring onion, radish and lots of lemon. Chilli sauce is great squeezed on them too. EnjoyImage