After a long sunny but windy day on the beach, I decided to have even longer but very rewarding end of the day.
After all, I did sign up to spend May the italian way, so I had the best motivation ever.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to try out home-made pasta with a flavour.
I got inspired by Waitrose Food Illustrated
magazine and went for the spinach pasta. I altered the filling a little as it was a bit too simple and today I fancied a rich filling full of flavours.
I must say, pasta making is a 10 minute job. What takes a lot of time is the filling!
So, here's the spinach pasta
making and ingredients:100 g fine flour
(00 is the best - you will unfortunately find it only in specialist italian shops in England, but you can use ordinary plain as well. I used strong bread gluten-free flour).1 egg2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp saltground black pepper (optional)150 g wilted spinach (steamed or cooked and squeezed and chopped)
On every 100 g of flour, add 1 egg. From 100 g, you'll get serving for 2 people.
Mix all the ingredients (by hand or
whizz in a mixer and finish by hand) in a bowl to start with. Once it holds together - transfer it onto a lightly floured surface( clean worktop) and work well through with the palm of your hand until you get a nice ball.
Wrap in a cling film and put in the fridge whilst you are making the filling.Filling:1/2 red onionfresh garlic - processed with a tip of the knife100% ham -
Saute these ingredients in a little olive oil for 2 minutes and leave to cool, ready for the filling.1 piece of yellow, orange and 4 pieces of green bell peppers - grilled and skin peeled, choppeditalian hams (you can use a selecion of the smoked ones) - use a handful and chop itfresh herbs (marjoram, lemon thyme) - choppedhaloumi cheese - grated1/2 feta cheese - crumbled
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and use your fingers to bind them all together.
Before you go onto rolling the pasta, heat water in a big saucepan.
Pasta rolling: On a lightly floured surface, start rolling the pasta with a roller pin. Start in the middle, then turn it around and do the same to flatten the thick parts of the dough on the edge. Keep turning the dough around and upside down carefully and flouring the surface underneath, so that the dough does not get a chance to stick to the surface. Roll it to about 1mm thickness and then start cutting out the circles. ( I had to use the plastic top for the nutella).
Once you have the circles, start laying the filling in the middle of each( about 1 tsp). Then wet the edges of pasta around the filling and stick another circle on top - starting from 1 side, sticking it down and when coming to the other side, you'll have to overlap a tiny bit as we have quite a bit of filling dollop in the middle. Then, place them carefully in the boiling water and wait about 10 minutes for them to cook. They will create air bubble where the filling is if you didn't squash the top circle around the filling tightly as me! (but I was working with a fine dough of gluten-free flour, so it was easy to tear. You should be ok.)
I decorated the pasta with toasted mixed nuts(sunflower, sesame and something else), melted butter with lemon rind ( in a microwave), leftover spinach and filling.
Serve with a glass of chilled Australian Chardonnay.