Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Welcome Back - Spinach, Goat's Cheese and Ham Pasta Roulade

Welcome back! I reckon I have to do it and welcome myself back to the kitchen, since no one else is going to do it. Eh, well, how could possibly anyone else but me do this without knowing that I  am actually back in my new flat cooking? I haven't told anyone, have I?
Of course, I mentioned that I am going to move to a new flat and that I didn't have a kitchen to do some proper cooking anymore. Anyway, everything went well with the moving, just two dead and one injured. A friend, who helped, kept on knocking some pieces of furniture against his shinbone. So he had a little bit pain there afterwards, but nothing serious. As to the two dead one ... a clock went to the bin, because I was split in two halves. Then the plastic sign "Maltese on board" in my car broke to pieces. In fact the latter happened after the actual moving day - two days later - when I decided, for what reasons whatsoever, I needed a new bed. So I had no other choice as to transport it in my small sized car. Imagine for yourself ...
Otherwise, things went so well, that actually I didn't need to take a day off from work. However, I  already did. So, apart from getting a dentist appointment at the new dentist, acquainting myself with a new doctor and doing some shopping, I had ample of time to do some proper cooking again ...

Pasta Roulade 4

For that we are going to make some fresh pasta dough, a spinach, goat's cheese and ham filling, a tomato salsa and a béchamel sauce ...
Yes, that it is a bit of work, we have to do here, but ... no worries.

Ingredients (for two greedy people):
Pasta dough:
200 g flour
2 eggs

Roulade filling:
150 g spinach
150 g goat's cheese
100 g ham
Salt, pepper, oregano

Tomato salsa:
Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic
150 g tomatoes
Salt, pepper

Béchamel sauce:
1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
125 ml milk
Salt, nutmeg

First we go for the pasta dough. I would have some more pictures on that, had I checked my camera settings a bit earlier. But I didn't.
Well then, I took a large bowl and sieved in the flour. Then I made a hole in the middle and cracked in the four eggs. With a fork I started bringing the flour and the eggs together. Once this wasn't doing any good anymore, I shifted to using my hands to knead the ingredients together until it looked like on the picture I couldn't use. In other words, knead vigorously, let the glutens out and stop when the dough looks perfect and you can't spot any bits of flour ... roughly speaking.
I wrapped the dough into cling film and put it into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Time to let things rest for a while ...
Onward with the filling. I simply mixed the ingredients together, whereas I used frozen spinach. So after it had melted I drained it before mixing with the other ingredients.
30 minutes over. That brings us to rolling out the dough. I floured my work surface and started rolling, rolling, rolling and rolling as long as I thought necessary. Maybe I could have done a bit more, but ... maybe doesn't count.
I spread the filling over the dough and rolled the roulade together. After that it was wrapped in a kitchen towel, secured with twine and then thrown into hot, boiling, salted water for 35 minutes.
Before that is over, the salsa and the béchamel sauce at to be dealt with. No big deal.
Just heat up a little bit of olive oil in a pan and add some finely chopped garlic. Once the garlic was on its way, I devoted my attention to the tomatoes by chopping them into small pieces. They joined the garlic. A little bit of salt an pepper and let things simmer. A while later I added a bit of water, because the salsa was starting to go dry.
About half way into cooking the roulade is a good time to start the béchamel sauce. Then things can go fine. I melted the butter in a small pot. Then I added the flour and whisked it together and kept on whisking for a while. Meanwhile I heated up the milk in the microwave to add it after 5 minutes of whisking. More whisking until the sauce is nice and smooth. I added a bit of salt. Whisking in between and at the end a little bit of nutmeg. A bit more whisking and ... the roulade should be ready now.

Pasta Roulade 1

Now is the moment for plating up. First some béchamel sauce, a few slices from the roulade carefully placed on the sauce and then the tomato salsa on the side.
Well, that wasn't all my idea. Some years ago, I got a book about Australian cooking from the library and tried this recipe. Maybe I even made a copy of that recipe, but after having moved to a new flat, I have absolutely no idea, where that copy is. So I tried to make this from memory. The original recipe - I don't even remember the name of the book or the recipe - for sure was a bit different, for it used ricotta instead of goat's cheese. About other details ... I don't know. I only know, I was totally satisfied with the result and I have something nice for some other meal in the week already.
So, welcome back to the kitchen. I still have to get a bit used to the new environment and kitchen, but I reckon I will manage.
Since Australia is my favourite country yet to visit, this is my entry for the current Bloggers Around the World: Favourites. Puh, I made it!

I guess, you still have the chance as well ...


  1. Chris, this looks delicious!!!
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Interesting to read news about your moving through cooking around the world.

  3. Welcome back to the land of cooking! Glad you survived the move mostly unscathed.

    1. Thank you, Galina! I am glad, too, and luckily most things in connection with the move are already settled. Time again to concentrate on other important matters ... including cooking.


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