Truffle Tagliolini

Truffle Tagliolini

A deliciously simple recipe and the best way to serve top quality pasta – this is one of my favourite recipes!

Tagliolini is tossed with a butter and truffle sauce and topped with a little shaved truffle and parmesan.

Truffle Tagliolini
Serves 2

Ingredients:

200g Top Quality Dried Tagliolini, 30g Unsalted Butter, 15ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2tbsp Reserved Pasta Water, 2tsp Black Truffle Oil, 1/2 Small Truffle (Fresh or Preserved) (Finely Shaved), 2tbsp Grated Parmesan, Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al-dente (around 6 minutes for tagliolini).

2) Meanwhile melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the olive oil and keep warm.

3) Drain the pasta once cooked (remember to save a little of the cooking liquid). Add the pasta to the pan with the butter and olive oil. Add the truffle oil and cooking liquor and season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Toss well to combine.

4) Serve the pasta and top with the shaved black truffle and a sprinkling of parmesan.

Enjoy!

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Duck & Chestnut Tagliolini

Duck & Chestnut Tagliolini

This is a super quick alternative to a traditional pasta with duck ragu but is still packed full of flavour! Duck is paired with chestnuts, smoked pancetta and fresh sage.

Using top quality duck rillettes minimises prep and cooking time.

Duck & Chestnut Tagliolini
Serves 2

Ingredients:

300g Tagliolini, 75g Duck Rillettes, 30g Smoked Pancetta (Diced), 1 Shallot (Finely Diced), 1 Garlic Clove (Finely Diced), 1tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage, 2tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan, 25g Unsalted Butter, Juice and Zest of 1/2 Lemon, 50ml Reserved Pasta Cooking Water, Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method:

1) Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the water and drain when ready.

2) Meanwhile place a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a little oil and fry the pancetta with the shallot and garlic for 2 minutes until golden. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the rillettes, sage, parmesan and butter. Keep over a low heat until the pasta is ready.

3) When the pasta is drained, add to the pan with the duck mixture together with the reserved cooking water, lemon juice and zest and a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Toss the pasta well to combine and serve with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Italian meatballs braised in tomato sauce are a true delight. This is my recipe for no fuss, perfect Italian Meatballs.

Great comfort food for when you have a few mouths to feed – the secret is a blend of minced pork and beef bound with bread and milk.

Roast and then braise these meatballs in your favourite tomato sauce and serve with pasta.

Italian Meatballs
Serves 5

Ingredients:
400g Minced Beef (Preferably Course Ground)
400g Minced Pork (Preferably Belly and Course Ground)
2 Slices White Bread (Gluten Free if Required)
75ml Milk
Large Handful Chopped Parsley
75g Grated Parmesan
1 1/2tsp Dried Oregano
1tsp Sea Salt
2tsp Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200c. Remove the crusts from the bread and soak in the milk. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, including the bread and milk, and mix well with your hands to combine.

2) Roll the mixture into balls around the size of a plum – you should get around 15 meatballs.

3) Transfer the meatballs to a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through. When ready, remove and transfer to a large pan. Pour over your tomato sauce and braise for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has come to a simmer.

4) Serve the meatballs and sauce with pasta and top with a little grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

Chicken Milanese

Chicken Milanese

A delicious and comforting supper, chicken Milanese is a staple recipe in my kitchen and always goes down well.

Pounded chicken is coated in breadcrumbs mixed with cayenne, thyme, oregano and paprika before being shallow fried in rapeseed oil.

Best served with pasta bound with a simple tomato sauce.

Chicken Milanese
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Breasts, 4 Slices Stale Bread, 1tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1tsp Paprika, 1tsp Oregano, 1tsp Thyme, Small Handful Parsley, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked Black Pepper, 1 Egg White, Rapeseed Oil

Method:

1) Combine the bread with the cayenne, paprika, oregano, thyme, parsley, sea salt and black pepper in a food processor and blitz to a crumb. Pour into a wide, shallow dish. Place the egg white in a second wide, shallow dish.

2) Remove the inner fillet from the chicken breasts and butterfly each breast in half. Place a slice of the chicken between plastic wrap and pound with a meat hammer or rolling pin until around 2-3mm thick. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken.

3) Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add enough rapeseed oil to cover the pan by 0.5cm. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg white then into the breadcrumbs – pressing to ensure each side is coated well. Place in the pan and cook for around 4 minutes each side until cooked through. Continue in batches until all of the chicken is cooked (you may need to refresh the oil between batches), keeping the cooked chicken warm whilst the remainder cooks.

4) Serve the chicken with some grated parmesan and lemon wedges. Also great served with pasta and tomato sauce.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Herb Tagliatelle

Chicken and Herb Tagliatelle

This is a great way of using up leftovers from a roast chicken and makes a great midweek supper – quick to prepare and delicious.

