Pasta Class Introduction
Garibaldi relied on the power of pasta to unite Italy and Sophia Loren famously claimed she owed her voluptuous figure to spaghetti, chef Giorgio Locatelli reckons every Italian is two-thirds pasta.
We hope you have enjoyed your pasta making class and have learnt “a skill you will stay with you for life”, if you have any questions for chef please do ask and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Below are the recipes you learnt during the class, plus a couple more for you to try at home.
Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini
For the pasta (makes more dough than needed for this recipe)
- 70g spinach (blanched)
- 4 large free-range egg yolks
- 200g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
For the hazelnut pesto
- 25g whole blanched hazelnuts
- 15g Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
- 1 tbsp hazelnut oil
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the filling
- 150g ricotta
- 50g Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
- 1 lemon, zest only
- pinch grated nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- knob of butter, to serve
- Put the spinach and egg yolks in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour and whizz again to combine – the mixture will look like breadcrumbs at this stage. Tip out onto a lightly floured board and bring together using your hands. Knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky. Cover and rest in the fridge while you make the filling and pesto.
- For the pesto, spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown, then set aside to cool.
- For the filling, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag or a plastic food bag with the corner snipped off.
- To make the pesto, crush the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar, then gently stir in the Parmesan and oils.
- To assemble the tortellini, roll the pasta dough through all the sizes on the pasta machine starting with the widest setting and finishing on the smallest setting when the pasta is very thin. Using a 9cm/3½in round cutter, cut out 10 circles. (Any leftover dough can be frozen to use another time.)
- Pipe a heaped teaspoon amount of filling inside each pasta circle and fold in half to create a half moon shape. Wet the edges and press down to help them stick. Pull the two narrow ends together to form a tortellini shape.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 2–3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, put a frying pan over a medium–high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook until lightly browned and starting to bubble. Then add the hazelnut pesto and gently heat through.
- Serve the tortellini with the pesto spooned over the top.
Ingredients – Serves 2:
- – 4 fresh tomatoes
- – 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- – 1 teaspoon of harissa paste (if you don’t like spice, use tomato paste)
- – Salt & Pepper
- – 1 Banana Shallot, finely diced
- – 1 teaspoon sugar
- – Sprig Thyme – stalks removed
- – Teaspoon of olive oil
- – Lemon – squeeze.
- Using a box grater, grate the tomatoes into a bowl – discard the skins.
- In a small pan, heat the olive oil then soften the garlic and shallot. Add the harissa paste, then the tomatoes and stir – season with salt and pepper, plus a teaspoon of sugar – taste and then keep warm until needed. Add squeeze of lemon as you serve.
- – 50g Pine Nuts
- – 100g Rocket
- – 50g Parmesan
- – 150ml Olive Oil
- – 1 Garlic Clove
- Combine the pine nuts, rocket, Parmesan, olive oil and garlic clove in a blender. Season and blend to a paste.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 sweet potato medium
- 1.5 cups of flour (‘00’ or plain)
- 15g of grated parmesan
Bake the sweet potato on 180C for roughly 45 minutes or until soft.
Let it cool down, peel and discard the skin.
Mix all the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, start forming a dough. You might need more flour as every potato is different.
Work the dough on floured surface with your hand, adding more flour if too sticky.
Form a dough ball, wrap it in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Form gnocchi shaped little dumplings.
Get a pan of salted boiling water ready and boil the gnocchi for approximately 2 minutes until they start floating on top.
Strain and cool down.
Finally, we can either pan-fry our gnocchi or just drop them directly into hot pasta sauce to warm up.
Ingredients – Yields 3cups
- One 450g jar of roasted red peppers, drained
- ½ cup raw or roasted almonds (unsalted)
- ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium-to-large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add toasted pine nuts and Gorgonzola cheese to add flavour and texture.
- In a blender (preferably) or food processor, combine everything but the olive oil. Securely fasten the lid and blend, starting on low and increasing the speed as you are able to gain traction.
- Once the ingredients are mostly blended, start drizzling in the olive oil while running the blender. Blend until you reach your desired consistency (I like my romesco sauce pretty creamy, but you might prefer it with a chunkier texture).
- Taste, and add additional salt (up to ¼ teaspoon) if it doesn’t quite knock your socks off yet. Serve immediately with toasted sourdough bread rubbed with raw garlic (as a funkier version of Pan con tomate), you could add chorizo or other toppings
- You could also use as a sauce for arancini and many other dishes
- Or store in a jar in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Ingredients – Serves 4:
- – 2 large eggs
- – 200g of 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
- Place 180g of the 00 flour onto a large wooden board. Pour the remaining 20g of flour into a small bowl, ready to use if necessary.
- Shape the flour into a volcano with a large hole in the centre, then crack the eggs and pour them into the middle.
- Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in the flour a little at time. It is essential that the flour is gradually beaten into the eggs to ensure the walls of the volcano don’t break too soon. Add the reserved 20g of flour if the dough is too moist.
- Bring the mixture together with a spatula and your hands until you obtain a consistent ball of dough.
- Work the dough with the heel of your hand for 10–15 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and very elastic. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Dust a wooden board with 1 tbsp of flour. Unwrap the dough and flatten it with a rolling pin. Roll out the dough into thin pasta sheets, less than 1mm thick.
- If you have a pasta machine, divide the dough into 4 before rolling it out. Flatten it to a rough square so that it fits through the machine at its highest setting. Roll it through & fold it back over it to itself. Rotate it through 90 degrees and repeat this a few times. This releases the gluten which increases the elasticity of the dough and stops it cracking & tearing. Now reduce the thickness of the machine 1 click at a time until you reach the 2ndlast setting. You can feed it through the cutting attachment.
