Saturday, 21 May 2011

No Knead Needed

I learned a new way of making pasta, courtesy of the lovely chef Steve Watts: a stronger dough which made perfect ravioli that absolutely could not burst, and beautiful tagliatelli too. It's the no-knead-needed method!

Bizarrely, the trick to this was making the pasta dough really really dry, even more so than pastry. I think we only used 3 eggs and 3 yolks in 500g of flour. It was a bit of a struggle to get it to stick together but it does happen with enough handling.

We formed it into five patties, flat enough to be able to go through the pasta machine at its widest setting, so it doesn't need any kneading or rolling out.

After it had sat in the fridge for at least half an hour, we could feed each patty through the pasta machine. If any bit flaked or broke off, it could just be reintegrated on another pass through the same setting. To get flat edges, we folded the pasta over and fed it in turned 90 degrees (see picture right).

Several rollerings through the first setting sees the pasta become silky smooth, although still tough enough to resist tearing. Run it through to the last but one setting and it's ready to go.

We made ravioli, stuffed with a mixture of watercress, bacon, chopped hazelnuts, mature cheddar, onion and garlic. These stored for a day, laid out separately and coated in semolina.

We also made tagliatelli - dried overnight it would stay perfectly edible for ages. We cooked it up with green beans, thinly sliced new potatoes and home made pesto.

Best carb crash ever

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