I love trying new things in life. Learning a new language, get a new hobby, travel to places I haven’t been yet and of course trying new foods. Growing up, we usually ate a lot of the same things for dinner; boiled potatoes, boiled vegetables and a piece a meat and in winter time the Dutch ‘stampots’. Of course those three things would vary every day and when my mom had less time to cook we would  occassionally eat pasta bolognese or lasagne. (I love lasagne) When I started living on my own I was delighted that I could choose every evening what I wanted to eat.

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When we moved to a different city and I went to a different secondary school, I met my best friend and her parents introduced me to the wonderful world of ‘culinaire hoogstandjes’. Literally translated ‘culinary delights’. When I went on holidays with them I tried escargots, sushi, oysters, lobster, all kinds of fish, mussels, crab, chicken masala. The list goes on and on. They even got my father to try escargots once. Who would have thought that.

I have to say that the boiled potatoes, veggies and meat situation at my parents house has changed overtime though. My dad started taking an interest in cooking at the end of last year and I couldn’t be happier. It is so nice to be able to share the same interest and experience and of course learn new things from each other.

Anyway, I’m drifting away from my original point; trying new things. I have recently decided to start cook and eat one vegetarian meal a week. Not as a new years resolution, but I want it to become a habit. Why? To be honest it is not for environmental or health reasons, but simply because I want more variety in my diet and I want to try new things. I always had this idea that vegetarian food was kind of boring. Mostly because I never put too much thought or effort into it, but I this is week 2 now of my personal ‘More Veggies challenge’ and I would like to share my first More veggies recipe. (I did not make this all by myself btw, I made this last Sunday with one of my good friends.)

Raviolli with mushroom and ricotta

Ingredients (2 people)

For the ravioli dough and filling
200 grams of flour
2 eggs
250 grams of chestnust mushrooms
125 grams of ricotta
handful of parsley

For the pasta sauce
250 grams of mushrooms
100 ml of cooking cream

Method
Ravioli dough and filling
1. Make your pasta dough. I have written out my recipe in this article. It is a lot of work, but if you have a buddy like me it is so much fun and very therapeutical haha. While your pasta dough is resting in the fridge, you can continue with the next steps.
2. Take your chestnut mushrooms and put them in a food processor. Turn it on and let the machine chop the mushroom into really tiny pieces.
3. Add the parsley and add it to the mushrooms in the food processor and chop until it is mixed well into the mushroom.
4. Put a pan on the stove, turn the stove on and add some oil to the pan. When the pan is hot add the mushroom-parsley mixture. Add some salt and pepper if necessary.
5. After a minute or two add the ricotta and stir until it is a smooth mixture.
6. When the 20 minutes are up start rolling out your dough (this is the fun part if I say so myself.) Don’t forget to put flour on the surface you will leave your rolled-out dough on when you are processing the rest. Make sure to place them neatly next to each other.
7. Put a pan with boiling water on the stove.
8. When all your dough has been rolled into sheets it is time to add the filling. Grab a teaspoon and place the filling on the pasta sheets. Leave about 4 cm between each dot of filling.
9. Grab a second sheet and place this neatly over the sheet with the filling. Make sure to not leave any airbubbles in the dough by pressing with your fingers around the filling towards the edges.
10. Repeat step 8 and 9 until all your dough is gone. Cut off any large pieces of dough on the side that you might have. You cannot use this again though, considering it will become very tough.
11. Make sure the water is boiling when you put the pasta in the pan. Drop them in the water gently with a spatula. Preferably one that has holes in it. Boil for 2-3 minutes and take the pasta out with the spatula. You might not be able to cook al the pasta in one go. My friend and I did it in batches of 5-6 pieces at a time.

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The pasta sauce
1. Chop the mushrooms in quarters. Put a pan on the stove. Add some oil and the mushroom and fry until cooked.
2. Add the cooking cream and cook until the mushrooms are tender and you have a nice creamy sauce.
3. If you have any filling left you can always add this to the sauce.
4. Add some salt and pepper and perhaps some parsley to taste.

This pasta might not win a beauty contest, but I can assure you that it was delicious. Homemade pasta already tastes so much better in my opinion than the premade one you get in the shop, but it was seriously really good. 20170108_203436

I am very pleased with my first More Veggies result and can’t wait to share more with you. If you have any good vegetarian recipes (with no goats cheese) for me, share them in the comments.

Love Patricia

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