- To cut the pasta sheets into tagliatelle, roll the sheets up and cut into large ¾cm strips. Unravel the cut tagliatelle strips and twirl into little nests. Dust the nests liberally with flour to stop them from sticking.
- Cook the tagliatelle within a few hours in boiling salted water for 3–5 minutes before serving with your favourite sauce.
- Alternatively, freeze for up to 1 month. To freeze the pasta, layer the tagliatelle flat on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour, then transfer to a freezer bag or another suitable container.
Try this at home
Deep purple-red beetroot transforms classic pasta into an eye-catching but simple main course. The root vegetable is boiled and puréed before it’s mixed into the dough.
The Beet Purée:
2 small beets (approximately 7 ounces), rinsed and trimmed
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rinsed and trimmed beets and cook until easily pierced with a fork, approximately 40-45 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel beets and purée with a hand-blender or food processor until smooth.
For the Dough:
- 284 Grams (10 ounces) Tipo ’00’ flour (Pasta Flour)
- 5 yolks from 5 large eggs
- 1 whole large egg
- 4 tablespoons beet purée (see note above)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for salting water
To Make the Dough:
On a large, clean work surface, pour flour in a mound. Make a well in the centre about 4 inches wide. Pour whole egg, egg yolks, beet purée, and salt into well and, using a fork, beat thoroughly. When combined, gradually incorporate flour into the eggs until a wet, sticky dough has formed.Once you’ve made your dough you need to knead and work it with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour, otherwise your pasta will be flabby and soft when you cook it, instead of springy and al dente.There’s no secret to kneading. You just have to bash the dough about a bit with your hands, squashing it into the table, reshaping it, pulling it, stretching it, squashing it again. Continue until dough develops a smooth, elastic texture like a firm ball of Play-Doh. If dough feels too wet, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments. If dough feels too dry, add water slowly using a spray bottle.Wrap ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest on countertop for 30 minutes.
To Roll the Pasta:
If using a machine to roll your pasta, make sure it’s clamped firmly
Dust your work surface with some Tipo ‘00’ flour or semolina, take a lump of pasta. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting – and roll the lump of pasta dough through it. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it sticks at all. Click the machine down a setting and roll the pasta dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. It might seem like you’re getting nowhere, but in fact you’re working the dough, and once you’ve folded it and fed it through the rollers a few times, you’ll feel the difference. It’ll be smooth as silk and this means you’re making good pasta!
Now it’s time to roll the dough out properly, working it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to around the narrowest. Lightly dust both sides of the pasta with a little flour every time you run it through. When you’ve got down to the narrowest setting, to give yourself a tidy sheet of pasta, fold the pasta in half lengthways, then in half again, then in half again once more until you’ve got a square-ish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and feed it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll it down through the settings for the last time, you should end up with a lovely rectangular silky sheet of dough with straight sides.
To Cut Tagliatelle:
Adjust pasta machine to noodle setting of your choice. Working one dough segment at a time, feed dough through the pasta-cutter. Alternatively, cut folded dough by hand with a chef’s knife to desired width. Divide the cut noodles into individual portions, dust lightly with flour, and curl into a nest. Place on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and gently cover with kitchen towel until ready to cook. Pasta can be frozen directly on the baking sheet, transferred to a zipper-lock freezer bag, and stored in the freezer for up to three weeks before cooking. Cook frozen pasta directly from the freezer.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stir gently with a wooden spoon, chopsticks, or a cooking fork, and cook, tasting at regular intervals until noodles are just set with a definite bite, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain, toss with sauce, and serve.
How to Make Ravioli
Ravioli are a filled pasta. They are great for making at home as they are relatively easy to shape, unlike their more fiddly counterpart tortellini, which take a bit more practice. The secret of perfect ravioli lies in making beautifully thin pasta, so take your time when rolling and handle with care.
Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough starting at the largest setting. Continue to pass the dough through the machine, lowering the setting each time until you have reached a number 1 thickness. If you have made a lot of dough, split it into more manageable portions to avoid breakages.
Once the pasta dough has been rolled out, cut into circles using a 7–8cm pastry cutter.
Make one ravioli at a time keeping the remaining pasta covered loosely with cling film or a damp tea towel. Lightly egg wash the edge of one of the circles. Take a heaped teaspoon of filling and place in the middle of the circle.
Lay a second pasta disc over the top and gently mould the pasta around the filling, making sure to remove all excess air that may be trapped to prevent the pasta breaking during cooking.
Gently press around the edges to seal and repeat this process until all the filling has been used up.
Place the ravioli on a lightly floured tray in the fridge for 30 minutes or until needed. If desired, you can crimp the edges of the ravioli with a fork or use zig-zag pasta cutters for a more decorative effect.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add a glug of olive oil and carefully lower in the ravioli. If the filling is pre-cooked, they will need around 3 minutes. If using raw filling, cook for a few minutes longer.
Butternut squash and white wine sauce
Ingredients – Serves 2
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed
- 200ml white wine
- 400ml double cream
- Handful of chopped chives
- 1tbsp of olive oil
- 2 sage leaves
Heat up a medium size sauce pan with oil. Sweat of the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
Add the squash and seasoning, sauté until golden brown.
Pour in the white wine and reduce by half to cook of the alcohol and prevent bitterness.
Add the double cream and cook on low heat until the squash is soft and blend the sauce until smooth.
Finish with chopped sage.
We hope you enjoyed the class!
We really hope you enjoyed your class at Food Sorcery. If you have any questions for chef please do ask and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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