Eight Bells

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Friday, November 17, 2006


Time for some more machinery. A pasta machine is not really something that you need but making your own pasta from scratch and then using the pasta machine to make the pasta sheets for ravioli or lasagne or making fresh spaghetti is an almost spiritual experience. For a devout atheist like me that's got to be good right?

Buying pasta at the supermarket is a lot quicker then making fresh pasta and with the availability of so many kinds of dried and fresh pasta why would you bother right? In reality pasta is one of the easiest foods in the world to make and everybody should do it at least once in their lives if only to discover how those Italian women get their huge forearms. There is a real sense of achievement in knowing that you created what is essentially the Italian version of the staff of life. The following recipe will make around five pieces of ravioli for four people (20 pieces).


400g of plain flour
4 eggs
A pinch of salt

Sift your flour into a large bowl mix in the salt and then form a well in the middle. Pour in your egg mixture and with a fork begin to stir the egg gradually working in the flour. Once the egg and flour are mixed use your hands to form the dough. If the dough is a little dry add a very small amount of olive oil if too wet add a little flour.
Turn the dough out on to a flat surface and knead for a good 10 minutes, don't skimp on the kneading it is very important. Once you have your pasta dough prepared set it aside under a damp teatowel for at least 30 mins.


3 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped finely
2 tablespoons of flat leafed parsley, chopped
1/2 a fresh red chilli (or more if you're feeling brave), de seeded and chopped very finely
3 garlic cloves cut in half
1 teaspoons of tomato paste
1/4 of a cup of white wine
Salt & pepper

Put all the ingredients in a pot and cook until thickened. Once done discard the garlic cloves.


250g of spicey pork sausage, cabana or choritzo is fine just ensure the sausages are moist enough to mince in a food processor
200g of ricotta cheese, chopped finely
1/4 of a cabbage
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon of clarified butter

Put the sausage in a food processor with a metal blade and whiz until minced. Meanwhile cook the cabbage in a frying pan with the butter. Cook till most of the liquid is driven off and the cabbage is soft, do not brown at all.
Put the minced sausage, the cooked cabbage and the ricotta in a bowl and mix well. Taste and season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

Roll out your pasta using your pasta machine or if you have bought pre made pasta sheets then SWEET! Cut your raviloi, I used a 6cm round pastry cutter. Fill with the sausage and cabbage filling, you will only need 2 teaspoons of filling per piece. Press down the edges of the pasta very firmly and when you have 20 pieces (you may need to re roll some of the pasta trimmings) place in a large pot of salted boiling water for around 10-12 minutes.
Serve with the sauce and plenty of parmesan. Wipe a little olive oil on the plate to stop the ravioli sticking. Oh man, FOOD PORN!


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