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I’m still loving my weekly organic box deliveries. Summer provided plenty of zucchini and tomatoes, but as we ease into autumn, the box has also changed to reflect the new season.

Last week, that meant carrots and pumpkin amongst other autumn fruits and vegetables.

Yesterday was cold and damp, the perfect day for a smooth, warm, comforting soup.

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Carrot and Pumpkin Soup

Adapted from Eatliverun

Ingredients:
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup pumpkin puree (mashed roasted pumpkin)

2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 shallot, minced

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 Tablespoons olive oil

Croutons, pumpkin seeds and flax oil to garnish

Directions:

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the minced shallot and sauté until tender, about five minutes.

  • Add the ginger and sauté for another three-four minutes.
  • Add the chopped carrots, pumpkin puree, broth, coriander, garam masala and salt, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until carrots are tender.
  • Carefully transfer to a blender and puree. Serve with croutons, pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of flax oil.
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    Simple and scrumptious!

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    *I found this prepared post deep in my drafts. It may not be spring and there is certainly no white asparagus available at the moment, but I still wanted to share a simple, elegant, delicious recipe. I hope you all have had a wonderful start to your work week.

    I love Italian and Indian food, both of which are very vegetarian friendly.

    In the land of sausages and salami however, being a vegetarian doesn’t make traditional food very accessible.

    I sometimes feel a bit guilty for refusing to eat the food that is so important to the German culture.

    Luckily, there are a few traditional German dishes that I adore, in all their meat-free ways.

    This simple, spring soup is one of my favorite traditional dishes, spargelcremesuppe or cream of asparagus soup.

    Using the white asparagus from my CSA box, this recipe was not only traditional, but local, too.

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    White Asparagus Soup

    Adapted from this recipe

    Makes 4 servings

    Ingredients

    1/2 c. chopped onion

    2 Tablespoons butter

    1- 1 1/2 pounds white asparagus, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces, heads reserved

    2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

    4 cups vegetable broth

    1/2 cup cream

    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Dry white wine, to taste

    Parsley for garnish

    Method

    1. Peel the asparagus from the head down. Remove the heads and reserve for later. Cut off and dispose the woody ends of the asparagus then cut the remaining asparagus into small pieces.
    2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter until soft. Add the pieces of asparagus (minus the heads) and the potatoes, steam for 5 minutes. Add the broth and boil gently for about 30 minutes, or until the asparagus is very soft.
    3. Purée the soup using a hand blender.
    4. Bring the soup to a simmer and add the reserved asparagus heads. Cook at least 5 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. Remove from heat and add the cream.
    5. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Stir in a splash or two of white wine or vermouth. Garnish with parsley.

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    Good things come to those who wait.

    This phrase couldn’t be more true than when it comes to shopping in Germany. Generally, most products are much more expensive in Germany compared to the USA.

    Luckily, there have been several times when waiting has proven to provide excellent discounts and savings on products I desperately wanted.

    A few weekends ago, it happened again.

    I found the pasta maker that I’ve been eyeballing since October for almost half the price.

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    Rather than the original €130 price tag, this beauty was reduced to €70.

    Admittedly, €70 is still a lot for a single kitchen appliance, but this is one of those items that time has not crossed off of my wish list.

    Just a day later, I put my new toy into action.

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    9 months after taking my Italian cooking course, I finally was able to use the recipe for homemade pasta.

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    I cut the prepared dough into four portions then started running the dough through the pasta maker one portion at a time.

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    Fresh, homemade tagliatelle.

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    I boiled half of the fresh pasta in salted water for dinner and dried the other half to be given as a gift.

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    A wire hanger makes a great drying rack for pasta. I imagine a thicker wooden hanger would be even better.

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    I enjoyed my homemade pasta with a spicy tomato cream sauce, similar to this recipe.

    Homemade Tagliatelle

    Recipe reposted from the original post which contains photo instructions for making the dough and rolling/ cutting the pasta by hand.

