Fresh Pasta - my step by step way...

Thursday 20 September 2012

Ciao Bella! Fresh Pasta - prep in advance and cook in a minute!


Mezzelune with Aubergine & Tomato Filling

Fresh pasta is something I used to buy in the supermarket until two things changed all that. We went on holiday to Tuscany and had pasta making lessons, so I found out how easy it is. Then I watched a cookery programme saying that you are just paying for water if you buy it in from the shops and it is expensive for what it is....So I got set, we bought a pasta roller and hey off I go!
I found this technique for making these half moon pasta shapes from a Gino D'Acampo's pasta making book and fill them with my own recipe.
Serves 4 as a starter.

You Will Need -

200g Type 'OO' Flour - I use Sainbury's Own Brand
Half teaspoon of salt
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon of basil olive oil
For the filling -
Half aubergine
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 teaspoon of dried basil
Half red pepper
Half red onion

Go Create!

  1. First prepare you pasta, this can be done the day or morning before when you have 15 mins. Clean the kitchen surface and pour the flour onto the surface making a well in the middle.
  2. Sprinkle the salt over the flour.
  3. Pour 3/4 of the egg into the well and mix in.
  4. Once all the egg is mixed in then add the oil.
  5. Kneed for about 6-8 mins, I usually put the radio or a CD on and it is about 2 songs worth!
  6. Then cling film up and pop in the fridge to rest.

To prepare the filling -
  1. Dice the aubergine and sprinkle with salt and cover with boiling water.
  2. Cook fast for 5 mins, this takes the bitternes out of it.
  3. Chop up the onion finely and add to the pan.
  4. Chop the red pepper finely and add.
  5. Add the puree and seasoning and add oil if necessary to stop sticking.
  6. Once the mixture has softened and cooked through. Leave to cool.
To make the pasta & mezzelune filled pasta -

Divide the pasta dough into 3.

  1. Take a section and flatten and roll. I normally pass through the roller at a thick then thin setting.
  2. Once all three pieces are rolled out, get a pastry cutter (I use one with a 5 cm diameter) and cut out 40 pieces.
  3. Then cover in flour to stop them sticking and they are ready to fill.
  4. Lay on a floured chopping board all the circular pasta shapes and fill each one with half a teaspoon of filling.
  5. Take the last quarter of egg and paint the egg around edges to seal.
  6. Fold the pockets to create a half moon and seal with a fork to crimp the edges.
  7. These can be left in a sealed box in the fridge for a day or two until ready.

To cook -

Boil a pan of salted water then cook the pasta for one minute.
Serve with cream and grated hard cheese and black pepper as a simple for delightful starter.

Here is a step by step in pictures, very relaxing to make ahead (I make them in the evening before) and so quick to cook  -


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