Simplicity is the key to a good pasta dish, with few ingredients you can have a truly magical meal. Good quality pasta is essential. As a rule, when buying pasta, go for the more expensive brands as it’s a cheap ingredient and won’t harm the budget. However, one step better is to make your own and it is super easy and quick if you have a pasta machine, but a rolling pin will do the trick too. Having been foraging this week for mushrooms, what better way is there to serve fresh and free porcini than sautéed in butter, garlic and parsley entwined with fresh homemade tagliatelle. Autumn at its best!
Here is my simple pasta recipe:
180g flour – strong, ‘OO’ or pasta flour
2 eggs, beaten
5ml (1 tsp) olive oil
- Put the flour into a mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs and any flavourings into the centre and gradually mix into the flour, using a fork.
- Knead the pasta dough until elastic, stretchy and smooth (approx. 3-5 minutes).
- Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to develop.
- Put through a pasta machine several times starting with a wide press and reducing the width each time (alternatively roll until thin with a rolling pin).
- Shape as required – for tagliatelle use the pasta cutter on your machine, alternatively slice rolled pasta into strips using a pasta wheel or sharp knife.
- Leave to dry for 10 mins.
- Cook in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes until ‘al dente’.
Pasta Variations: The following can be added with the egg to provide flavour and colour (Note – extra flour will be needed to reach the desired texture).
Green – pesto, chopped fresh herbs or pureed spinach
Red – tomato puree
Yellow – use 4 egg yolks instead of 2 whole egg or add a pinch of powdered saffron
Purple – pureed cooked beetroot
Brown – wholemeal flour
Black – squid ink
Spicy – add finely chopped chilli peppers
* For sweet dishes you could substitute 2 tablespoon of the flour for cocoa powder
* For vegans the egg can be substituted with water