Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sleeping Pumpkins

Ah, pumpkins make for a good nights sleep . . . zzzzz

Saying goodnight to our day brings us on a gentle journey towards sleep, through the puzzle of our thoughts, deep into the labyrinth of our subconscious. Before any journey of significance, a good meal is essential and appropriate, no less is true before sleep. Sleep is a magnificent mystery where we heal and unravel the intricacies of our waking moments.

Another reason to check out Anish Kapoors exhibition 
Our last supper of each day is best enjoyed at least two hours before slumber. This recipe is a super supper for some such time. Gloriously seasonal, soothing and simple as pie, though totally not a pie, a pasta pie perhaps?

Special tip - On the soothing front, a worthy investment in any kitchen is of course a pestle and mortar, mortar and pestle, whatever works for you. The gentle pounding and grinding transform spices from aromatic to an out of this world ambrosial delight. 

Pumpkins aren’t exclusively for Halloween, their mellow flavour is an ode to calm and nourishment. These balls of Orange wonder burst with vitamins and minerals. They stand out for their brightness and will also impart some onto you, as the beta-carotene which gives them their awesome colour may help reverse skin damage caused by the sun and another marvel is the alpha-carotene which slows the aging process. Oh, Pumpkin, you make us feel pretty! So lets salute Sleeping Pumpkins, our taste buds and our skin will be thanking us!

Sleeping pumpkins
Serves 4

Culinary pumpkin 1 small
Nutmeg 1tsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Egg yolks 2
Cream 250 ml
Parmesan 50g
Saffron 7 strands
Lasagne sheets 8
Basil a small bunch.
Rocket and chard 100g
Freshly ground black pepper 

PRE-HEAT oven to 200', gas 6.
CUT pumpkin into chunks, deseed and place on baking tray.
SPRINKLE over nutmeg.
DRIZZLE with oil and season generously.
BAKE for 1/2 hour.
REMOVE pumpkin when ready and allow to cool.
GRIND saffron in a pestle and mortar to release its magnificence.
SCOOP out the pumpkin flesh and place in a blender, with egg yolks, cream, parmesan and saffron.
WIZZ for about thirty seconds until you have smooth sauce.
POUR pumpkin mixture into a saucepan and gently warm through.
BRING a medium sized pan of water to the boil, with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of oil.
ADD Lasagne sheets and cook for 12 minutes, make sure they're Al dente, just as you like them.
DRAIN and lay one sheet in each bowl.
SPOON over half the pumpkin sauce.
TEAR over basil leaves and scatter with the rocket and chard.
REPEAT process and finish off with some freshly ground black pepper.

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