I’m fast becoming a superfan of Lorraine Pascale. I end up itching to get into the kitchen and start cooking after watching every one of her episodes! I love her twists on everyday recipes as well as her vespa and smart car – she’s soooo cool.
I watched the first episode of her new Home Cooking Made Easy series with great interest, especially her cracked black pepper pasta. I’ve seen pasta dyed and flavoured with spinach, tomato and squid ink in the past but never with anything as simple as freshly cracked black pepper.
Lorraine served her pasta with a creamy pancetta, mushroom and parmesan sauce (recipe here). But I fancied something slightly lighter and tomatoey so made myself a roasted garlic, tomato and mascarpone sauce – details below.
Given the time, making your own pasta is far tastier and satisfying than using the dried stuff not to mention bloomin’ impressive!
Cracked Black Tagliatelle Pasta
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main
For the pasta:
- 400g ‘00’/very strong flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsps freshly cracked black pepper
For my roasted garlic, tomato and mascarpone sauce:
- 8 cloves garlic
- Olive oil
- 1 small fresh chilli, finely chopped, or a pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 2 heaped tbsps of mascarpone
- Small bunch of fresh basil
1. To make the pasta, put the flour, eggs, olive oil and black pepper into your food processor. Blitz for 30 seconds or so until it becomes like breadcrumbs.
2. Empty the dough out onto your work surface and knead a little until you have a neat and tidy ball of dough. Then wrap in cling film and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. When your 30 minutes are up it’s just a case of feeding the dough through your pasta machine… though that can be easier said than done. Feed through in the smallest batches you can tolerate. Also, if you don’t have a pasta machine, you can try rolling it out but it has to be as thin as you can make it.
At this point, I have to apologise to my sister-in-law who could be reading this as I broke the pasta machine she lovingly purchased for me one Christmas. I also stupidly thought I could fix it myself so got out the toolbox and took it apart. I think the picture below says it all really and another one is on its way from Amazon. Luckily this happened towards the end of my dough! After looking online it seems that everyone has had problems with the mechanism on the Kitchencraft model – not just me – honestly!
4. When you’ve fed your pasta through all of the machine settings, you then need to fold and cut it to make tagliatelle. To do this, fold your strips in half length-ways, and again, and again, and again. Yes – 4 folds! After each fold, sprinkle the pasta with some flour to stop it sticking. Then you need to cut the pasta cigar you’re left with into 1cm strips width ways. You create these lovely little pasta pillows, which are already starting to look yummy.
5. When you’ve finished cutting, hang your pasta on a drying stand (or a coat hanger as Lorraine suggests) for at least 30 minutes before boiling it. Boil for 6 minutes, or until al dente. Always boil pasta in tons of water and you should add 12g of salt per litre. Yes – that’s very salty water! Never add oil as it makes the pasta slippery and absorb less of your sauce!
6. Now for the sauce…. simply drizzle your garlic cloves in olive oil and add a good sprinkle of salt. Then bake them in a 200°oven (Gas Mark 6) for 35-40 minutes so they are soft and gooey and not yet charred at the edges.
7. While they are in the oven, put a saucepan on a medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chilli along with a pinch of salt and cook for a minute.
8. Now add your cans of chopped tomatoes and turn the heat down to a simmer. Keep simmering until the garlic is ready and then pop the cloves out of their papery skin and roughly chop them before adding to your tomato sauce. Finally, stir through your tablespoons of mascarpone before adding your pasta and then a little basil to serve.
There you go, pasta just-a like-a mamma used to make!