How often are you likely to give someone a second chance? More than two years ago I asked my husband if we could get another dog to keep Baci company during the day. For those who don’t know, Baci is my four year old labrador. At two years old I thought it was about time Baci got a companion. So after some persuading, and some research we got a little labrador from a breeder. Her name was Bisous. As all labrador puppies are, she was adorable (and yes I am biased!) but other than that, there isn’t much that I can say about her because I hardly got to know her.
For three days she was with us, I would take Baci for a walk very early in the morning (as I always do). Bisous was too small to leave the house so I left her in the house while my husband slept. Every morning as I started walking up the road I heard Bisous whimper and then she started yowling and I said to myself that she must be lonely but she would eventually stop after a few minutes.
Coming back around 30 minutes later, she would still be crying when I got home.
One day I got home and my husband met me at the door – he was frantic.
“Guess what” he said. “Bisous has been crying the whole time”.
“Oh no…” I closed my eyes and prepared for the worst.
“The neighbor came, complaining. They said if I didn’t make her shut up – they would!” he added.
To make a long story short, I called the breeder and asked her if she could take back Bisous for a few weeks and train her to be “more independent” – maybe teach her to be on her own a few hours a day so that when she came back to me she wouldn’t cry like she did that first morning. The breeder was kind enough to agree so that night my husband and I went to take Bisous back.
On the way home I was full of guilt and confusion about what I had done. I started crying and telling my husband that we should have tried harder to train her, that he should have just woken up the same time I did every morning and kept Bisous company while I walked Baci.
Then, my husband said something that just made everything clear.
“Maybe we just weren’t ready.”
Truth was, I wasn’t. We were working 12 hour days there was just no time for a new addition to the family.
The next day, I called the breeder who understood and was even grateful for my honesty. But I really felt like I blew it. I had lost my chance at getting a companion for Baci.
Six months later, my parents came for a two month holiday and I decided then that this was the right time to get a new puppy. After all, my Dad was an early riser, he could keep the puppy company during the day and while I walked Baci (strangely enough, the new puppy never cried when we left her alone). Again, after much persuasion (even more than the last time!), we got Bizou.
When I look back at the events that took place in order to get Bizou, I think “how stressful!”. But then when I am sitting on the lounge, and she jumps up and lays by my side and rests her head on my lap – I know it is all worth it. I am glad to have had a second chance.
Some recipes also deserve a second chance. Like this one here. When I first started blogging I wrote about how I learned to make this recipe after attending a class at the Council of Italian Restaurants in Australia. This recipe was passed on by Logan Campbell, the head chef at Lucio’s restaurant. Lucio’s is a two hat restaurant (awarded by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide) and one of Australia’s finest Italian Restaurants.
To be perfectly honest, I was not planning to blog about this pasta dish as I had already done so in the past. But I made it tonight for a family dinner and I had to go back to my old post to look for the recipe. I saw the old pictures and I thought I didn’t really do justice to the dish. It is such a delicious recipe that I knew it deserved… a second chance.
- 300 grams plain flour
- 3 large eggs
- pinch of salt
Filling Ingredients (you will probably have leftover filling depending on how you fill your pasta)
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 1/2 bunch picked thyme
- 100 grams diced taleggio cheese (I used Mauri Taleggio)
- 50 grams parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 bunch chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- 125 grams butter
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- A few sprigs of parsley
- Pour flour onto benchtop and make a well in the centre.
- Place the salt and add the eggs into the well and incorporate until the dough forms
- Knead for 5 minutes and rest covered for 1 hour
- Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let stand 20 minutes
- Rinse off the salt and drain
- Saute the eggplant in a little olive oil, add thyme and cook until eggplant is browned
- Allow to cool and then mix the eggplant with the cheeses, egg and parsley
- Season with salt and pepper
- Using a pasta machine roll out the dough until a thin sheet is formed. Brush with egg wash and place some the ravioli mix along the sheet 3 centimeters apart.
- Roll another sheet and place on top of the first, pressing down around the mix to remove any air pockets. Using cutters, cut the ravioli out removing excess dough around each one. Place on a floured tray and cover.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan.
- Blanch the ravioli for three minutes the drain.
- When the butter is brown and foaming, add the pasta, balsamic vinegar and walnuts.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
- Toss and serve.