Tagliatelle is bound with homemade basil, garlic and parsley oil, roast chicken and a little parmesan.

Chicken and Herb Tagliatelle
Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the Pasta: 225g Dried Tagliatelle, 150g Roast Chicken (Diced/Stripped) (Heated), Small Handful Shaved Parmesan, Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, 25ml Reserved Pasta Cooking Water

For the Herb Oil: 75ml Rapeseed Oil, 1/2 Garlic Clove, Large Handful Chopped Basil, Large Handful Chopped Parsley, 1/4 Green Chilli (Seeds Removed)

Method:

1) Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta.

2) Meanwhile, make the herb oil by combining all of the ingredients in a spice blender or food processor and blitz to combine (be careful not to over blend).

3) Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan. Add herb oil to taste, the roast chicken, shaved parmesan, reserved cooking water and cracked black pepper (and a little sea salt if desired). Fold well to combine and serve.

Enjoy!

Summer Pappardelle

Summer Pappardelle

A delicious and super quick recipe which is perfect for a weekday supper.

Fresh pappardelle is tossed in a light leek and chive butter sauce with prosciutto and rocket.

Summer Pappardelle
Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the Sauce: 2tbsp Olive Oil, 35g Unsalted Butter, 1 Leek (Finely Chopped), 2tsp Chopped Chives, Zest 2 Lemons, Large Handful Rocket, 2tbsp Grated Parmesan, 4 Slices Prosciutto (Torn), 5tbsp Reserved Pasta Cooking Water, Cracked Black Pepper

To Finish: 200g Fresh Pappardelle, Cracked Black Pepper, Grated Parmesan

Method:

1) Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until just cooked. Drain and reserve 5tbsp of pasta water.

2) Meanwhile, make the sauce by lightly frying the leeks in the oil and butter in a large pan for 2 minutes. Add the chives, lemon zest, pasta water, rocket and prosciutto to the pan. Season well with cracked black pepper. Add the pasta once cooked and toss to combine with the grated parmesan.

3) Serve with extra cracked black pepper and grated parmesan to taste.

Enjoy!

Gnocchi Arrabbiata

Gnocchi Arrabbiata

A great recipe for a quick midweek supper, gnocchi is paired with a light tomato sauce packing a big kick of chilli.

Topping the gnocchi with a little diced mozzarella, fresh basil and parmesan shavings makes for a more impressive and, most importantly, a more delicious dish.

Gnocchi Arrabbiata
Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the Sauce: 300g Passata, 2tbsp Olive Oil, 2 Shallots (Diced), 1 Garlic Clove (Finely Sliced), 1tsp Tomato Purée, 1/2tsp Salt, Large Handful Fresh Basil (Chopped), 2 Red Chillies (Sliced), Juice 1/2 Lemon

To Finish: 200g Good Quality Gnocchi, 1 Ball Mozzarella (Diced), Fresh Basil Leaves, Handful Parmesan Shavings, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Begin by making the sauce: Sauté the shallot and garlic for 5 minutes in a large pan over a medium heat in the olive oil. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the passata and sliced chilli and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until slightly reduced. Stir in the chopped basil, lemon juice and salt and keep the sauce warm whilst you cook the gnocchi.

2) Boil the gnocchi in a large pan salted water until they float to the top (approx 2 minutes). Remove and drain and add to the sauce. Fold the gnocchi through the sauce.

3) Serve the gnocchi with the diced mozzarella, basil leaves, shaved parmesan and a good crack of black pepper.

Enjoy!

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

A deeply flavoured dish which is surprisingly light – duck legs are simmered in a tomato and red wine based sauce spiked with fresh herbs and a little star anise.

Whilst this ragu would be delicious served on its own, it really shines when paired with top quality pappardelle – the slight bite of the pasta adding contrast of texture.

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Ragu: 4 Duck Legs (Trimmed), 100g Smoked Bacon (Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 2 Onions (Chopped), 1 Celery Stick (Chopped), 2 Small Carrots (Chopped), 1 Bay Leaf, 1 Star Anise, 2tbsp Tomato Purée, 2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes, 200ml Red Wine, 2 Thyme Sprigs, 500ml Chicken Stock, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

To Finish: 250g Pappardelle, Large Handful Chopped Parsley, Shaved Parmesan, Black Pepper

Method:

1) Place a large casserole dish on the stove top. Add the duck legs (skin side down) and fry over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the fat has rendered. Turn and fry for a further 5 minutes. Remove the duck and set aside. Add the bacon and fry until crisp and golden. Next add the onions, celery, carrot and garlic and fry for 10 minutes or until tender.

2) Turn the heat up high and add the red wine – allow to reduce by half. Add the tomato purée and cook for 5 minutes, stirring well. Add the star anise, bay leaf, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a slight simmer. Season with pepper and a little salt. Place the duck legs in the stock and simmer low for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the duck is pulling from the bone.

