Friday, June 20, 2008


Photo: Foodbeam

Um, yes. Yes I will use the newly thrifted, hand cranked Atlas pasta machine to make pasta wrappers for ricotta with basil and black olives. But I think I will put them in a caramellized onion/ butter sauce deglazed with lots of white wine & reduced.

Adapted by Foodbeam from Jamie Oliver's recipe.

Caramelle à la ricotta, au basilic et aux olives noires

serves 4

for the pasta dough
6 large organic eggs
600g tipo 00 flour (or any other fine flour)

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and mix with a fork.
Place the flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour the eggs over. With the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with flour until everything comes together. It is now time to knead the dough until soft and smooth. To do this, I usually divide the dough in four, mix each ball separately, and then combine the balls into a big one.
Wrap the ball in cling film and put in the fridge for at least half an hour – just enough time to make the filling!

for the filling
250g ricotta cheese
a pinch of grated nutmeg
a small handful of black olives, pitted and chopped
a handfuls of grated parmesan
sea salt and ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Separate the larger basil leaves from the smaller ones (that you will keep in a bowl of cold water for decoration). Finely chop the big basil leaves and put half of them in a bowl (the rest will be used in the sauce – see below) with the ricotta, grated nutmeg, olives and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of olive oil.

Roll the pasta dough, one small ball at a time and cut into 10×6cm rectangles Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle and brush lightly with water. Roll up and pinch hard to secure each end. Keep on a flour-dusted tray in the fridge until you need them. Repeat until all the dough/filling is used.

for the sauce
2 knobs of butter
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
400g ripe tomatoes, peeled, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
balsamic vinegar
a handful of grated parmesan

Gently heat the butter with a splash of olive oil in a saucepan. When the butter starts to foam, add your sliced garlic and the rest for your chopped basil. A minute later, add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes, until softened. Taste and season with salt and pepper and a swig of balsamic vinegar.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the caramelle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to float, then carefully remove them to a colander using a slotted spoon. Add the caramelle to the sauce and gently toss. Sprinkle with a handful of grated parmesan, the shake around and cover for 30 seconds. Divide between plates and sprinkle with the drained basil leaves.

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