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.
Sardinian semolina dough
- This type of dough is traditionally used for capunti, malloredus, or culurgiones.
Ingredients Serves 4
- 280g fine semolina
- 130g warm water
- Place the semolina in a large mixing bowl, add pinch of salt and pour in the water.
- Combine with a fork first, until it looks like a crumble mix, start to form the dough with your hands.
- As soon as the dough comes together, turn it onto a clean surface and knead until elastic. This will take between 10-12 minutes.
- Wrap in cling film and rest for at least 30 minutes.
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 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.
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.
Royal Pasta Dough
Ingredients – Serves 4:
- – 200g 00 flour
- – 50g semolina
- – 8 egg yolks medium
- – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pile the flour and semolina into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the well, putting the egg whites into a sandwich bag and popping into the freezer for making meringues another day. Add the oil and 4 tablespoons of cold water to the well, then use a fork to whip up with the eggs until smooth, then gradually bring the flour in from the outside. When it becomes too hard to mix, get your clean floured hands in there and bring it together into a ball of dough. Knead on a flour-dusted surface for around 4 minutes, or until smooth and elastic (eggs can vary in size and flour can vary in humidity; this dough shouldn’t be too wet or dry, but tweak with a touch more water or flour if you need to – use your common sense). Wrap in clingfilm and leave to relax for 30 minutes.
- Traditionally, Italians would have used a very large rolling pin, and you can do it that way if you like, it just requires a large flat surface and a bit of elbow grease. In this day and age, I think it’s fun and advisable to use a pasta machine. Attach it firmly to a nice clean table and divide your pasta dough into four pieces, covering everything with a damp clean tea towel to stop it drying out as you go.
- One at a time, flatten each piece of dough by hand and run it through the thickest setting, then take the rollers down two settings and run the dough through again to make it thinner. Importantly, fold it in half and run it back through the thickest setting again – I like to repeat this a few times because it makes the dough super-smooth and turns it from a tatty sheet into one that fills out the pasta machine properly.
- Start rolling the sheet down through each setting, dusting with flour as you go. Turn the crank with one hand while the other maintains just a little tension to avoid any kinks, folds or ripples. Take it right down to the desired thickness, which is about 2mm for shapes like linguine, tagliatelle and lasagne. For anything turned into a filled pasta, such as ravioli and tortellini, go as thin as 1mm because when it’s folded around a filling it will double up to 2mm.
Ingredients – Serves 4:
- – 1 clove of garlic
- – 1/2 big bunch of fresh basil
- – Handful of chives
- – Handful of coriander
- – 1 handful of pine nuts
- – 1 good handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- – extra virgin olive oil
- – 1 lemon
- Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
- Pick, roughly chop and add the basil, followed by coriander and chives, then blend in a food processor.
- Add the pine nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and blend again, same with the parmesan.
- Drizzle in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.
- Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Have a taste and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end