Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Burnt Butter and Sage – Homemade Takeaway – Julie Goodwin

Julie Goodwin's Homemade Takeaway 

Homemade Takeaway by Julie Goodwin ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.

Photography – Steve Brown


Full of flavour and so easy to make – you’ll think you’re in a real Italian trattoria when you eat this.






1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 brown onion, finely diced

400 g ricotta

100 g baby spinach, finely chopped

cup pine nuts, toasted

¼ cup grated parmesan

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 quantity fresh pasta

125 g butter

½ bunch sage, leaves picked

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon sea salt flakes

Block of parmesan, to serve


1 Heat the olive oil in a small frypan over a medium-low heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until translucent, about 3–4 minutes, and then remove from the heat.


2 Place the garlic and onion in a large bowl, then add the ricotta, spinach, pine nuts, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well.


3 Lay a long sheet of pasta on the bench and place tablespoons of the mixture at even intervals along the strip. Using a pastry brush, brush a little water around each mound of filling. Lay a second sheet on top and press closely around the filling, making sure not to leave any air trapped inside. Use a 6 cm cookie cutter to cut around the filling.


4 Melt the butter in the frypan over a medium-high heat and add the sage leaves. Cook until the milk solids in the butter turn brown and the sage leaves start to crisp up.


5 Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Cook the ravioli for around 2 minutes or until the pasta is cooked but still al dente. Using a slotted spoon, divide the ravioli among 4 bowls.


6 Add the lemon zest, juice and salt to the fried sage in the pan and stir, then spoon the burnt butter sauce over the ravioli and serve immediately. Put a block of parmesan and a fine grater on the table for everyone to help themselves.

Ricotta and spinach ravioli

Ricotta and spinach ravioli




This quantity of pasta is for four people, but a good rule of thumb is to use 100 g of flour and 1 egg for each person to be served.





400 g 00 flour (strong flour). Plain flour can be used if strong flour is not available.

4 eggs


1 Place the flour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Start the mixer on the lowest speed. In a bowl, briefly whisk the eggs with a fork and add to the mixer. Knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is very firm. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.


2 Cut the dough into cricket ball–sized pieces and work with one piece at a time. Using a pasta machine, start at the thickest setting and put the pieces of dough through each setting twice until it is the desired thickness. Take the long strip of pasta and fold it in on itself until it is the right width to put back through the machine. Feed it through from the thickest setting again. Repeat this whole process one more time, so that you’ve run from the thickest setting to the desired thickness 3 times in total. Now you can cut the pasta into the desired shape and allow to air-dry, if you are not using it the same day. It can be frozen if you wish.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Julie Goodwin

Julie Goodwin's Homemade Takeaway

 Welcome Julie Goodwin to my blog. As the first winner of Australian Masterchef Julie needs no introduction – her name is synonymous with fresh food and fun family friendly recipes which she shares in her five acclaimed cook books.  Thank you Julie for spending some time with us today.

Ten things You Didn’t Know About Julie Goodwin


I was born in Sydney


I have written 5 cookbooks . Our Family Table, The Heart of the Home, Gather, 20/20 Meals and Home-made Takeaway.


When I was young I played clarinet in Hornsby Concert Band.


My favourite ingredients to cook with are garlic, lemons, eggs.


My biggest cooking disaster was when I opened the door to my dinner guests and the dog got up on the table and ran away with a whole roast chicken in his mouth.


When I am not cooking I am hanging out with my boys and my dogs.


My charity work involves doing various things for Oxfam, ChildFund, McGrath Foundation, Cure for MND Foundation, Coast Shelter.


My favourite book is Beach Music by Pat Conroy


My Masterchef highlights are when I won the cupcake challenge with my Lemon Diva, and cooking at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.


The most treasured items in my kitchen are my teacups and saucers. Some belonged to my nan, some to Mick’s grandma and mother, and others I have collected from various places over the years.

If you would  like to leant more about Julie – her recipes, cooking school (Julie’s Place),blog, charity work and more please click on the link below.


