Monday, 20 February 2012

Becoming a 'Pasta Master' at Jamie Oliver's Recipease

A while back, my sister and I took advantage of the "two for the price of one" promotion on lessons at the Brighton branch of Recipease, the cooking school/store/café founded by Jamie Oliver. You might recall a post I wrote about visiting his Clapham Junction branch but this time I was a participant and not just a visitor.

The class was called "Pasta Master" and we learned firstly how to make pasta, and then how to turn it into a meal using roasted butternut squash with chilli, garlic and toasted pine nuts. I had never even thought about using squash with pasta, but it worked well. It was so delicious and happened to be without meat, something one doesn't really miss at all.

Recipease Brighton
72 Western Road
Brighton, East Sussex
United Kingdom

Homemade pasta with Chilli and Garlic Roasted Squash
Based on the recipe used at Recipease Brighton

This recipe is per person but can be multiplied to serve more. It is deliberately vague since the amounts of ingredients don't need to be exact (except for the pasta). Just use your instincts. It'll taste good anyway.

Pasta (per person)
100g Type 00 / Pasta flour
1 medium egg

In a bowl, mix together flour and egg until combined. Knead dough on a flat surface until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Cut in half and starting on the highest/thickest setting on your pasta machine, roll through several times. Each time folding in half and putting through again until the dough is even and smooth. Begin rolling through at smaller/thinner settings until you have the desired thickness. Roll through the fettucini cutter (or cut by hand).

Roasted Squash
Half a Butternut Squash (per person)
Olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 red chilli, or more if you wish

To finish the dish:
A heaped tablespoon each of mascapone or créme fraîche
Handful parmesan, freshly grated
Handful parsley (or any herb you prefer), roughly chopped
Pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a roasting dish, mix the squash chunks, finely chopped chilli and the minced garlic together with a good couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Place in a hot oven until it is tender. Set aside. You can do this in advance and keep refrigerated for up to a couple of days.

In a hot frying pan, add the cooked squash and warm up over a medium heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook your fresh pasta until tender but not over cooked. It won't take more than a minute.

Add your pasta straight out of the water to the hot frying pan. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking water to moisten. Add a good dollop of mascapone or créme fraîche, add the parmesan and stir in. Sprinkle in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

Finish with a scattering of pine nuts and extra parmesan. Serve straight away.

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