A while back (actually before I went to Italy) Roma were kind enough to send me out a packet of their new tipo ‘00’ flour. I had been reading recipes that suggested using ‘00’ flour for ages but the closest I could get was the odd packet of ‘0’ flour which I would scoop up immediately. So the news that 00 flour might be available in the common supermarket was only wonderful. Well I went to Italy, got mahself a pasta maker – and lugging that back in an already full rucksack is no mean feat let me tell you. But it cost a mere 15 euro in the giant supermarket (did I mention the cheese? It was wonderful). So a few weeks ago on a rare non busy evening I had an egg or two lying around and decided it was pasta making time. I must try pizza too but for now, here’s what I did.
What you need:
- 100grams 00 flour – Look out for Roma in your local shops and ask if they don’t have it, makes better pizza bases too!
- 1 large egg
- (Can be doubled. Or tripled. Or do whatever you want really…)
What to do:
- Measure out 100g of flour on a nice clean smooth surface. Make a well and crack a large egg in the middle. Topple the flour in and mix up so that it forms a dough.
- Alternatively you can pop the flour and eggs in a food processor, process until it looks crumby, and tip it out on a nice surface.
- Knead this mixture for a few minutes until it’s nice and smooth.
- Now wrap completely in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for an hour or two.
- Depending on what you are making, get your filling or sauce ready in this time. (I am on fire with the tips here, am I not)
- Ok here’s the fun part. I cut the dough into 4 pieces, and one at a time I roll out the pasta somewhat.
- Then if you have a pasta maker, put it through on the widest setting first. Double it over on top of itself and run it through again. Fold in the other direction and do again. When it’s nice and silky looking, start decreasing the setting one at a time until it’s lovely and thin. Be careful to keep it nice and straight. If it starts to stick, sprinkle a light dusting of flour over it as it goes through the machine. You can cut it into more manageable pieces should you need to.
- When it’s nice and thin either work with it straight away by using the attachment you need (I like spaghetti type) or cut it into ravioli. If you’re not ready to use it yet leave it covered by a damp towel as it will dry out, and quickly.
- Alternatively you can roll it out as thin as possible and cut into shapes of your choice.#
Spinach filling for ravioli
- A bag of spinach
- A clove of garlic
- A piece of nutmeg
- You could leave out the nutmeg and use a tub of ricotta if you so choose! I like the nutmeg lower fat type.
- Lightly sautee the finely minced clove of garlic in a chunk of butter on a medium heat.
- Add a bag of spinach leaves and fry down until wilted.
- Grate about ¼ to ½ a nutmeg into it and give it a good stir. Drain off as much juices as possible, and chop the spinach on a chopping board.
- Spoon onto a piece of pasta (I use largish pieces and do 6 at a time), brush the edges with an egg. Press down a second piece of pasta of the same size and shape. Press down lightly getting rid of all of the air from the piece of pasta. Use a round cutter/pastry cutter or cut into squares with a sharp knife. Ensure edges are sealed, trim if needed.
- Cook for minutes until pasta floats to the top. Test one first to ensure if fully cooked. The time spent cooking depends on how thin you’ve managed to get your pasta, so it’s very much a test and see cooking time. My ravioli cooked in about 4 minutes.
This is not the best picture but it gives an idea I guess…