Scallop, Pea and Pancetta Ravioli

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for pasta

 

1 quantity homemade pasta dough
1 beaten egg
for the filling
8 scallops
75g pancetta
75g frozen peas, defrosted
salt and pepper
for lemon and parsley butter
75g butter
drizzle of olive oil
flat-leaf parsley leaves
juice 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
shaves of Pecorino or Parmesan
(1). For your filling, heat a pan over a medium heat and cook your scallops and pancetta ,adding the peas just before everything is cooked through.
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(2). Place the cooked scallops, pancetta and peas into a food  processor and pulse until well combined then season.
(3). Roll your pasta dough through a pasta machine on it’s widest setting between 3 – 5 times to prove the dough, then keep running the dough through, reducing the settings each time till you have a soft, smooth silky dough, cut the dough into eight managable lengths about 1o inches long, so its easier to work with.
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(4). Lay your sheets of pasta out flat on a board or work top, and place a big spoonful of the scallop mixture onto the left hand side of each sheet leaving enough dough to the right hand side to fold over.
(5). Fold the dough over the scallop  mixture and seal around the filling, removing any trapped air. Repeat with other sheets of pasta.
(6). Use a ravoli stamp, pastry cutter or knife to cut out each ravioli and pinch carefully around each ravioli to make sure they are sealed then place on a papper towel lined plate and rest in the fridge.
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(7). When your ready to cook your ravioli, bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling add a couple of good pinches of salt and carefully place your ravioli in the water for not much more than 2 or 3 minutes, so the pasta is cooked but your yolk will soon be runny.
(8). While the pasta is cooking make the sauce by melting the butter with a little olive oil in a pan, once the butter is melted add the lemon juice and parsley and mix together well.
(9). Remove your pasta with a slotted spoon and place in the butter mixture and toss together well.
(10). Season with a couple of twists of freshly ground black pepper and enjoy 🙂

Herb Tagliatelle with Vegetables

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150g Fresh homemade herb pasta, cut into tagliatelle
1 leek, trimmed, halved and cut into fine
1 carrot, topped and tailed, cut into fine dice
8 asparagus spears, woody stems removed and stalk peeled
1 courgette, topped and tailed, cut into fine strips
50g frozen peas
50g frozen broad beans
olive oil
125ml white wine
salt and pepper
a pinch of torn basil
a pinch of torn parsley
shaved Parmesan
juice of half a lemon
slice of lemon

(1). In a pan warm a lug of olive oil over a medium heat, once warmed add all the vegetables and lightly cook, stirring all time to prevent any colouring.
(2). Cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
(3). Add the wine to the vegetables and allow to reduce and burn of the alcohol, reduce the heat and put a lid on the pan and allow the vegetables to stew in the wine for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice and stir together.
(4). By now the pasta should be cooked so lift pasta from water with tongs and add the the vegetables, toss the pasta together with the vegetables so pasta becomes coated in the cooking liquid.
(5). Place pasta on a plate, scatter with the basil, parsley and Parmesan. Garnish with wedge of lemon.  Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.

Herb Pasta

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

Mixed fresh herb leaves, such as basil, dill, flat-leaf parsley, marjoram.

 

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

 

(2). Remove dough from fridge and unwrap and allow to warm up slowly. Set the rollers of your pasta machine to the widest setting. Divide dough and into two and flatten slightly by hand, then pass through the pasta machine, then fold it into three. Turn the dough round and pass through again and repeat this process 5 or 6 times to prove the gluten’s in the dough and increase its elasticity. Roll through the machine four times, steadily reducing the setting of the rollers to their thinnest setting. Once the dough is as thin as you feel comfortable, cut it into manageable lengths.
(3). Lay a dough length out on your board and place the herb leaves over the dough, pushing down but not bruising the leaves or tearing the dough.
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(4). Place another sheet of dough over the top, press down slightly.
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Increase the roller width on your pasta machine, then run the sheet back through your pasta machine to its thinnest setting again.
(5).Cut the pasta sheets to whatever thickness you need, or use to make ravioli, etc.
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Duck Breast with Pearl Barley Risotto

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Pearl barley is a delicious substitute for rice and makes amazing, risotto like dishes.


