So, this dish has got me thinking about how I can explore fresh pasta recipes that are easy to make, taste delicious and can be on the table in under an hour.
MADNESS! I hear you exclaim…… Well just bear with me as I’m hoping this is going to be the first in a series of both fresh and dried pasta dinner recipes that you can turn to for a weeknight supper solution when (like me) you have that craving for a bowl of unashamedly wonderful carb-centric satisfaction.
You’ll need: 6 medium to large tomatoes/ 4 sweet red pointed peppers/ cloves of Garlic/ Semolina flour/ water/ salt & pepper/ Basil/ Food processor/ Gnocchi board.
Breaking from tradition then with a long list of ingredients and steps, I’m going to keep this one short. You’ll need just the few ingredients listed for the pasta and the sauce. If you get them all underway at 6pm then you’ll have a from scratch bowl of pasta on the table by 7pm. I promise!
Are you ready…? Get the oven on first at 200 c (or 392 f to be absolutely precise).
First off is to prep the sauce by taking 6 of the nicest tomatoes you can lay your hands on and core them before cutting in half. Toss these in a baking tray with a good glug of olive oil, salt & pepper and 5 or 6 cloves of Garlic with skins on (use less if you have a meeting in the morning or simply aren’t a fan of too much Garlic).
Next up are the peppers. Take 4 red sweet pointed peppers, pierce each with a fork and wrap individually in foil to make pasty like parcels and place on a baking sheet.
Tomatoes and pepper parcels into the oven for about 40 minutes.
Now make your pasta dough. This one is so simple you’ll be surprised, I know I was the first time I made it. Semolina flour 100g per person serving with 1/4 cup of warm water per 100g. Mix to combine with your hands in a bowl until the flour and dough come together then tip out onto a floured counter and knead for about 10 minutes until you’ve got nice smooth ball that springs back to the touch. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for around 20-30 minutes.
Have a quick tidy of your counter then get the food processor out ready to blitz the tomatoes and peppers once they come out of the oven. I like to give the tomatoes a quick stir round to make sure they aren’t charring in one spot too much as they cook. Once done, squeeze Garlic from its papery skin before tipping the whole lot into the jug of the processor before unwrapping the peppers (these should be lovely and soft with an almost balsamic like stickiness in the parcel that definitely is to be not wasted) and adding to the G&T mix (Garlic & Tomato). Blitz to a smooth consistency then transfer to a pan on a low heat to keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning to suit.
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil and then you are into the last 15 minutes. Divide the dough into quarters and flatten into rough rectangles before cutting into 4 or 5 strips. Roll these strips into sausage shapes (think fat spaghetti), again on a floured surface and cut into 1/2 inch or so size pieces.
Flour the gnocchi board and quickly push each little piece away from you down the ridges vertically to make the Cavatelli. This should take about 10. minutes, by which time the water is boiling and ready for you to tip the whole lot of pasta shapes into to cook for 3-4 minutes.
Plating up is a breeze as you just drain the pasta, tip into the sauce, stir and spoon out. Fresh Basil on top and you are ready to eat. All bang on the dot (or thereabouts) of 60 minutes.
RECIPE INSPIRATION FROM (instagram): mateo.zielonka/ pastasocialclub/ fuelledandnourished