Christine’s New Zealand Autumn Sauce

Wow, did you know that in New Zealand it’s Autumn? That’s whacky. The following post, by Christine, is great but I have one question: what’s a capsicum? It sounds like an animal (“put it over a flame until the skin blackens evenly”) and since this is New Zealand I’m beginning to worry it’s an Orc! (That’s Lord of the Rings humor, kids). Anyway, without further adieu, here’s Christine!

In New Zealand, it’s autumn-ish/winter-ish; so an ideal time for Autumn Sauce! (I think I made it up, so I get to name it. The name I have chosen for it is Autumn Sauce!). I’ve called it Autumn Sauce! because it tastes like autumn.  If autumn was to have a flavour, that is.

Here’s the list of things to grab:

1 package of ravioli [I had chicken with roasted garlic and basil and stuff hanging around in my freezer. Yay for hording. Yay!]

1 red onion

6 mushrooms [I used white, because the brown mushrooms at the supermarket were damp and icky. Damp and icky mushrooms make me feel sad.]

1 basil plant [Because the difference between a packet of harvested basil and a plant was only a dollar. And chances are there will be enough basil left over for something else. Score!]

1 red capsicum [I used a half capsicum when I made this, because I had a half capsicum lurking in the fridge.]

a couple cloves of crushed garlic

a handful of pinenuts [I forgot to do anything to these. Oops.]

2-3 tablespoons of creme fraiche [This was the rest of the container that was lurking in the fridge; but it turned out to be about right!]

Salt+Pepper+Olive Oil

First up… Preparations

Start by roasting your capsicum [Put it over a flame until the skin blackens evenly, then wrap it in an old tea towel while you do the rest of the chopping; then rub the skin off and dice it up]

Now, put a big ol’ pot of water on for the ravioli with the standard bunch of salt.

Next chop up the vegetables. I like my onions to be finely diced and my mushrooms and capsicum to be chunky; but you should go with what you like (: Now is also a good time to chop up the basil. I used about a handful of leaves.

Now that everything is organised; it’s time to start cooking!

Grab a frypan, and give it a good lug of olive oil (truffle or mushroom infused oil would probably be quite nice as well); and put it on a medium heat until its warmed up.

Chuck the onions into the pan, and cook them until they’ve softened. Next, add the capsicum.

This is about the right time to put ravioli on if you’re starting from frozen.

Wait a minute or two; then add the mushrooms and garlic.

After another minute or two; add the basil.

One more minute it’s time to add the creme fraiche. You’ll definately need to be stirring quite a bit at this point to get the creme fraiche melted and distributed through the sauce.

If the gods of kitchen timing are smiling on you; it’s time to drop the temperature of the Autumn Sauce! and drain off the ravioli. Once the ravioli have drained; put them back into the saucepan and dump the Autumn Sauce! on top. Stir the sauce through until everything is nice and combined; then all you have to do is serve.

That wasn’t too hard now, was it.

4 thoughts on “Christine’s New Zealand Autumn Sauce”

  1. Capsicum is the genus name for red peppers, including most red peppers that are hot (chili peppers, cayenne peppers, etc.). I am not sure if it covers bell peppers or not. However, the recipe seems to me to describe red bell peppers more than hot peppers (I’ve never read a recipe that required roasting a hot pepper, except poblanos to make chile rellenos), and bell peppers seem to go with the autumn name, although I think it would probably be good with either bell OR hot peppers! Perhaps Christine can clarify this usage since we don’t use it in the US!

  2. So I was feeling all smart and such, knowing that they were peppers, and I went to click Comments to give out my wisdom for all to see.

    “They’re peppers!” I was going to say.

    Alas, imagine my dissapointment and feeling of insignificance when I read the first, absolutely correct, intelligent, well written, all encapsulating piece on capsicum. (Even using big words like “genus” and refrencing obscure mexican dishes that have clearly been ((no doubt professinally)) prepared by the above poster)

    (I gain 3 points for using the double double parantheses, but lose 1 for giving myself points. And lose another for giving myself points in another set of parantheses.)

    I’m going to go sulk with my peppers.

  3. It’s a bell pepper. As an Australian living in Boston I know all sorts of alternative names for foods (eg. chard = silverbeet). Of course, just when you think you’ve mastered them all you learn a new one.

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