March 28, 2011

A Homemade Pasta Dish by Ottolenghi

One of the best gifts ever received was a pasta making course at Sandalyn Estate, a winery in the Hunter Valley, given to Dave for his birthday from our dear friends Ching, Tim and Carol. Through this fantastic course, we learnt that it really isn't so hard to make fresh pasta at home and once you've done it a few times, it is actually quite quick and simple. All it takes is an egg, some doppio zero (00) flour or semolina, and what you get is an incredibly light pasta that is heavenly to eat.

Although Dave is somewhat of a pasta master, that doesn't mean we only eat fresh pasta as it depends on the sauce (and personal taste) as to whether fresh, supermarket-fresh or dried pasta is best. For example, we find that spaghetti bolognaise is best with dried spaghetti as it is a better match for a strong, meaty bolognaise sauce.

Some of our favourite homemade pasta dishes include: Pappardelle with prawns, pernod, lemon, cream and dill; spinach and ricotta ravioli or roasted pumpkin ravioli, with burnt butter & sage sauce. Tagliatelle with morel mushrooms in a tomato, cayenne pepper and cream sauce is a favourite from our days in Switzerland where we discovered morel mushrooms (morille en francaise). And spinach and porcini mushrooms with truffle oil and parmesan is a very simple but delicious dish that also works well with supermarket fresh pasta if you're lazy mid-week.

Earlier this year we tried a new recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi which is now part of our fresh pasta repertoire. It is saffron pappardelle with spiced butter and is taken from Yotam's cookbook Plenty. For this dish we make our normal fresh pasta but with the addition of saffron infused water, turmeric and some olive oil.

The sauce is then made by cooking some banana shallots in butter then adding the spices: ground coriander, ground ginger, sweet paprika, ground cinnamon, cayenne, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. This dish calls for some serious spice usage! Add to this some freshly chopped parsley and mint and some roughly chopped roasted pine nuts and you have an exotic, vegetarian delight. Hope this inspires you to cook!

1 comment:

  1. It looks lovely, heading to the Hunter Valley soon so might look into that pasta course. The last time I tried by myself, I found it was so tedious, so may be a class may help me.