It’s been sooooo long since the last time I’ve been here.Way too long….I know.
I could moan that the time has never been generous to me,I could also find billions of excuses why I abandoned my beloved space for over a month.I could blame several things:the attention this very long post needed(I’ve assembled the longest gif ever!),my latest addiction to Instagram(wow!all this talents!),super exciting news about my course on Engage Live in September(can’t wait!),celebrating the fact that my photo has been short listed in Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year(yeah!),and also my latest visit to Poland.I could…The truth,why I haven’t been here for such a while is that……..there has been a lot going on……in my head.
I’ve been trying to harness my crazy minds.There have been a lot of thoughts lying there dormant for a while and suddenly they’ve all just gone wild.
Today’s world is the ideal place for the artists to thrive,isn’t it?It’s never in the history been so easy to show the work we create.The power of the internet and social media is huuuuge,you ”sell” yourself with one click of the button,while sitting in your PJs,sipping still steaming cuppa.Whatever you need is there.Is here.Within your hand’s reach.All this super talented people from different corners of the world you can talk to,the amazing inspirations wherever you look,informations you are curious about,articles you want to read,possibilities you dream of.
It’s so easy….convenient…..exciting…..and so overwhelming.
I’ve thrown myself into the race to compete with my worst enemy-the time.There is so many things I want to learn,so many people I want to spend time with,so many blogs I want to read,movies I want to watch,recipes I want to make,places I want to go to…..There was only one thing I haven’t got to do it all…….enough time.And as you can imagine it’s kind of a problem.I’ve been up to my ears with ‘to do’ lists:”urgent”, “today”, “tomorrow”, “soon”,”this month”,they’ve been getting longer and longer.I cross one thing out,adding three more to the list at the same time.
I become overinspired,my mind was overflowing with ideas and informations,RED LIGHT,WARNING and a piercing sound of fire siren:I’m OVERLOADED!
It felt like I’ve been pushed into a washing machine,trying to keep my balance while whirling like crazy.I don’t like this pace.I don’t want to whiz through my life,I want to live every minute of it.I need a change.I need to slow down.That’s the plan.
This changes will only influence this space for the better.There might not be a new post every week but there will be more time to create mouth-watering recipes,more time to share some inspiring photos,more talks about simple things that really matter.
I really hope you’ll spend all this slow,beautiful moments with me xxx
Ps.Give artist some support!Vote for your favourite photo in Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year!You can find my image in food blogger category(eggy one).I’ll be chuffed with your vote!
Let me tell you a little about the recipe.It’s been inspired by my latest visit to Jamie’s Italian.The idea for this amazing lasagna packed with fresh veggies was born while I was slowly savouring the amazing pasta dish with a fancy name too difficult to remember(hang on!just checked it on google-it was vegetable rotolo al forno).I could see it,fresh layers of pasta,mashed squash,tomatoes,ricotta….As it turned out couple of hours later after purchasing Jamie’s latest book that he had the same vision…..few years ago. 🙂 I’ll forgive him to ‘steal’ my recipe before I even thought about it for one simple reason:he is an amazing guy!
This recipe is much different to Jamie’s though.I used whole eggs for the pasta instead of just yolks,added some sweet potatoes,celeriac,leaving out dry mushrooms,aubergine,vino and heavy white sauce.I also added some lemon to ricotta layer to make the dish fresher and decided to sprinkle parmesan only on the top layer.It’s comforting but light.
It’s the best vegetarian lasagna you can imagine.
pasta sheets(scroll down for the recipe)
1 small squash(800g)
250g sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
4 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
piece of celery root(120g)
160 tomato puree
300 ml water
fresh black pepper
400 g spinach
few springs of fresh oregano
500 g ricotta cheese
fresh juice from 1/2 lemon
50g Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.Halve the squash lengthways and deseed it.You don’t have to peel it although I always do 🙂 Slice it into 2cm pieces.Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2cm pieces too.Sprinkle with olive oil,chilli powder,salt and pepper.Roast in the over for 50 minutes.Remove after that time and mash really well,seasoning more if needed.
For the red sauce,peel the onion,garlic,carrots and celery root,then finely chopped them all.Pour some olive oil into a big pan and add chopped veg and cook for around 15 minutes until softened.Mix water with tomato puree and pour over the veg.Season with salt and pepper and cook it until completely soft,stirring occasionally.
Put a pan on a high heat with a splash of olive oil and oregano leaves.Cook it for around a minute and add spinach(I tend to chop mine before) and cook for around 15 minutes.Remove excess of water if needed.
Mix ricotta cheese with lemon juice.
FUN TIME-let’s make lasagna!
Cover the bottom of the dish with some olive oil.Cover the base with pasta sheet.Spread 1/4 of the red sauce,top with 1/3 squash,1/3 ricotta and 1/3 spinach bombs.Repeat two more times,spreading only a layer of red sauce at the top layer of pasta.You can cover it with grated parmesan cheese now or about 15 minutes before the cooking time ends.Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
Let’s do some PASTA!
150g ”00” pasta flour
1 tsp virgin olive oil
couple of tablespoons of water(if needed)
1.Pile the flour and semolina in a bowl,make a well and crack the eggs in the middle.Add olive oil,then using a fork whip up the eggs with the flour.When it becomes too hard to mix,knead it with your hands into a ball of dough for around 3-5 minutes.When you find it to hard to knead,add some water(about 1-2 tablespoons).The dough should be quite elastic but not too wet or too dry.
2.Place the dough in a bowl and cover with clean cotton tea towel.Rest for 30 minutes.
3.Roll it out on a lightly flour surface into long sheets of pasta(fitting your dish).I always divide the dough into two bowls and roll out two long sheets,each sheets will cover two layers.
Does it make sense? 🙂 So it’s 4 layers of pasta all together 🙂
I often make a bigger batch of pasta,keep it in the fridge and use it the next day for dinner or freeze it 🙂