Having lived here for almost two years now (I know, where has that gone?), the one thing I love about the place is how Bavarians find something really special in almost every season…
The Winter is obviously all about gearing up to Christmas, and the mass of Christkindlemarkts that line the streets is of course legendary. This moves rapidly in to ski season, which lasts well into Spring, and then straddling this we have the Carnival celebrations. Then, as the weather slowly begins to warm up, and the bier-gartens begin to open, a little further field the Alps become a hiker’s paradise – where instead of lazing on a beach, the tops of mountains become the sun-worshipers pitch of choice…
And then on into Autumn, perhaps the busiest time of them all! Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Bierfests, Kartoffel Fests, Plum Fests, and taking place around about now Pumpkin Fests (or Kürbis Fests as they are better known here!) (amongst countless other fests too I hasten to add!)…
You might think that you would have to stretch things a bit to put on a whole festival celebrating all things gourd, but believe me, it can be done as this particular festival demonstrated. There were pumpkins to be found in all colours, varieties, shapes and sizes. The obligatory Largest Pumpkin Competition awaited the Judge’s decision (whilst being guarded a short distance away by their fiercely competitive owners – busy glowering at each other over a bier!).
The vast Market place with every possible pumpkin specimen under the sun, delicacies of the cake, pizza and chocolate variety (pumpkin of course!), and stilt walkers with what looked like butternuts on their heads. Add to this the usual flurry of bier stalls, bratwurst vendors, a beautiful setting, live music, plenty of general merriment (and of course a glorious wedding), and you have a recipe for a pretty good day out (especially if your favourite colour is orange!)…
225g 00 Pasta flour;
a pinch of sea salt;
2 free range eggs;
3 egg yolks;
tablespoon of oil
500g pumpkin (we used a Hokkaido Squash);
2 tablespoons olive oil;
50g grated parmesan;
half an onion finely chopped;
50g fine dried white breadcrumbs;
salt and pepper
Sift the flour into a mound, make a well, and put the eggs and other ingredients into this. Then feel virtuous as you burn calories kneading for ten minutes. Use a pasta machine and roll until you have long thin sheets of the desired thickness;
Heat oven to 180DegC and roast the peeled and de-seeded pumpkin in one tablespoon of the olive oil for one hour. Leave to cool, and then blitz in a food processor together with the dried breadcrumbs. Sweat the onion in the rest of the oil, and add to the pumpkin mix, together with the parmesan. The mixture should be quite dry, so add more breadcrumbs if necessary.
Cut the pasta into squares, brush with egg white and add a teaspoon of filling (making sure to expel all the air or they will burst when you cook them!). Dust the finished raviolis with flour, and cook in a pan of boiling water for two minutes. Serve with a sage butter or just a little olive oil and lots of parmesan!
I could do with some inspiration for our second purchase though? I have never cooked a spaghetti squash before – answers on a postcard please!!