I dug out the pasta maker on day two in the new house and set about making my first batch of proper egg pasta. I nicked Jamie Oliver’s recipe but tweaked it as he failed to mention one thing that makes stuffed pasta all the better… adding a teaspoon of milk for every egg you put in the mix makes your pasta much more malleable and smooth than it would be otherwise, especially useful when you are stuffing shapes and trying to stick the ends together!
For 4 people you will need.
250 g durum wheat flour
250 g semolina flour
8 egg yolks
8 teaspoons of milk.
Sift the flour together and pile onto your work surface then make a well in the centre. Put the eggs and yolks in the well, start beating gently with a fork to amalgamate the lot. Once you have a roughly sticky solidifying dough, dump the fork and start to work into a dough ball with your hands. Knead thoroughly until the ball is smooth and elastic and shiny.
Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge whilst you prepare your stuffing (or just leave for 15-20 minutes until you’re ready to cut into shapes).
For pumpkin stuffing you’ll need:
1 quarter pumpkin
three fat cloves of garlic
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
a nice grassy olive oil
veggie or chicken stock
Slice your pumpkin nice and thin and crush and chop your garlic. Heat a pan, add a good thick glop of oil and start to soften the garlic. Once translucent, add the pumpkin and coat evenly. Turn up the heat and fry for a couple of minutes, then add a bit of stock and simmer. Only add enough stock to stop the pumpkin burning, you don’t want a soupy stuffing.
Be generous with the pepper, add salt to taste and throw in the chopped parsley towards the end. Mash the pumpkin up occasionally with a fork or wooden spoon until you have a pasty, smooth consistency. Take off the heat and transfer to a bowl to let it cool.
Get out the pasta maker, or equip yourself with a rolling pin! I start with the pasta maker on a low setting like 1-2 and feed small balls of dough through two or three times until it starts to become pliable and warm up. Gradually make the settings higher and higher until you have a sheet of pasta about 2 mm thin. Lay out your sheets of past, cut into squares. Add a spoon of stuffing in the centre of each pasta square, damp the edges of the square with milk and fold one corner over the other. At this point I recommend the following handy link for making pasta shapes, as I would be a disaster at explaining them without sounding like a poorly translated Ikea assembly booklet.
Stuffed pasta can keep in the fridge for a day or two, but frankly its more fun just to eat it as soon as possible! Boil some water, place the pasta in the boiling water for about 3-5 minutes depending how al dente you like it. Serve with a bit of melted butter in which you have fried some sage leaves.