It took me only one glance to steal this idea (yes, this happens sometimes) from the chef of the legendary San Domenico restaurant in Imola about twenty-five years ago. I used to serve this dish in my Neal Street Restaurant some twenty years ago, with the addition of truffle, and ex–customers of the restaurant still remember it with pleasure. Obviously you will have to make fresh pasta.
1/2 recipe fresh egg pasta:-
150g Italian ‘00’ flour
1 medium egg
a pinch of salt
salt and pepper, to taste
40g Parmesan, freshly grated
600g fresh spinach
300g mascarpone or ricotta cheese
15g Parmesan, freshly grated
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 bright yellow egg yolks (from very fresh, ideally organic eggs)
50g unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves
Sift the flour onto a work surface, forming it into a volcano-shaped mound with a well in the centre. Break the eggs into this well and add the salt. Incorporate the eggs into the flour with a fork and your hands, gradually drawing the flour into the egg mixture until it forms a coarse paste. Add a little more flour if the mixture is too soft or sticky – or a little water if the mixture is too dry. Using your knife (or a spatula), scrape up any stray pieces of dough.
Before kneading the dough clean your hands and the work surface. Lightly flour the work surface, and start to knead the dough with the heel of one hand as you might bread dough. Work the dough for 10-15 minutes until the consistency is smooth and elastic. If you have dough sticking to your fingers, rub your hands with some flour. Wrap the dough in clingfilm or foil and leave it to rest for at least half an hour.
When ready to (rock and) roll, lightly flour your work surface again, and your rolling pin.
Roll out the pasta dough, by hand or machine, to 2mm thickness. Cut out 8 circles of 11cm in diameter (this is easy if you have a bowl the right size). Cover with a tea towel until ready to use and cook.
Prepare the filling by boiling the spinach very briefly in salted water. Drain very well (squeezing to get out as much water as possible), then cool and chop very finely. Mix this in a bowl with the mascarpone, parmesan and nutmeg. Put into a piping bag.
Make a circle of filling with the piping bag on the centre of one pasta circle, leaving enough space in the middle for the egg yolk. Squeeze another circle of filling on top of the first, still leaving the space for the egg yolk. Together these should be about 1.5cm high. Place the egg yolk, very carefully, in the space left for it. Brush the pasta with water all around the filling. Place a second circle of pasta on top and gently press around to bond the sheets together without squashing the centre, or use a fork. You will have a giant raviolo. Repeat with the remaining pasta circles and filling, to make four giant ravioli in all.
Cook the ravioli by gently placing in a large pan of boiling salted water – one or two at a time – and simmering for 5 minutes. After this time the pasta will be cooked and the egg yolk still soft.
Put the butter and sage leaves in a small frying pan and heat gently until the butter foams. Put one raviolo on to a warmed plate, pour the hot foaming butter on top. Season and then sprinkle with some Parmesan. The surprise is the ‘explosion’ of the brightly coloured yolk when you tuck in with your fork.
Recipe from Antonio Carluccio’s new book, Pasta (Quadrille, £20)
Photography: Laura Edwards
This recipe was originally created by the great food writer Sybil Kapoor. Her simple idea to take the classic lemon curd and reinvent it with oranges was pure genius. I’ve adapted it by adding herbs and some lime juice, both of which give it a more piquant tang. It makes for a very indulgent breakfast smothered over crusty white bread, spooned into Greek yoghurt or over porridge. On bread, I like to use a butter that is slightly salted for a rich contrast to the sweetness of the jam.
makes about 400ml
4 egg yolks
Zest and juice of 2 small oranges
Juice of 2 limes
225g caster sugar
2 sprigs of thyme or lemon thyme, leaves only
Preheat the oven to 140C/Gas mark 1. Wash an empty jam jar in hot soapy water, rinse it out and place it in the oven to sterilise whilst it dries.
Meanwhile, put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into the jar – it will look quite runny but don’t worry, it will set as it cools – and cover it with a waxed disk of paper (I never have any professional ones to hand, so I just cut a circle from baking paper).
Once the jam has cooled, screw the top on firmly. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks once opened.
Recipe from The Herb & Flower Cookbook by Pip McCormac (Quadrille, £12.99)
Photography: Yuki Sugiura
Photography by Lisa Linder
Vermicelli and rice noodles feature on Indian menus, the former in desserts in North India as well as in quick stir-fries in many regions, the latter mostly in the South. This recipe is inspired by those northern vegetable stir-fries. If you make the recipe with fine vermicelli (available in Indian stores), you will produce a softer, more unctuous dish. Rice noodles, used here, are more textured but also more widely available. Both work well. I like to add edamame beans for a little protein, but you can use broad beans or peas for a burst of sweetness if you prefer. I like to serve it with a little Coastal Coconut Chutney on the side.
2–3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp chana dal
14 fresh curry leaves
1 red onion, finely sliced
15g root ginger, peeled weight,
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 tsp turmeric
1 large carrot, cut into 7.5cm matchsticks
12 asparagus spears, tips cut
whole on the diagonal, stalks finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced on
2 handfuls of edamame beans
300g packet fine rice noodles
2–3 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
small handful of finely chopped
mint or coriander leaves
small handful of roasted salted
peanuts, lightly crushed
Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the chillies and mustard seeds and, once the popping dies down, the chana dal and curry leaves. Once the lentils start to colour, add the red onion, ginger and seasoning and sauté for three to four minutes before adding the turmeric. Fry for 20 seconds, stirring to mix well, then add the rest of the vegetables.
Stir-fry for two minutes, then add the rice noodles and lemon juice and continue to cook for another two minutes, or until the noodles are soft but the vegetables are still crunchy. Stir in the herbs and peanuts and serve hot or warm.
This recipe and text have been taken from Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian by Anjum Anand, published by Quadrille Publishing, £18.99
© Please do not reproduce this material without the permission of the publisher