Post Script: Nowhere Girl – Ruth Dugdall

Cover- Nowhere Girl

Nowhere Girl

Ruth Dugdall

Legend Press

ISBN: 9781910394632



A psychological crime novel from an author with 10 years’ experience as a probation officer in high security prisons.


When Ellie goes missing on the first day of Schueberfouer, the police are dismissive, keen not to attract negative attention on one of Luxembourg’s most important events, its annual city fair. Probation officer Cate Austin has moved for a fresh start, along with her daughter Amelia, to live with her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard. But when she realizes just how casually he is taking the disappearance of Ellie, Cate decides to investigate matters for herself. She discovers Luxembourg has a dark heart. With its geographical position, could it be the center of a child trafficking ring? As Cate comes closer to discovering Ellie’s whereabouts she uncovers a hidden world, placing herself in danger, not just from traffickers, but from a source much closer to home.


My View:

An intriguing novel that has a more reflective tone than past works I have read by this author. Ruth Dugdall continues with her Cate Austin’s series but in this episode Cate and her daughter have followed Cate’s new partner detective Oliver Massard to Luxembourg where he lives and works. As Dugdall’s characters embark on a journey of change – a new lifestyle and culture, the emphasis of Dugdall’s writing is likewise extended to include a more global outlook; the crimes of child trafficking and prostitution, the effect of extremist religious beliefs and the subsequent displacement of people trying to escape persecution, PTSD…global issues are juxtaposed against the domestic crime of a local kidnapping. Another layer is added to the narrative when more of Cate’s personal life is revealed as she battles with issues of the past – some things you cannot whitewash over…the past and the present are irrevocably connected and until acknowledged Cate seems “stuck” in an existence that is not true to herself. So many levels of tension in this narrative.


This narrative has a familiar introduction – as you read you experience that feeling of dread, you know something abhorrent is about to happen and so you keep reading; Ellie is kidnapped at the fair. The other main characters are added to the mix and I was intrigued by Amina and Jodie’s voices – again that feeling of dread, the anticipation of all that could go wrong…and it does! What choices do these poor girls have? Continue reading and the web of intrigue and Cate’s internal conflicts grow- and then the biggest most surprising reveal of all! I could not believe this! Totally unexpected and…sad.


Ruth Dugdall can always be relied upon to give your social conscience a pinch! Wake up world – look around you.



Win With Spirits of the Ghan

 Cover Spirits of the Ghan

 **Australian residents only**


Read the extract below from Spirits of the Ghan and fill out the form for your chance to win.

Jess took a deep breath and embarked upon the opening lines she’d rehearsed in her mind. ‘I have been told you are May Tjenimana and that you were May Napangurrayi before you married, is that right?’

May was surprised to hear the girl speak her language. The girl was black, certainly, but you could tell at a glance she was a city girl – smartly dressed, slick: she wasn’t one of them.

Yes, that is right,’ she replied. Confused though she was by the bluntness of the question, her response was nonetheless polite, for the girl’s tone had been respectful. ‘I am May Tjenimana and I was May Napangurrayi before I married.’ There was a pause as she waited for the girl to explain herself, but the girl, for all her initial confidence, seemed unsure of what to say next. ‘Who are you?’ She was still polite, but she stepped up the authority in her voice. ‘What do you want?’

Jess had rehearsed in her mind the next line too and she had no idea why it had become momentarily stuck. Now words came out clearly and boldly, but in a something of a rush, as if they had been imprisoned too long and needed to escape.

My name is Jessica Manning. I am the daughter of your sister, Rose.’

They stared at each other across the twenty metres or so of dusty yard that separated them. The scene remained frozen for what seemed to Jess an agonisingly long time as she waited for a reaction, but nothing was said, no movement was made. Then finally May, eyes still trained upon this stranger who professed to be kin, placed the T-shirt and pegs into the laundry basket her granddaughter Millie held and slowly, as if mesmerised, crossed to where Jess stood.




Follow the link to Judy Nunn’s web page for the entry form.

