A range of raviolis made using the finest Welsh produce to unique recipes in rural West Wales will now be available for free home delivery throughout Cardiff and Swansea. Casa Del Cymru is a small family business based in rural West Wales, run by Simon and Gina Pope. They create handmade pastas using produce from local suppliers, and I’ve been munching my way through a whole variety of their raviolis over the last few weeks – all in the name of research.
Casa Del Cymru’s pastas have two main differences to the supermarket stuff. Firstly, they use the fibre from whole raw vegetables to help bind their pasta, meaning that the end product has all the inherent health benefits of the vegetables used for each different recipe, as well as being naturally high in fibre. Secondly, as a result of being based right on the west coast of Wales they have access to some of the best products in the country to make ravioli fillings from; cheese from Caws Cenarth, free range Wild Boar from the The Handmade Sausage Co and crab from Cardigan Bay Fish; my mouth is watering just writing that list.
The inspiration for the business comes from Gina’s Grandfather, an Italian prisoner of war who was held in West Wales for the second half of World War Two. He returned to Italy when the war ended, but brought his family back to Wales where they settled, and still remain. Although the family’s Italian roots were the inspiration for the business, the recipes themselves are far from ‘traditional’.
By far my favorite of the Casa Del Cymru pastas I have tried, is the free range wild boar chorizo and gammon ravioli in beetroot pasta (with the pork coming from the aforementioned Handmade Sausage Co). On appearance alone I love that they look so striking thanks to the deep purple beetroot colouring, and the vibrant orange filling which is down to the paprika in the chorizo.
You know that supermarket tortellini that you can get in the fresh pasta aisle at the supermarket? The stuff I usually smother in chili and garlic sauce from a jar just to make it taste of something? Yeah?
Well this stuff is NOTHING LIKE THAT.
Maybe it’s because of the vegetable fibre used in the pasta, but these little ravioli have a really distinct bite. Then, when you get into the filling, there’s an explosion of flavour – proper, rich flavour that fills your mouth. You don’t need any sauce on these bad boys – you don’t even need olive oil and Parmesan but hey, I’m extravagant like that.
My second favourite recipe so far uses Perl Las cheese with spinach, chive and walnuts. Again, you don’t need to add anything extra to give these flavour; the Perl Las cheese has plenty of its own! We had ours with some grilled asparagus from Cardiff Market, which was just perfect.
So far, we’ve also managed to munch our way through a lovely laverbread and smoked bacon variety, which tastes of the sea. The seaweed is collected in Pembrokeshire by a welsh company called Selwyn’s Seaweed and then Simon and his team roast bacon from a local farmer/butcher in Llandeilo, before combining everything in the filling. We’ve also sampled a mozzarella, basil and sun-dried tomato variety, the filling of which turns gloriously gooey on heating, giving it the potential to cause third degree burns if you wolf it down as fast as I did. Simon was kind enough to send me this pic of him at the factory in Newcastle Emlyn where the mozzarella is made from fresh Welsh cows milk.
Next on our list to try we have a roasted mushroom, parmesan and parsley ravioli in beetroot pasta, and a vegan butternut squash one made with coconut milk and nutmeg, in a spinach pasta. Keep an eye on my Instagram to see what I make of those. There is also talk of a new recipe being developed, using a turkey and red wine filling. One to look forward to for the autumn, I reckon.
If all of this talk of delicious ravioli has whetted your appetite, you’ll be pleased to learn that a new box delivery scheme in Cardiff and Swansea will offer free home delivery of these delicacies in the following postcode areas: Cardiff CF24, 10, 11, 14, 23, 63, 64; Swansea SA1, 2, 3.
The minimum order value is £12 which gets you 1 kilo of ravioli, which arrives ready to freeze or be cooked in just 4 minutes flat, making it a great option to have on standby for those times when you need to rustle up a super-speedy dinner. To see the full range of pastas available for free delivery, you can visit Simon’s website to check out the details of Casa Del Cymru’s box scheme, or give him a call on 07988 874 876.
My verdict? Well I’m utterly convinced that if like me, sometimes you need your dinner to be ready in 6 minutes flat otherwise you are going to kill someone, you absolutely need Casa Del Cymru’s ravioli in your life. It looks awesome, it’s made by people who are really passionate about what they do, and it tastes phenomenal.
So long, rubbery supermarket pasta – your days in my house are numbered.
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