Summer Minestrone

I once talked about how a simple bowl of minestrone is the ultimate comfort food. But in the summer months I crave something a little lighter. I’m a huge believer in using produce that’s in season, which is exactly why this minestrone is not only light and delicious, but completely accessible and affordable.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Kitchen Cupboard Pasta

Pasta Saturdays. This is what it’s all about. After a whole week of slaving away doing whatever you’re doing, you deserve this. It’s pasta, and it’s delicious in all forms.

But busy bees don’t always have a million years to create a tasty pasta dish from scratch. Imagine all of the flour, the time, the mess! More importantly, what would a busy bee do when a pasta fiend of a friend (and a hungry one at that) is moments away from their door? Panic!! Continue reading

Conchigliette di Farro with Super Greens

One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is head to the local farmers market. I often take a stroll down there to gather some inspiration and hand pick ingredients for lunch. The farmers market near where I live is admittedly a little small, but they really do have some wonderful produce on offer as well as beautifully prepared hot food, which draws a number of people to the market to have lunch on the go and a nose around.

One particular stall that I really love sells a variety of farro and spelt, as well as a modest selection of farro pasta. I absolutely love farro, but before Saturday I had never tried it in pasta form – so I grabbed a bag of conchigliette intent on throwing together something pasta based and healthy.  Continue reading

Whole Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is, hands down, the best pasta dish of all time.

However, if I had a penny for the amount of times I’ve ordered this heavenly dish and it’s arrived, to my dismay, swimming in cream, I would definitely be totally ballin’ by now.

Although the addition of cream is by all means not necessarily a bad thing, I prefer the traditional way of doing things.

Eggs, parmesan, seasoning and pancetta – done. Continue reading

Butternut Squash Lasagna (not for the traditionalist)

Ah, meat.

Does my enthusiasm translate? Or my sarcasm at least?

I love a bloody rare steak from time to time (and anytime if we’re talking about dining at Gaucho), but when it comes to day to day meat eating however, I would class myself as a vegetarian.

And although I love a good lasagna, most days I’m not in the mood. This is where this bad boy alternative version comes in. Continue reading

Asparagus Tortellini

Asparagus Tortellini

This is definitely a dish for pasta day. Don’t deny it, you know what I’m talking about. We all do it… Pasta day is the best day, and luckily for me pasta day comes around (maybe far too) often.

This tortellini is totally simple and doesn’t need the complication of a sauce (however, it would go fantastically with a beurre blanc), I usually eat these little parcels of joy with with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, some parmesan and loads of black pepper – mmm.

Ingredients:

  • 100g strong pasta flour
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ice water

Filling:

  • 200g asparagus, chopped and with the woody ends removed
    Olive oil
    Salt
    Pepper

Method:

For the pasta, in a blender, add the flour, eggs and salt and mix until breadcrumbs are formed. If the mixture is a little dry add 1-2 teaspoons of ice water, then using your hands form into dough.

On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for 5 minutes, then cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough is refrigerating prepare the asparagus for the filling. Simply boil for around 7-10 minutes or until tender, drain then mash. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a rolling pin, then using a pasta machine continue to roll out the pasta to desired thickness. With tortellini I tend to roll the pasta reasonably thin, probably between 1 and 1.5mm.

For the assembly:

You can find a step by step guide with photos of how to fill and roll your tortellini here

Makes enough for one hungry mouth.

Butternut Squash and Sage Tortellini

Butternut Squash and Sage Tortellini

I love pasta. I could eat pasta for every meal of each day. Even better than merely eating pasta, is eating homemade pasta. It’s just incomparable. I was bought a beautiful Marcato Atlas 150 a couple of Christmas’ ago as a gift, and what a gift! I love my pasta roller!

Using a food processor to whizz up the dough is a cheat but it makes homemade pasta so much more accessible. Of course you can mix it by hand it you like, but for days where I want fresh pasta quickly there is no questioning my use of the blender.

In this recipe I made a sage pasta instead of adding the sage to the filling. I just like the speckled look of herby pasta and the distinction between the filling and the pasta itself!

Ingredients:

  • 100g Tipo ’00’ flour
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ice water
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of fresh or dried sage

Filling:

  • 200g butternut squash, peeled and sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

For the sage pasta, in a blender, add the flour, sage, eggs and salt and mix until breadcrumbs are formed. If the mixture is a little dry add 1-2 teaspoons of ice water, then using your hands form into dough.

On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for 5 minutes, then cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough is refrigerating prepare the butternut squash. Simply boil for around 10 minutes or until tender, drain then mash. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a rolling pin, then using a pasta machine continue to roll out the pasta to desired thickness. With tortellini I tend to roll the pasta reasonably thin, probably between 1 and 1.5mm.

For the assembly:

Either using a square cutter or by hand, cut your pasta sheets into smallish squares and set aside dusting each with a little flour.

Next, take a square and place a small amount of the butternut squash mix in the centre.

Wet your index finger with a bit of water and dot the three points on one side of the pasta square, fold in half and press down on the edges to form a triangle.

Take the bottom of the triangle and fold upwards.

Place your little finger on top of the filling, then with your right hand pull each side of the pasta and pinch together in the middle.

Once you have spent a somewhat monotonous 30 mintues of tortellini making I’m sure you’ll be more than ready to eat. So cook for 2-3 minutes in plenty of generously salted boiling water.

Serve with olive oil, pepper and parmesan shavings.

Makes one hefty portion.

Fresh Parsley Pasta

Fresh Parsley Pasta

If you love parsley and pasta, then you can’t go wrong with this.

Ingredients:

  • 400g Tipo ‘00’ flour
  • 4 eggs and 4 egg yolks
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • Ice water
  • Bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped


Method:

In a blender, add the flour, parsley, eggs and salt and mix until breadcrumbs are formed. Add 1-2 teaspoons of ice water as needed to the mix and form into a dough using your hands.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes and form into a ball, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough out using a well floured rolling pin, then using a pasta machine continue to roll out the pasta to desired thickness (this will depend on what kind of pasta you are making, tagliatelle or lasagna will need to be slightly thicker than pasta used for ravioli). I generally aim for around 1mm thick. Here I simply used a pastry cutter to make pasta ribbons which are a personal fave.

Cook in a large pan of boiling water with plenty of salt for 1-3 minutes, depending on how al dente you prefer your pasta!

Makes 4 portions