Halloween Dinner Party

Last weekend we invited several friends and threw a Halloween-themed dinner party – that means there was a lot of black, orange and pumpkin involved.

We did a spooky invite and sent it out to our friends.

I figured that a black tablecloth would be a good start to set the theme but I didn’t really want to spend loads of money on it. That’s when I came up with my genius idea that I didn’t have to buy a tablecloth, I could just MAKE one. I went to IKEA, got some plain black cotton fabric and just had to finish of the ends and there it was, ready to use. I also got some old wine bottles and some fake flowers (also from IKEA) and spray-painted them black. I let a bit of the color of the flowers peek through as they were originally violet and the final effect was quite nice. Of course I had to have orange pumpkins and I also added orange place cards, decorated with a piece of black lace.

For the starter I prepared tombstone sandwiches. I made the RIP sign with cream cheese using a ziplock bag with a cut-off corner as a pastry bag.

The main course was black pasta with roasted pumpkin. We made the black pasta ourselves using squid ink as the coloring. I was actually quite surprised that I managed to find it in one of the “World Cuisine” shops we have in Warsaw. I have almost given up the idea by that time. I thought it would be a big fuss to make the pasta ourselves but it turned out to be quite easy. I took the recipe from Jamie Oliver: 5 eggs and 0,5 kg flour – this feeds 4 people. And that’s it. Easy peasy. Just remember to first mix up any coloring ingredient with the eggs and THEN add the flour. In the first batch I made I added the squid ink after mixing flour with eggs and I can tell you that was a bad idea. The coloring didn’t mix in well and I now have a batch of polka-dot pasta dough in my freezer… Maybe a polka-dot theme party one day? Hmmm… I used an electric mixer to do the hard job for me and it managed perfectly well to knead the pasta dough. It just needed to rest 1 hour in the fridge and was ready for cutting. I used a pasta maker and the strong arms of my fiancé to roll the dough and cut it up into tagliatelle. We prepared this in advance and just spread the ready pasta on the kitchen counter, dividing layers with some kitchen towels so that it wouldn’t stick together.

For the topping I used roasted pumpkin – I cut it into cubes, added olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven until tender. I melted some butter with olive oil, popped in a bunch of fresh sage leaves and left it to soak up the flavors for a few minutes. I used this as a sauce for the pasta and topped the whole thing up with pumpkin.

Desert was pumpkin cake with brown butter icing from Shutterbean (http://www.shutterbean.com/2010/pumpkin-cake-brown-butter-icing/)

It disappeared before I even could reach out for my camera. This is the second time this happened with this cake and I should have known better to make the photo before the party… It is just sooooo good that it gets everyone asking for the recipe.

Now I get to cross off another item from my Fall Bucket List. That’s the part I enjoy most about lists.

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