 Judy Nunn’s web page:  http://judynunn.com.au/



Penguin Random House, 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia

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Post Script: Our Dog Knows Words- Peter Gouldthorpe, Lucy Gouldthorpe

Our Dog Knows Words

Our Dog Knows Words

Peter & Lucy Gouldthorpe

Hachette Children’s Books

Lothian Children’s’ Books

ISVB: 9780734416346



Meet our very clever dog. He always knows just what we’re saying to him. He knows, but does he always obey?


A funny story about a clever (but not always obedient) dog, from a father-daughter team of dog lovers.

From playing in the park to dinnertime, bath time and bedtime – this very smart dog knows what’s going on!




My View:

Fun, charming and a delight to read. This is a perfect book to read to your toddler or for your pre-schooler to read along with you. Anyone who has a dog or loves dogs will smile and nod their head in agreement as they agree with the sentiments and observations expressed here.


Put this one of your Christmas shopping list – (it comes in hardback and paperback), and watch the smiles on Christmas morning.



Post Script: Homemade Takeaway – Julie Goodwin

Julie Goodwin's Homemade Takeaway

Homemade Takeaway

Julie Goodwin

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733632136



Let Julie Goodwin, Australia’s favourite family cook, show you how to make your favourite takeaway dishes – at home, from scratch!


Cheaper, healthier, and even faster than waiting for your order! Feel good about enjoying take away and save money at the same time. Julie Goodwin is back with Homemade Takeaway. In this beautiful new fully illustrated cookbook, Julie will teach you how to make all your best-loved take away meals.


Whether it’s the local bakery or the corner store, chicken shop or your favourite Thai or Indian takeaway, Julie has it covered. There’s no need to go out for comfort food or family favourites like Chilli Chicken with Cashews or Lamb Shank Pie. They’re all here – over 150 recipes that use fresh, seasonal produce to bring you the takeaway food you love.


Feel good about enjoying take away with the family, and save money at the same time with Homemade Takeaway.




My View:

The perfect cook book for the home cook. Be in control of the food you eat; know exactly what ingredients are in the meals you eat and enjoy, quality meals do not need to be exorbitantly priced – simply make the meal at home with fresh season produce, it is easy to do with Julie Goodwin Homemade Takeaway –with step by step guides and great images to guide you along your cooking journey.


There are over one hundred and fifty recipes here, Julie Goodwin divides the book into types of popular cuisine – she starts with Lebanese (includes such favourites as kofta, baklava, yoghurt flat bread to name but a few), then there are Thai, Chinese, Tex Mex, Indian, Italian, a chapter on the Aussie Corner Store (which includes a huge variety of burgers, beer battered fish, chips…) then we have the Chicken Shop

(all things chicken including southern fried chicken, schnitzel…and sides – potato bake, rice salad, pasta salad and much much more) and then my personal favourite chapter – The Bakery. The Bakery covers all the family favourites – sausage rolls, lamb shank pie (so delicious), finger buns, cherry ripe brownies, flourless chocolate and orange cake, pastries, carrot cake….YUM.


As you can see there is something here for all to enjoy .In this book Julie’s love and passion for cooking is evident on every page -as Julie explains “ Anyone who knows me or has eaten at my table will know: enjoyment of the food is paramount. It must be generous, flavourful, hot out of the pans or from the oven; eaten in good health and good cheer; shared with people whose company you love. It should bring happiness to all who eat it.”(Introduction p.X) It is no wonder Julie Goodwin is one of Australia’s best loved food creatives.


Meatless Monday – Falafel

Falafel for Breakfast cover

At the moment we have a crop of broad beans in our garden ready to pick and I have been looking for  recipes to take advantage of this bounty –  last week we had broad bean mash – which was divine! ( it surprised me  just how good this was). Tonight I thought I would give  a recipe from  Falafel For Breakfast a try – this  is the first time I have encountered falafel made with chick peas and broad beans.  The recipe uses dried broad beans but as I have plenty of fresh I blanched the bean, removed the tough outer skin and used the tender fresh bean instead – this falafel must be the best I have ever made and much much better than any I have ever bought.  Simple ingredients- chickpeas – soaked and rinsed, broad beans, coriander, cumin, garlic, chilli, sesame seeds and baking powder.

