Category Archives: Pasta

Three cheese Ravioli with tomato sauce

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe for  ravioli using three cheeses which serves 4 as a starter or two as a main course.  First make the pasta  by adding the flour to a large bowl, or just tip onto a large dry surface.  Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, salt and olive oil.  Gradually work the flour into the liquid in the middle until it starts to come together, it takes a but if practice but you soon get the hang of it.  For a good tip watch this video

When the mixture starts coming together knead it roughly until it it forms a shiny ball, this will take 5-10 mins, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge.

Next make the tomato sauce, this is a classic Italian staple and can be eaten just with pasta.  Add the olive oil to a pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and onion, fry until soft before adding the chopped chilli and finally the tomato, salt, and sugar.  Leave on a low heat with the lid off until it reduces to a rough sauce, basically once the tomato has broken down, typically around 45 mins  set aside until ready to use.

Next make the filling by simply combining the ingredients in a bowl into a smooth mixture; taste for seasoning.

You are now ready to put everything together, remove the pasta from the fridge a good 15 mins before you roll it out, preferably using a pasta machine.  Roll the pasta out and then cur circles onto the sheets, use the beaten egg to wash around the circles before placing some filling in the centre, don;t use too much or they will burst, for more tips check this out although she uses a cutter but you’ll get the idea

Place another sheet of rolled pasta over the layer with the disks cut out, use your hands to form the pasta around the filling making sure to get the air out as you go along before cutting the ravioli out into disks and placing on a floured tray to stop them sticking.

For the final dish warm the tomato sauce through and add the pasta to a boiling pan of salted water, they will take about 3 mins to cook.  Serve with the sauce and a nice salad with balsamic vinegar.

Pasta with mackerel, Marsala and pine nuts

Soak the sultanas in hot water and put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add salt and then the linguine.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots over a low heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the Marsala and let it bubble for a minute before adding the mackerel, the sultanas (after squeezing out the water), capers and a few drops of red wine vinegar. Add the dill and pine nuts and stir well to heat through. Continue reading Pasta with mackerel, Marsala and pine nuts

Chicken and mushroom ravioli with fresh tomato sauce

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe for chicken and mushroom ravioli which serves 4 as a starter or two as a main course.  First make the pasta  by adding the flour to a large bowl, or just tip onto a large dry surface.  Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, salt and olive oil. Continue reading Chicken and mushroom ravioli with fresh tomato sauce

Tagliatelle with parsley and walnut pesto


A Tagliatelle twist on the traditional basil/pine nut pesto. So easy but so tasty!

Put the parsley, hazelnuts, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor and whizz to a semi-smooth paste. Add the parmesan and then, with the food processor going, drizzle in the olive oil gradually until everything is emulsified. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan with the reserved cooking water and mix through the pesto.

Serve immediately with more grated parmesan.

Lamb and sweet pepper sauce


Cook the lamb into 1 cm cubes before frying on a high heat in olive oil for 10 mins with some salt and pepper, stirring often, until browned on all sides.  Sprinkle in garlic and fry for a further minute or two before adding the bay leaves, then pour in wine and let it bubble until reduced slightly.

Next add tomatoes and peppers, stir well. Check the seasoning, cover and simmer over low heat for 45-55 mins or until lamb is very tender. Stir occasionally and moisten with water if sauce becomes too dry. Remove bay leaves before serving with short pasta and parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Bolognese


Add the onion, carrot and celery to a pan with a good splash of olive oil and soften on a medium heat for about ten mintutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another couple of minutes.  Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.  Crank up the heat and add both sets of mince and the pancetta, you want to brown the mince and break it up while it cooks so that it doesn’t clump together.

This normally takes about 5-10 mins, once this is complete add the vegetable mixture back to the pan, keep the heat high and add the wine.  Continue cooking on a high heat until the wine has almost disappeared befre adding the milk (or cream), tomatoes, puree, a couple of teaspoons of salt and herbs.

Reduce to a low heat and leave to cook with the lid on for as long as possible, ideally 2-4 hours.  Check for seasoning when cooked, the sauce shouldnt be too wet so if it is cook with the lid off for a bit, you can’t overcook this really.

Boil the spaghetti or pasta of choice until al dente, before serving.  Personally I belive the sauce should be mixed through the pasta so that’s what I would recommend, although i have seen it with the sauce “plonked” on top of the pasta.  Add paremsan chees to serve.

If you have an alternative recipe and there are many then feel free to send it in.

Pasta alla Puttanesca


Cook pasta until al dente.  Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan, add tomatoes. Bring to boil and cook for 4-6 mins, stirring and crushing until slightly reduced.
In another pan, gently fry the chilli, anchovies and garlic in the remaining oil and butter (if using) for 1-2 mins, mashing the anchovies.
Add the tomatoes, olives and capers to the chilli, anchovies and garlic. Cook for 2-3 mins, stirring.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Add the parsley, season and stir well to mix.

Pasta with broccoli, anchovy and chilli


Perfect for lunch or a quick weeknight tea.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

Pour a good amount (1-2 tbsp) olive oil into a small frying pan. Keep the heat low. Add the anchovy and, using a wooden spoon, mash it up as it starts to heat. When it just starts to sizzle, add the garlic and chilli flakes. Keep the heat low and fry gently for a minute or two. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Turn the heat up a little and add the broccoli. Mix everything well together and then add the tomato. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is just al dente. If it starts to dry out, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water.

When the broccoli is tender, squeeze in the lemon juice and add the parsley and a good grinding of black pepper. You won’t need salt as the anchovies are very salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Mix everything well together and serve immediately. Parmesan optional. I like it just drizzled with some really nice extra virgin olive oil and more black pepper.




Pasta with garlicky greens


This is a quick and easy tea and very tasty too.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt and fry gently for about 15 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t catch.

Add the broccoli (or other greens) and the wine. Let it bubble for a minute before covering so that the broccoli cooks in its own winey steam.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

Once the broccoli is tender, add the creme fraiche. Heat through then melt the cheeses into the sauce. Add the black pepper and parsley. Taste the sauce to check the seasoning – it may not need salt as the cheeses are quite salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Mix well and serve straight away with more parmesan and a glass of white wine.

Pasta with chickpeas, greens and tomatoes


This recipe uses mafalda corta, a short, flat, ribbony pasta with a wavy edge from the Campania region of Italy. If you can’t find that, any other short pasta (such as penne or gemelli) with ridges to hold the sauce will work just as well.

Put the pasta on to cook.

Pour a generous amount of olive oil in to a cold frying pan and add the garlic and rosemary. Put the pan on a low heat and let the garlic gently sizzle for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the cooked greens along with some salt and pepper and allow the tomatoes to cook down for a few minutes.

Next add the chickepeas. Once they have warmed through, take a fork and roughly mash most of the chickpeas down (I like to leave some whole). Add some of the pasta cooking water a tablespoonful at a time and mix in with mashed chickpeas to make a sauce.

Add the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce.

Serve straight away with grated parmesan and a drizzle of your very best extra virgin olive oil.