2 duck breasts trimmed

For the risotto

225g pearl barley

150ml chicken stock

50g butter

1 onion, fine diced

110g pancetta,  diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 thyme sprig, leaves only

120ml red wine

 

(1). Put the pearl barley in a pan, add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until tender, topping up the stock if necessary.

(2). Pan seal your duck breast in a hot pan, render down the fat and seal then turn over and place in pre-heated oven to cook through.

(3). Melt the butter in a large frying pan or wok and gently saute the onion, and pepper for 5 minutes. Add the pancetta, and fry on a higher heat for 5 more minutes.

(4). Add the garlic, most of the thyme leaves and wine. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

(5). Remove duck from oven, rest for 5 minutes then carve.

(6). Drain the pearl barley thoroughly and stir it into the other ingredients, making sure it’s piping hot. Serve immediately,  with duck sliced laid on top and some cooking juices from the duck spooned over the top, garnished with a few thyme sprigs.

Pan-fried Scallops with Courgette and Tomatoes

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4 large scallops (removed from their shell)
2 courgettes,cut in to match sticks
2 plum tomatoes,finely chopped
1tsp capers
chopped flat leaf parsley
4 basil leaves
1 red chilli, sliced
1 garlic clove finely sliced
3tbsp olive oil

 

(1). Heat a pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and the garlic. Cook gently for a minute, then add the courgettes and a sprinkle of sea salt. Cook for five minutes so the courgettes become soft and have a little colour.

(2). Add the plum tomatoes and some basil. Turn down the heat and cook for a further five minutes so the tomato reduces and thickens.

(3). Mix the scallops in a bowl with salt, pepper, olive oil so the are completely covered. Heat a frying pan so it is really hot. Add the scallops to the hot pan so they get a crust then turn over.

(4). Cook for one minute and remove the pan from the heat. Add a dash of olive oil the chopped parsley capers and red chilli.

(5). Spoon the courgettes and tomato on to a plate then place the scallops on top with the chilli capers and parsley on each scallop.

Spicy Baby Octopus Stew

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This dishes just screams of southern Italy, a combination of seafood, chilli, tomatoes and basil couldn’t be more southern Italian if it tried.

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
400g baby octopus, cleaned and cut into small pieces
A good splash of white wine
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
4 tbsp tomato sauce
10 basil
4 slices Italian bread, toasted
(1). Heat your olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chillies, and gently fry for a minute or two without colouring.

(2). Add the octopus and fry for few minutes, turning once, until white and sealed.

(3). Pour in the wine and simmer briskly to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

(4). Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the basil leaves and simmer for 2 minutes more.

(5). Place some octopus and the sauce in the middle of each plate. Drizzle with olive oil.

(6). Set the toasted bread on the side and serve.

Ciabatta

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Ciabatta is a very popular Italian bread. The recipe below shows the Italian method of making ciabatta, it may seem like a long drawn out process, but believe me it’s worth it.

For the starter

250g ’00’ flour
190ml water
15g yeast

For the bread

250g ’00’ flour
10g yeast
190ml water
12g salt

(1). To make the starter, mix the flour with the water in a bowl and add the yeast. Whisk for three minutes and leave to rise overnight or for atleast eight hours.

(2). Next day, add the rest of the flour and yeast to the starter and mix to a dough.

(3). Add the rest of the water, little by little, to the bread mixture.

(4). When almost all the water has been added, add the salt to the last of the water and mix together for a further five minutes, until a sticky dough is formed.

(5). Place the dough into a large oiled bowl and leave to prove for an hour.

(6). Turn the dough out on to a heavily floured (ideally polenta flour or semolina) then gently in the flour till coated and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes (the coating of course flour will help stop the dough spreading during cooking).

(7). Preheat the oven to 240 centigrade/ Gas mark 8.

Gently place the dough onto a oiled baking sheet and shape into a flat ciabatta loaf shape.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and hollow-sounding when tapped.

Remove and cool on a wire rack.