I fried the falafel in rice bran oil. I  then made  a”wrap” with mountain bread, tomato, lettuce and avocado spread  (mashed ripe avocado, black pepper, lime oil) and then added the falafels – perfect! Easy. Tasty.



Leftovers for tomorrows lunch 🙂


Post Script: Spirits of The Ghan – Judy Nunn

Cover Spirits of the Ghan

Spirits of the Ghan

Judy Nunn


William Heinemann

ISBN: 9780857986733



Master storyteller Judy Nunn has now sold over 1 million books worldwide. In her spellbinding new bestseller she takes us on a breathtaking journey deep into the red heart of Australia.


It is 2001 and as the world charges into the new Millennium, a century-old dream is about to be realised in the Red Centre of Australia: the completion of the mighty Ghan railway, a long-lived vision to create the ‘backbone of the continent’, a line that will finally link Adelaide with the Top End.


But construction of the final leg between Alice Springs and Darwin will not be without its complications, for much of the desert it will cross is Aboriginal land.


Hired as a negotiator, Jessica Manning must walk a delicate line to reassure the Elders their sacred sites will be protected. Will her innate understanding of the spiritual landscape, rooted in her own Arunta heritage, win their trust? It’s not easy to keep the peace when Matthew Witherton and his survey team are quite literally blasting a rail corridor through the timeless land of the Never-Never.


When the paths of Jessica and Matthew finally cross, their respective cultures collide to reveal a mystery that demands attention. As they struggle against time to solve the puzzle, an ancient wrong is awakened and calls hauntingly across the vastness of the outback . . .



My View:

Australia has some great female authors and Judy Nunn is at the top of her field. Judy Nunn has a huge following and it is not difficult to understand why; her style of combining histories and the personal story are very affective. The narratives here share fictionalised historical based events of Australia’s colonial history and a fictionalised personal story of a child of The Stolen Generation (Rose’s story). The echoes of these stories impact and effect the contemporary narrative and the lives of the characters building the renowned remote railway track known as The Ghan Railway.


I enjoyed this style of writing, the histories, the settings, the characters. And even more I loved the spiritual element that plays a significant part in this narrative. I think this novel will play an important part in reintroducing the topic of the Stolen Generation to many readers. Judy Nunn introduces this emotional subject in her novel by the way of a very personal history; Rose’s experiences demonstrates the consequences of this policy. You cannot help but empathise with the plight of the individual and the generation affected. Kudos to Judy Nunn for tackling such a difficult issue and highlighting the damage that this policy continues to affect.



A combination of history, the personal, the outback and the mystical combine to make this an enjoyable and thought provoking read.



Grilled Eggplant, Yoghurt And Rocket – Falafel For Breakfast – Michael Rantissi & Kristy Frawley

Falafel for Breakfast cover

Recipe and images from Falafel for Breakfast by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley from Murdoch Books

“Grilled Eggplant, Yoghurt and Rocket 

Serves 4 as a side dish


Eggplant is a staple in the Middle East and is used in many ways there. This is a lovely side dish to have at a barbecue or to serve
with grilled fish. You can also prepare it as a delicious salad (see note below).


2 large eggplants (aubergines)

100 g (3½ oz) rocket (arugula)leaves, torn

200 g (7 oz/¾ cup) Greek-style yoghurt

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil


Halve the eggplants lengthways and put them, skin side down, on a hot barbecue until their skins blacken, then turn and cook the cut sides for 3–4 minutes. This will give the eggplant a lovely smoky flavour. (You could roast the eggplant at 200°C/400°F for 30 minutes, though you won’t get the same smoky flavour.)


Place the eggplant halves, cut side up, on serving plates. Scatter the rocket leaves over.


Combine the yoghurt, garlic and olive oil in a bowl and spoon the mixture over the eggplant and rocket leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.



To make this as a salad in a bowl, leave the eggplants whole and roast on a hot barbecue until their skins blacken. Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle, peel the skins off and discard. Tear the flesh into chunks and put in a bowl with the rocket leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the yoghurt, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Add to the salad, toss gently and serve.”p. 103




Grilled eggplant, yoghurt & rocket

Grilled eggplant, yoghurt & rocket