3) Once ready, remove the duck legs from the sauce – keeping the sauce simmering. Shred the duck legs into large pieces, discarding the bones, and return to the sauce. Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle. Add the chopped parsley to the sauce and check the seasoning – fold to combine.

4) When cooked, drain the pappardelle into a large saucepan over a low heat and add the ragu – folding carefully to combine. Serve with shaved parmesan and a good crack of black pepper.

Enjoy!

Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta

 

There is little which is as rewarding as eating pasta made by your own fair hands. It really isn’t that difficult – just a little time and patience will reward you with some of the finest pasta you have ever eaten.

A great task for a leisurely weekend in the kitchen and for getting the family involved – this recipe for fresh egg pasta is the foundation for a bounty of dishes. You will no longer be restrained to the select few shapes stocked in the shops – once rolled, the pasta can be cut into any shape or size giving you complete culinary freedom!

Tipo (00) flour is the key to great pasta. Very finely milled and sieved, it is used widely in Italy for both pasta and cakes and getting your hands on some shouldn’t be an issue. It is also essential that you use the freshest of eggs. For reasons unknown to me fresh eggs make the silkiest and most elastic pasta – two qualities you most definitely desire.

Ignore assertions that you don’t in fact need a pasta machine and you can easily do it all by hand. You can indeed do the entire process by hand, but I assure you it will be the last time you bother making your own pasta. There is no need to invest in expensive kit, my simple roller and cutter cost me less than £10 and does a superb job. A pasta machine not only makes the job far easier, it also makes for better tasting pasta.

Once rolled and cut, the pasta can be either cooked straight away or dried and cooked later. To dry in the traditional way fold your cut pasta over a drying rack (see photo) or coat-hanger and place in a cool, dry room for a few hours or overnight until dried. Once dried store in air tight containers. It is also possible to place fresh pasta straight into the freezer in freezer bags, this pasta may then be cooked  from frozen.

Homemade Pasta
Serves 4/5

Ingredients:
400g Tipo (00) Flour
4 Large Free Range Eggs (Beaten)

Method:

1) Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a deep well in the centre. Add the beaten eggs to the well. Use the tips of your fingers to slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs. Continue to combine until the mixture is fully combined. Knead the dough together until you have one large lump of dough and no stray flour in the bowl.

2) The dough now needs to be kneaded. This stage is crucial to achieving silky smooth pasta. Place the dough on a large chopping board or on the table and knead with the palm of your hand as you would bread dough – stretching the dough away from you then bringing it back into itself. Knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling-film and transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3) To roll your pasta (with a machine): Clamp the machine to your table or workbench – leaving plenty of room either side of the machine. Dust the work surface lightly with 00 flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and follow the following instructions for each piece:

Dust the dough lightly with flour. Pass through the widest setting on the machine. Fold the pasta in half and pass through the widest setting again. Repeat another 2 times. Pass the pasta through the next widest setting on the machine twice. Continue to do this, reducing the width by one stage after the second roll, until the pasta is at the desired thickness.

4) Your pasta is now ready to cut. Cut tagliatelle etc on the pasta machine using the cutting attachment or by hand. Other shapes can be cut by hand and ravioli can be made from the lengths of pasta sheet – folded in half over the filling.

Enjoy!

Chestnut Tagliatelle

Chestnut Tagliatelle

 

Searching for a quick, comforting pasta recipe to cheer up these gloomy nights, my mind cast back to a recipe published in Gourmet Magazine a few years ago. Despite having since lost the recipe, I have racked my brains and identified the constituent ingredients.

This pasta dish is beautifully rich yet not heavy. Chestnuts are in abundance at this time of the year and pair perfectly with the crispy pancetta and sage. I guarantee everyone will love this quick dish.

Using a little of the pasta water in the sauce ensures it does not dry out – but be liberal as most will be absorbed by the pasta by the time it reaches the table!

Chestnut Tagliatelle
Serves 2

Ingredients:
300g Fresh Tagliatelle
75g Cooked, Peeled and Crumbled Chestnuts
75g Diced Pancetta
Small Handful Chopped Sage
1 Small Onion Diced
Small Handful Chopped Parsley
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Small Handful Grated Parmesan
Juice 1/2 Lemon
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 – 1 Cup Reserved Pasta Cooking Water

Method:
1) Sauté the pancetta and onion in a large pan over a medium heat.
2) Meanwhile cook the pasta.
3) Whilst the pasta is cooking, finish the sauce. Combine the pancetta and onions with the sage, chestnuts, butter and lemon juice. Add the reserved pasta water. Keep warm over a low heat.
4) Once the pasta has cooked, drain and add to the pancetta mixture. Toss through with the parsley, parmesan and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Add a little extra pasta water if required.

Enjoy!