Déjà vu pasta. Back in the kitchen with Jamie.

Before my year cooking with Jamie, I had never considered the possibility of making pasta from scratch. Why would I? There’s nothing wrong with San Remo or Barilla. But with Jamie, I made pasta nine times – from pappardelle to tortellini – using my Italian Mama guns and a borrowed pasta machine. I finished that cookbook, handed back a slightly worse for wear pasta maker and vowed never to make my own pasta again.

But if there’s one thing I love, it’s a bargain, so when I came across a Jamie Oliver Pasta Maker in a discount kitchen shop at DFO, I could hardly resist. I’ll admit, I did stand in the middle of the store for about 10 minutes, going over in my head whether it was really worth it, remembering my confident vow to never turn the handle on a pasta maker again and thinking fondly of the pasta aisle at Woollies, but in the end my love affair with all things Jamie Oliver won me over (combined of course with the reduction in price from $120 to $40!) and I found myself lugging around a heavy pasta maker as I went from one change room to another, searching for a party dress.

Impulse buys. Don’t they always find a way to make you feel just a little bit guilty!

So anyway, after months of gathered dust (such a good purchase, ahem!), I decided it was time to put my bargain machine to good use and whip up some pasta. I’d been flipping through the new SBS magazine Feast and come across Guy Grossi’s recipe for Pumpkin Tortellini with Sage Butter and with a pumpkin from Mum’s vegie patch just waiting to be put to good use, I warmed up my guns and headed into the kitchen.

Using ‘00’ pasta flour, an egg and an egg yolk, I created the dough and set to work kneading for a good 6 minutes or so, til it was warm and silky. Then I wrapped the dough ball in glad wrap and left it to sit for an hour, while I made the filling. I baked the pumpkin (skin still on) in wedges, for about 30 minutes, til soft, scooped the flesh from skin and mashed it. Meanwhile I fried, garlic, chilli and leeks in butter & oil. Once soft, I added this to the mashed pumpkin along with some finely chopped sage leaves, a good handful of both gruyere and parmesan cheeses and a couple of tablespoons of bread crumbs.

Then it was time for the machine to shine. Clamped onto the flour-dusted bench, I turned the handle round and round and round. And round. Til I had two perfect sheets of pasta.

The next bit was easy – placing teaspoon dollops of the pumpkin filling onto squares of pasta.

But the bit after that was tricky – turning the dollops on squares into actual tortellini. The recipe gives detailed instructions using words like “triangle”, “towards the point” and “pinching” and includes pictures to help with technique, but it took me several attempts to even get close to a tortellini shaped parcel. If you look closely at the below picture, you might be able to find the first few attempts…

The last part’s a cinch – gently lower the tortellini into boiling salted water, hope like hell they don’t explode orange pumpkin goo all through the water, use a slotted spoon to transfer from the boiling water to a pan of burnt butter and sage leaves. And voila. Hmm, that’s French. Maybe “ta-daah” is better…

Served up to Ween and Evans with a disclaimer about the amount of butter and any pre-diagnosed heart problems…

And I’m back in the pasta game.

Sure, I might need to literally dust off the pasta maker each time I use it, but at least I know it’s there if I decide I need to give myself a workout and do some kneading. It’s a shame that the carbo-loading comes after the exercise in the situation isn’t it…

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About Tablecloths & Talking

Food. Friends. Fun. Preferably together. I love to eat, drink & be merry. I love to write. Tablecloths & Talking is me writing about doing the things I love.
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One Response to Déjà vu pasta. Back in the kitchen with Jamie.

  1. Caro says:

    What I’d like to know is why Dad and I are never invited to enjoy such wonders! Well done Lizzie, it looks beautiful. You can always bring the pasta maker over here. I’m sure Grace and Angus would love to help you make some pasta. 😉

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