Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PASTA FUN

OK, I admit it: I have a pasta machine but - vergogna - most of the time it sits in a cupboard while I use dried pasta. This morning, however, Rosa and I decided to give it an outing as we wanted to make fresh cannelloni:

Rosa is happy:



Why do I always get flour all over me, despite the pinny?



The sheets are nearly ready. [No I don't have one of those things that looks like a large mug tree to dry them on so a clean teatowel or tablecloth has to do]:



Ready to roll!



Rosa's daughter is let out of school early, so she drops in at 12 - just in time to be roped in to the rolling! [She is putting some of the cannelloni into a plastic container to carry home.]



Ready for the oven - that is, they will be, once I've chucked a little passata over them.



Ecco.



A tavola. And they wouldn't be "proper" cannelloni if a bit of the filling didn't ooze out. That's my excuse, anyway. What did you expect - perfection?!



And they tasted so good that I ate some for lunch and supper.

Any Italian cookbook worth its salt will give you the proportions and method for making fresh pasta but I should say that I don't - sacrilege! - work the flour and eggs together on a board like a dutiful Italian housewife. I whizz the dough in the processor and then bash it out by hand. I adapted today's filling from a magazine recipe and we made enough for 6 - Rosa, her family and me:

While the pasta is drying, mince 2 skinless chicken breast fillets and fry them with a large, chopped onion in about 2 tablesp. olive oil. Add about 150 gr chopped ham and mix well. Chuck in about 70 ml white wine and keep stirring for a minute or two. Add the finely chopped leaves of 2 biete da taglio. [This vegetable is not available in the UK but you could substitute spinach. How much? I don't know - enough to make the mixture look quite pretty. ] Season the mixture, stir in an egg, take it off the heat and add 250 gr ricotta and 100 gr freshly grated parmesan with about half a bottle of passata or homemade tomato sauce. Add a little nutmeg. Fill and roll the cannelloni, put them in a lightly oiled baking dish, throw over the rest of the bottle of passata and sprinkle over a little more parmesan. Cook at 200 C for 20 minutes.

Buon appetito.

16 comments:

PinkAcorn said...

Is biete da taglio from the chard family? It looks wonderful...

Leslie: said...

My sweetie is going to make manicotti for me and my 3 single girlfriends one night. He is such a great cook, but must admit he'll use the prepared outer shells. Your cannelloni looks delicious!

Crushed said...

You eat well, you know...

I'm not sure I'd ever be able to make pasta myself, but loking at these pictures, I certainly wish I could..

Nihal said...

If I could find a bit free time, YES I would love to give it a try to make pasta, and follow up your instructions.

MarkMcL said...

WL.

Setting us a fine example there making real pasta. I have made orrechietti a couple of times but kneading (or cranking the dough through the manual "mangle") is too much like hard work. Our friend Mino has an electric mangle which makes life easier but I think I might be tempted by the food processer alternative.

Regards

MarkMcL.
Cookery school: making pasta

Sally said...

You must be the only person in Modica who manages to look intensely elegant while making pasta - and no sign of flour anywhere about the person. A friend once advised me never to contemplate buyng a pasta machine until I met someone whose machine didn't almost permanently live in the cupboard!

mountainear said...

That cannelloni looks fantastic - you've inspired me to get the machine out. (We have actually used it fairly often but it's still a bit of a mission starting from scratch.)

wv. is mycanill - vaguely appropriate?

Winchester whisperer said...

I suppose it will soon be passata making time again?

Michelle said...

Your cannelloni looks great. It was one of my family's traditions for many years to make many dozens of ravioli (using the exact same process you posted about) at Christmas and Easter. I was the dough roller and various other family members had other "jobs". We have to revive this tradition!

James Higham said...

A good time was had by all.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, pink. Yes, I think it must be. Leslie, your sweetie sounds sweeter every day! Glad you like the look of my cannelloni. Hi, Crushed. It's hard not to, here! You should have a go at the pasta making - it's very therapeutic. Hi, Nihal and welcome. I hooe you get time one day soon. Ciao, Mark. How nice to hear from you. Just to clarify: I make the dough in a processor, then bash portions of it into shape and then I do put it through the mangle. You can get an attachment which turns some manual pasta machines into electric ones. Very nice of you to say so, Sally but I did get flour on my collar and on my bum! Your friend spoke wisdom. Welcome, mountainear. Oh, do get the pasta machine out! Once you get into it, the process is fun. Hi, WW. Yes - from about June. Thanks for sharing that memory, Michelle. Yes, you should revive that! It was indeed, James.

CherryPie said...

I don't think I would have the patience but I know I would enjoy the finished result :-)

Liz said...

Mm, yummy. I am just off to circuit training and have to wait until later to eat. I shall think of your cannelloni as I run and pant.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Cherie. "Pazienza" is one thing you learn here! Hi, Liz. Thinking of you, too!

Bella Baita View said...

Those are some healthy looking fat cannelloni. Now that wasn't so bad was it. I must admit that i really can't find my way back to dried pasta unless it's shapes that have to be extruded any more. Fresh pasta rocks! I like your new-ish header.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Bella. I enjoyed making them and they certainly taste better than dried! Glad you like the header - no one else has commented on it.

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