Monday last week was a historic day. It was the day when I finally made my own pasta.
I used a recipe from Simply Italian, a series that really inspired me to try it. Michaela in the show just make it seem so easy. And it was!
I will definitely make use of my handsome pasta maker on a regular basis. There are so many things I would like to try.
But for that first time last Monday, I stuck to what I knew; the amazing tagliatelle with browned butter, truffle oil and heaps of grated parmesan.
Homemade pasta, basic recipe
This is just a basic recipe that you can double, quadruple etcetera depending on how much you want to make.
100 g 00 flour
Pour the flour into a bowl or place in a heap on a surface. Make a dent in the flour and crack the egg. Combine with your hands or a wooden fork and knead into an elastic dough. If it is too crumbly, add 1 tsp olive oil, if too sticky add some more flour. Shape into a ball, wrap with cling and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into three pieces and flatted. While working with one, make sure the other two are covered with cling as not to dry out. Run the dough piece through the pasta machine, 3 times on the widest setting, then 1-2 times per setting as working your way down to the thickness you prefer. Repeat with the other dough pieces and cut into tagliatelle using the machine. Place on a plate and sprinkle with polenta (to stop them sticking to each other) and leave to uncovered to dry for 5 minutes. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add salt. Add the pasta and let it cook for about a minute. When the strands surface they’re done. Drain and serve.
It was not long ago at all that I declared that the nicest pasta dish is served with butter, truffle oil and parmesan, perfect for a quiet night in. That it is still true. But. It gets even better if said butter is browned butter. You will almost faint while eating this – it is that good!
Pasta with truffle oil, browned butter and parmesan, serves 2
3oo g good tagliatelle
1-2 tbsp browned butter
plenty of grated parmesan
Browned butter: Melt butter in a saucepan while whisking until the colour turns brown. Remove from heat and pour through a muslin cloth. Keep in the fridge.
Cook the pasta al dente. Drain in a colander. Pour the pasta back to the pan and add the browned butter. Flavour with truffle oil and plate in bowls. Add plenty of grated parmesan, black pepper and maybe a pinch of salt.
When I went to Partridges last time I found some lovely tagliatelle from my favourite brand De Cecco. For some reason I haven’t found this pasta in regular supermarkets, but I am happy I found it at all.
I cooked it al dente and mixed it with some melted butter both for flavour and for it not to be sticky from the starch. Adding truffle oil and plenty of freshly grated parmesan and some black pepper made this into a fabulous meal. It feels decadent yet it is so simple to make.
As always when going for less is more, good produce is key. Make sure you use good quality pasta, nice parmesan (I prefer Parmiggiano Reggiano) and choose a good truffle oil. I found mine in Partridges as well, and it is more pungent than a supermarket bottle.
Pasta with truffle oil and parmesan, serves 2
3oo g tagliatelle
1 tbsp salted butter
plenty of grated parmesan
Cook the pasta al dente. Drain in a colander. In the mean time, melt the butter in the pasta pan. Add the drained pasta and toss. Add truffle oil after taste and toss again. Serve in shallow bowls and add plenty of grated parmesan, black pepper and maybe a pinch of salt.
I never get tired of soups during the autumn and winter, but I like to try new flavours and my aim is probably to try to make soup of most vegetables.
I have actually not made one with just parsnip in before, but this was really good. Parsnip is a sweet vegetable so it definitely needs the onions and garlic as well as the mushrooms on top to balance that out. Add a little truffle oil to enhance the mushrooms even more and this soup could be served at a dinner party as a starter.
Parsnip soup with fried mushrooms, serves 2
500 g parsnips, peeled and cut into smaller pieces
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp concentrated vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
salt, white pepper
6-7 chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced, fried in butter and oil + truffle oil
Fry the onion in olive oil in a large sauce pan without it browning. Lower the heat and add the garlic. Fry for 30 seconds. Add the parsnips and fry for a minute or so. Cover the parsnips with boiling water. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cook until the parnips are very soft. drain 1/3 of the water but set it aside. Mix the 2/3 with the parsnips until smooth. Add more of the water if needed. Bring the purée to the boil and add cream and thyme. Season to taste with stock, salt and pepper. Add some milk if the soup is too thick. Pour into bowls and top with the mushrooms and truffle oil. Serve straight away.
A long breakfast or brunch is the best way to start the weekend, isn’t it?! A favourite dish of mine for such occassions is oeufs en cocotte; a baked egg with cream in a ramekin. I have mentioned about these little darlings before, but thought it was time again now since I last weekend had the perfect egg. Not yet set, with cheese, bacon and truffle oil it was such a delight.
I also, finally, figured out the perfect time and setting for my temperamental oven. Horay!
Follow my lead:
Oeus en cocotte with bacon and cheese, serves 1
a knob of butter
1 slice of bacon, fried in pieces, drained on kitchen towel
2 tbsp single cream
1-2 tbsp grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack, but cheddar would work just as well)
1 tsp truffle oil
white pepper (no salt necessary)
Grease a ramekin. Place the fried bacon in the bottom and break the egg on top. Pour over the cream, sprinkle the cheese, drizzle truffle oil and add some pepper. Place in a ovenproof dish and fill it half up to the ramekin with boiling water. Place in 160-180 C oven (depending on the oven, mine was perfect at 160C) and bake for 14-16 minutes, longer if you need the egg to set. Eat with a spoon and a piece of buttered toast, and roll on Saturday night!