    Ingredients

    For 4 servings

    • 200 grams. all-purpose flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • good pinch of salt
    • drizzle of olive oil

    Method

    1. Create a large circular well in the flour which goes all the way down to the cooking surface. Crack the eggs inside the well and add the salt and a little olive oil.
    2. Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs pulling in flour from the side as you go. Keep the well sturdy and continue pulling in flour. Continue to whisk in the flour until you have only a small well-wall left.
    3. Begin to knead in the remaining flour with your finger tips. Work gently at first and then, as the dough starts to harden, knead regularly.
    4. The dough will be quite dry. Keep kneading for about 10 minutes or until your dough is smooth and elastic.
    5. Make a ball with the ugly sides under and then squeeze out your dough until it is like a thick pancake. Dust your working table very lightly and dust the top of your ball of dough.
    6. Using a rolling pin, start in the center and push all your weight into a back and forth motion until you reach the ends. Rotate the dough 45 degrees and then repeat.
    7. Keep rolling out the dough and when it becomes too big, have a friend hold down the ends for you or simply fold some of the dough over the edge of the table and lightly lean on it. Roll until your dough is about 2 mm thick.
    8. Fold in two inches of the ends of your dough on both sides. Dust with flour then fold over again on both sides. Dust and repeat until you reach the middle. Fold the two ends on top of one another.
    9. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down through your pasta to create a uniform width of about 1/2 cm. Keep slicing without moving your already cut pasta.
    10. Grab a hold of the first layer of pasta and shake out to separate the strands and remove excess flour. Pile up.
    11. Cook your pasta in a pot of boiling water which is very well salted (as in one whole handful of salt.) When you add the pasta the water will stop boiling. Once it begins to boil again, your pasta is cooked.
    12. Remove the pasta from the water and add directly into your prepared sauce. You may need to add a little more pasta water.
    13. Serve your pasta with more parmesan, salt and pepper.

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    The final vegetables to be used from last week’s vegetable box delivery was another new to me veggie- fava beans.

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    These double pod beans have the most protective surroundings I’m aware of.

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    After removing the beans from the large sponge-like-lined bean pods, I tossed the beans into boiling water to blanch.

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    Post blanched fava beans.

    The job to prepare these well-packed beans is not over yet.

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    Simple tear a bit off the end of the protective skin and give a little squeeze to the beans.

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    The fava beans should easily slip out. Now, the beans are ready to be used.

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    Spinach stuffed ravioli made the perfect base for a simple sundried tomato and fava bean topping.

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    Once the fava beans were shelled, this dish was ready in 15 minutes.

    Ravioli with Sundried Tomatoes and Fava Beans

    Recipe slightly adapted from The Italian Dish

    serves 2

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups fresh fava beans, pods removed

    2 servings prepared ravioli

    2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

    1 medium onion, diced

    2 cloves garlic

    1/4 cup pine nuts

    1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    6 sundried tomatoes, sliced

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

    2-4 Tablespoons grated pecorino cheese, plus more for garnishing

    12 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

    Method

    1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Put another large pot of salted water on to boil to blanch the fava beans.
      Place a large bowl of ice water next to your stovetop.
    2. When the blanching water boils, throw the shelled fava beans into the pot and blanch them for about one minute.  Remove them  to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Remove the translucent skin from the beans by peeling off a bit of the skin and gently squeezing the beans.
    3. Add the ravioli to the pasta water to cook and start preparing your sauce.
    4. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter, the onion and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook until the onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes.
    5. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook until both have begun to toast, about 2 minutes, stirring often to keep the garlic from burning.
    6. Add the red pepper flakes, oregano and 3/4 cup of the pasta water and mix to combine.  Add the fava beans.
    7. When the ravioli begins to float, remove with a strainer and add right to the skillet with the onion and fava bean mixture.  Gently toss until the pasta is coated with the sauce, about 1 minute.
    8. Remove the skillet from the heat.  Add the salt and pepper, the rest of the butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the grated pecorino cheese and the basil and mix everything together well.  Serve sprinkled liberally with more pecorino and black pepper.

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    Enjoy!

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    While writing my pizza post from last night, I realized I never shared the previous week’s pizza.

    This pizza was too good not to share.

    I had a fennel bulb from my CSA delivery that needed to be used so I slowly cooked the thinly sliced bulb in a bit of olive oil along with a red onion until just before tender.

    I then poured in a couple heavy glugs of balsamic vinegar and continued to cook the mixture until the vinegar reduced by over half and became thick.

    Fresh yeast pizza dough naturally formed the base of the pizza, topped with a very light brushing of tomato sauce and then the fennel mixture. I used fresh mozzarella and goat cheese along with sliced black olives.

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    This combination was amazing.

    Once baked and out of the oven, I sprinkled some of the fennel greens over top.

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    Sweet balsamic and salty cheese.

    Delicious!

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