Being Italian I adore pasta, however this carb is playing havoc with my figure! In any form, fresh or dry, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I’m not fussy. Any shape goes too, along with incredible mouthwatering and highly flavoured sauces. Making fresh pasta has to be one of the most rewarding tasks in any kitchen, I just switch off and think of nothing else but making pasta.
My Nonna Carmela would always roll her pasta by hand and never use a pasta machine, just a very thin rolling pin and large wooden tombagnio board, but then again she would also wash her clothes over the bath tub with a wooden wash board. Things change, times change and move on and I welcome pasta machines with my arms wide open, a modern Italian mama.
Teaching pasta classes is my passion along with writing, and I find that pasta machines are an invaluable asset to have in any passionate kitchen. However saying that, quality is paramount too. I have had to throw away 2 pasta machines over the past six months. Very sad as one of them was my baby blue machine (a favourite) a red pasta machine I sent back to the seller and a stainless steel machine form my mother which she had for ten years.
I basically killed them, they could not keep up!! The machines were not strong enough, too light weight and the red one (which was a Gino Di Campo machine) was very poor quality badly made and was sent back in disgust. I will say too , do not buy any item that is backed by a celebrity chef………I don’t think they know what they are endorsing half the time……..
Flour, eggs, pinch of salt and a little elbow grease, gives you a simple fresh satisfying egg pasta. I need nothing else. A ravioli can be filled with anything from thyme and mushrooms, sun dried tomato and Parma ham, basil and ricotta or my favourite ricotta and spinach with a pinch or nutmeg.
You do need a little time to make fresh pasta, but to be honest at the moment I am absolutely rushed off my feet. If I’m not tending to the children, I’m teaching, writing or cooking. All of which I love, but I never seem to stop. I never have ‘Me time’. I’m not really bothered about me time. All I want is to be able to cook in peace. Music on, pinny on and I just let my imagination go wild. Even though I have over 300 cookbooks, I find it very difficult to follow a recipe, I don’t like feeling restricted. So I tend to read all my book and learn, then find my own way. Children at school, husband at work and me in the kitchen, perfect!!
Fresh spaghetti and ravioli was the choice of the day, so here I go.
500g 00 flour
5 large eggs, plus one yolk
pinch or salt
1 tbsp olive oil
After making the dough, I split the recipe and made half the dough into spaghetti and the other half into delicious ravioli.
40g spinach, chopped
salt and pepper
a pinch or nutmeg
(mix all ricotta fillings together and set aside, until needed)
|Ready to get mixing with my finger tips. To form a dough…..|
|Ricotta and spinach filled ravioli………………|
|Spaghetti for my bambini|