Pumpkin and orange soup

Hello there! Here I am, finally back posting a new, tasty recipe. This one is perfect for these colder days, and with aromas of orange you’ll be transported to some nice tropical island … A dish I really needed as there is quite an intense, but awesome and positive week behind me. Besides some awesome work related things, I had also the pleasure of lecturing at Hekovnik’s start:Ecommerce workshop and Friday visiting the 16th Slovenian Wine Festival. After resting the weekend I’m really excited to start this new week.

This dish is really quick and simple to make, as it will take you approximately 3o minutes for it. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Ingredients for 4:

  • 700 g muscat pumpkin,
  • 800 ml vegetable or chicken stock,
  • 100 ml cream,
  • 1 orange,
  • 1 onion,
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1 tbsp butter,
  • thyme,
  • salt and pepper,
  • 1 sheet ready made puff pastry (for decoration),
  • 1 egg.

Start with the puff pastry. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut pastry to vertical stripes, approximately 1 cm thick. Beat the egg and use a brush to spread it over the puff pastry. Cover them with thyme springs and set to bake for 15 minutes.

Clean, peal and cut the pumpkin to cubes. Chop the onion and garlic. Melt butter on medium heat, add onion and leave to soften up, add the and leave to infuse. Add pumpkin and allow to soften. Then add stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Grate half of orange zest and squash its juice. After 10 minutes blend the soup to a velvety texture with the help of an immersion blender. Add pinch of thyme springs, orange zest and juice and cream while blending. Taste and if needed adjust with salt and pepper.

Pour it in plates and top with thyme infused puff pastry.


Beetroot tagliatelle with pancetta, pear, arugula and toasted pine nuts

Beetroot tagliatelle with pancetta, pear, arrugula and toasted pine nuts

Making a visit to the store yesterday I got this nice pack of pears and it instantly reminded me of this recipe. Try it this week-end, I assure you won’t regret it.

For a lunch for 2 you’ll need following ingredients.

For the pasta:

  • approximately 75 g of cooked beetroot
  • 200 g 00 or semolina flour
  • pinch of salt
  • some flour for dusting

For the sauce:

  • 6 thin slices of dried pancetta (look for one that was not smoked)
  • 2 matured pears
  • 100 g fresh arugula
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • pepper
  • salt
  • thyme
  • knob of butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cook the beetroot, peel, dice and blend it with an immersion blender. Mix together egg, pinch of salt and beetroot paste, add to flour and knead together until obtaining a consistent dough. You might need to add a bit more of flour because it tends to get more sticky than other pasta doughs. Knead for approximately 15 minutes. Wrap in clinging film and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a tiny sheet and cut into stripes. You can check this post on information on how to cut pasta and her various shapes.

Now for the sauce. Use a large, non sticky pan. Warm it on medium fire, place pancetta slices into and cook them until crisp. Remove them from the pan leaving the fat behind.

Cut the pears into quarters, remove seeds and cut them into slices, leaving the skin on. Put them in the pan, onto the fat of pancetta. Add butter, salt, pepper, thyme and cook until golden. Take them out of the pan and set aside.

Add pine nuts onto all of the juices in the pan, sprinkle over sugar and cook until sugar has started to caramelize and pine nuts start to toast. Add pears to the pan and coat them into caramel.

Bring water to the boil and add in pasta. This pasta cooks really quickly so check if it’s “al dente” fast (10 – 15 seconds might do it). Add pasta to the pan with sauce. Add to it arugula, almost all of the crispy pancetta and shake it well to coat all ingredients.

Serve the pasta on large plates. Put it on the center of the plate and top it with few slices of remaining pancetta, slices of Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on some good extra virgin olive oil.

Now all that is left for you is to enjoy the meal.

Quince tart

Quince tart
Quince tart

Well, couple of last days were quite hectic, visiting family and friends, celebrating 3 birthday parties … I really needed something to calm. And what better way to relax than by making a nice tart?

We brought a ton of fruit from our last visit to Bosnia, so it was time to do something as it would be a shame wasting it. I never did anything with quince, so this was quite an experiment. I love their aroma and I still remember from my childhood memories the smell of its compote.

So here goes the recipe.

You’ll need a tart tin of 28 cm Ø, baking paper and baking beans.

For the dough:

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 ml medium sweet wine
  • 200 g sugar
  • 450 g 00 flour
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 800 g Quince (peeled and diced)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 allspice whole
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the topping:

  • 600 g Quince (peeled)
  • 200 g sugar
  • water
  • zest of 1 lemon

Start by making the dough. Beat softened butter, sugar and salt until obtaining a fine cream, then add gradually flour and wine into the mixture until obtaining a compact dough. Wrap in cling film and set in fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Roll thin the dough on a surface dusted with flour and place in tart tin. Pinch bottom of dough with fork, cover it with baking paper and lay beans on top, to prevent the dough raising from the bottom of the tin. Place in the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. After that remove from top baking paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

Meanwhile prepare filling. Put all the ingredients except sugar to the pot and allow it to soften up. Add sugar and cook for another 15 – 20 minutes so that it thickens up and you get a filling that resembles marmalade. Remove allspice and cinnamon and set aside to cool down.

Lay the filling onto the dough and bake at 180 °C for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the topping. Peal Quinces, cut into quarters and remove seeds. Place them into a pot, add sugar, lemon zest and cover with water. Cook for maximum half an hour or until soft.

Take quince quarters out of the water and cut into tiny slices. Top them on the baked tart, cover with a bit of icing sugar and return to the oven. Position it on the top layer so that it makes a crust on top of the tart (be careful and don’t repeat my rookie mistake here, I added to less sugar on top and while I was waiting for the crust edges overcooked a bit – better luck next time I presume …).

Allow to cool down and serve with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.