Goats Cheese and Asparagus Basil Tortellini with Goats Cheese Foam (Sauce).

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This is a very impressive, but quite simple, dish to make . . great for impressing your friends. The Asparagus season is quite short so make the most of it while it is there and try this dish.

 

1 quantity – Basil Pasta Dough

100g Goats cheese, rind removed

10 Asparagus spears, trimmed

a good dash of cream

For the tortellini

(1). Once you have trimmed the asparagus set aside three spears to griddle, the rest can be chopped roughly and cooked in a little salted boiling water till tender. Once tender remove form water and set to one side to cool.

(2). Place the cooled asparagus in a food mixer along with a about 3/4 of the goats cheese and blend together to form your tortellini filling.

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(3) Roll your basil pasta out as thin as you can using pasta machine or rolling pin. Then cut out as many 60mm circles, with a pastry cutter, as you can.

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(4). Place a spoonful of the asparagus filling on one of the dough circles then fold the dough over to cover the filling, press down to seal together making use to squeeze out any trapped air then your tortellini won’t burst during cooking. If you want to make ravioli, stop here.

(5). To make tortellini, take the two edges of the half moon shape and carefully wrap them around you finger and press together at the front.

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(6). Leave to dry a for 20 – 30 minutes.

 

For the dish

(1). Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.

(2). Place a high sided sauce pan and a griddle pan over medium heat.

(3). Place your whole asparagus spears on the griddle and turn regularly till char-grilled.

(4). Place the cream and remaining goats cheese into the sauce pan and stir till the goats cheese has melted into the cream.

(5). Cook your tortellini in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they are cooked then place in the centre of your bowl.

(6). Arrange the griddled asparagus spears around the tortellini.

(7). Using a stick blender blitz the goats cheese sauce, moving it up and down until the sauce becomes a foam, then spoon the foam around your tortellini and asparagus spears.

 

Basil Pasta Dough

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Flavoured pasta doughs are so versatile, and they look amazing. Basil pasta dough is so useful, you can make filled, flat or shaped pasta from it and it will add a delicious basil flavour to any dish you make with it.

100g pasta flour 00
1 egg
50g fresh basil
(1). Place the basil in a food mixer and blitz to a paste,add a dash of water if needed.
(2). Sieve flour out into a mound on a work surface, make a small well with your finger and the place the eggs and basil paste into the centre.
(3). Using your fingers slowly bring the flour into the eggs and basil in a circular motion and keep doing so until a dough begins to form, then use hands to knead to a smooth elastic dough.
(4). Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.

Tiger Stripe Garganelli with Prawns, Chilli and Prawns

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This dish looks so impressive, but is actually quite easy to make, and more importantly tastes delicious.

You can get squid ink sachets from most good fish mongers or delis, failing that you can order some online.

Squid ink pasta works well with any seafood so feel free to experiment with ingredients.

6 raw prawns, shells removed
2 garlic cloves, sliced
olive oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
pinch finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
(1). Bring a pan of water to the boil ready for your pasta.
(2). Place a pan over low heat, saute the garlic and chilli in a glug of olive oil until golden but not browned.
(3). Add the prawns and cook through quickly, stirring to coat in the oil.
(4). When the prawns are almost cooked through, put your ganganelli into the boiling waterto cook. Remember fresh pasta will only take 2-3 minutes to cook.
(5). Once cooked, add the garganelli and chopped parsley to the prawns and toss so that the pasta is coated in the olive oil mixture and everything is well combined.
(6). Serve immediately

Tiger Stripe Garganelli

 

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Coloured pasta looks, and tastes, fantastic . . and really is simple to make. Garganelli is an easy shape to make, all you need is a short piece of thin wood rod and a gnocchi board (or even a flat cheese grater).

For the Garganelli 

1 quantity Tiger Stripe Pasta Dough 

(1). Cut your pasta sheets into small squares, 40mm each side.

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(2). Taking each square, one at a time, place on your gnocchi board (or grater) as shown below, place your rod on top and roll the dough sheet around the rod.

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(3). Once the dough is rolled around the rod, lift off the board and carefully slide your garganelli off the rod and place on a lightly floured tray to dry slightly before use.

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Tiger Stripe Pasta Dough

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This is cool thing to do with pasta, it really is very easy but looks unbelievably impressive. Once you have made your tiger stripe dough sheets you can use them to make many different types of pasta – stuffed pasta such as ravioli, tortellini, tordelli, angliotti, or flat pasta such as pappardelle, linguine, lasagne sheets, or pasta shapes such as strozzapreti, malloreddus or cavatelli.

1 quantity – Plain And Squid Ink Pasta Dough

(1). Once you’ve made the pasta doughs, using the recipe above, roll your doughs separately through your pasta machine, or with a rolling pin by hand, till they are as thin as possible.

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(2). Cut one of your dough sheets into strips. You could cut them straight but I like to cut the wavy so they look much more like tiger stripes.

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(3). Lay the strips on top of the whole pasta sheet, push down gently with your fingers to secure then either reduce your pasta machine settings and roll the dough through to the thinnest setting again or roll out as flat as you can with your rolling pin.

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(4). Use as needed.

Plain And Squid Ink Pasta Dough

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Flavoured pasta dough are great, and also very easy to make. They can be used singularly or you can combine them to make colourful pasta sheets.

The two recipes below give you white and black pasta.

Plain Egg Pasta (White)

350g tipo 00 pasta flour
2 large eggs
6 large egg yolks

(1). By hand. Sieve flour out into a mound on a work surface, make a small well with your finger and the place the eggs and egg yolks into the centre. Using your fingers slowly bring the flour into the eggs in a circular motion and keep doing so until a dough begins to form, then use hands to knead to a smooth elastic dough.
(2). Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.

(3). With  a food mixer. Place all ingredients in a food mixer and blend to a dough.

(4). Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.

 

Squid Ink Pasta Dough (Black)

3 egg yolks
2 eggs
3 sachets squid ink (available from some fishmongers)
250g 00 pasta flour, plus extra for flouring
2tbsp olive oil
(1). By hand. Sieve flour out into a mound on a work surface, make a small well with your finger and the place the squid ink, eggs and egg yolks into the centre.
(2). Using your fingers slowly bring the flour into the egg mixture in a circular motion and keep doing so until a dough begins to form, then use hands to knead to a smooth elastic dough.
(3). Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.
(4). With a food mixer. Place all ingredients in a food mixer and blend to a dough.
(5). Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.

Asparagus Carbonara

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Asparagus is delicious and at the moment in the UK it is right in season. This is a great dish and very simple to make, taking its inspiration from the classic Italian pasta carbonara but using asparagus instead of pancetta.

 

250g linguine
300g fresh asparagus
3 egg yolks
100g grated parmesan
1 clove garlic crushed

 

(1). Cook the linguine in a pot of boiling salted water.

(2). Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus, then slice at an angle. Keep the sliced asparagus to one side.

(3). In a bowl beat the three egg yolks then add the crushed garlic. Add a few spoons of the pasta water and keep to one side.

(4). When your pasta has been cooking for around 5 mins add the asparagus to the water the linguine is cooking in.

(5). When the pasta is al dente remove the linguine and the sliced asparagus from the pan and add it directly into pan, add the parmesan and put the pan on a medium heat, add the beaten eggs and toss the pasta so the sauce starts to coat nicely. Add a few spoonfuls of pasta water if the sauce is a bit too thick.

(6). Serve with more parmesan and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.