- 600g/1lb 6oz flour
- 6 eggs
If you want to make the pasta slightly yellower and richer, add 2 egg yolks per 100g/31/2oz instead of 1 egg. And if you want to give the pasta a little more texture, use half strong flour and half semolina flour.
Place the flour on a board. You could always do this in a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and crack the eggs into it. Using a fork, beat the eggs until smooth. Mix together with the flour as much as possible so it’s not too sticky. Then flour each hand and begin to knead. This is the bit where you can let all your emotions out so go for it! What you want to end up with is a nice piece of silky elastic dough. Cover it with clingfilm and leave it to rest for about half an hour while you make your fillings.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH FILLING
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 x basic pasta recipe (see above)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and halved
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 dried red chilli
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thin slices of pancetta
- A small handful of sage leaves
- Some freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Make your pasta dough. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Remove the seeds from both halves of your butternut squash and put them to one side. Grate the squash using a cheese grater and pound up the coriander seeds and chilli in a pestle and mortar (or use the end of a rolling pin and a metal bowl). Mix the squash with the pounded spices, rosemary and 3 tablespoons of olive oil, then lay it out flat on a tray. Lay the pancetta over the squash and scatter the sage leaves on top. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for around 30 minutes until the squash looks dried out but is really intense and sweet and the pancetta and sage leaves are crisp. Carefully lift the sage and pancetta off and put them to one side.
Allow the squash mixture to cool slightly, and season well to taste. This is now ready to be used as the filling.
Turning pasta dough into a sheet Divide your dough in half. Cover one half with clingfilm and place in the fridge. Push the other piece of dough out with your hand. Run it through your pasta machine on the thickest setting for a few times, folding it in half each time until you have a nice, elastic, silky dough. Keep rolling the pasta through the settings, reducing the thickness each time until it’s as thick as a beer mat. If the pasta gets too long to work with, cut it in half. You now have your pasta sheet and can start to shape it.
Shaping into caramelle Cut the pasta into 10 x 6cm/4 x 2 ½ inch rectangles. Fill the middle with a teaspoon of the filling and brush lightly with water. Roll up like a Christmas cracker. Pinch hard to secure at each end. Keep on a flour dusted tray in the fridge until you need them, and try to cook them as fresh as possible.
Shaping into ravioli
Cut the pasta into 7 x 3 ½ inch strips, then brush or spray each strip with a little water. Add a teaspoon of filling to the centre of one side of each pasta strip, then fold over in half. Mould the pasta carefully around the filling, pushing out any air bubbles.
You can cut the ravioli into circles with a pastry cutter or into squares with a knife
Shaping into tortellini
Lay a sheet of pasta out on a flour-dusted surface. Cut into 10 x 10cm/4 x 4inch squares. On each square, place a good teaspoon of filling just off-centre. With a clean pastry brush evenly brush a little water around each mound of filling. Do this thoroughly to guarantee a good seal.
Fold each square in half from corner to corner, enclosing the filling — don’t worry if they look a bit uneven as we want them to look homemade. Tightly seal the tortellini together by cupping your hand around each mound of filling and pressing down. Make sure all the air is extracted.
With the flat edge of each tortellini facing you, roll them once towards the tip. Bring the two side flaps into the centre and squeeze them together tightly where they meet. You can cook them straight away or keep them in the fridge on a flour-dusted tray for 3-4 hours if you want to eat them later.
Cook the pieces of stuffed pasta for 3-4 minutes in plenty of boiling salted water until just cooked and still ‘al dente’. With a slotted spoon lift the pasta pieces carefully out of the water and divide them between warm plates. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, crumble the crispy sage and pancetta over the top with your hands and finish with grated Parmesan.