This week we are doing something really simple combined with something a bit harder… Cheesy meatballs and fresh pasta, and yes it is all from scratch! Making pasta is one of those things that takes a little bit of time but is totally worthwhile! The result is something better than store bought, not to mention super impressive to any dinner guests!
Fresh pasta is a long process, especially the first time you make it. Make sure you have some time on your hands before you start preparing this meal! You could even make the pasta a day or two in advance!
- 500gm 00 plain flour
- 5 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
As with the bread recipe we did a few weeks ago, you can make the pasta dough by hand or if you have a cake mixer you can also use the dough hook.
1. Combine all of the ingredients into your mixing bowl and mix until a firm dough starts to form. Keep kneading or mixing the dough for 6 to 10mins until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30mins to rest.
2. If you have a pasta roller the trick is to start on the widest setting and roll your dough though a few times. Always making sure your dough is well floured so you don’t get stuck to the rollers. Once your dough is smooth reduce the width on your roller and roll though and then repeat until you get the required thickness. I usually stop at setting number 2. You can make whatever shape pasta you like. I am making linguine with my pasta machine. There are plenty of pasta tutorials out there on all sorts of shapes and sizes of pasta.
3. Once you have cut the pasta into shape allow it to dry on a rack until pasta cracks when bent. This may take a short time or a bit longer depending on the humidity and air temperature.
4. To cook pasta, boil as you would a store bought pasta, so 5-6 mins boil with a pinch of salt.
Serves 6 to 8
- 250gm beef mince
- 250gm veal mince
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- One clove of garlic
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cinnamon
- One egg
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ onion
- 2 or three sprigs of fresh thyme
- Two tins of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 10 Cherry tomatoes
- Olives- optional
1. Put all of the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Roll tablespoon fulls of mince mixture into balls. Place meatballs on a tray lined with baking paper. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm.
2. To make the sauce sauté thyme, onion and garlic in a frypan on medium heat until soft. Add stock and tinned tomatoes, bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and drop meatballs in one at a time allowing them to simmer uncovered for 20min. Add cherry tomatoes and olives and cook for a further 10mins.
3. We served ours with a little side of asparagus – you can sauté up some asparagus simply by heating some oil in a frying pan on medium heat, adding a clove or two of garlic. Cook for a minute or until softened (not browned!) then add your asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus starts to turn bright green. Reduce heat..
4. Spoon meatballs and sauce over pasta and top with parsley and parmesan cheese. Top with asparagus and enjoy!