A recipe from Ruby’s favourite cookbook:
‘Cook with Jamie Oliver’ has to be one of the oldest and most loved cookbooks that I own, and it’s fair to say that I’ve got a few. Given to me by my godmother when I was only 12 years old, it brings back so many happy memories for me as my love for cooking really started to progress. I’m sure that I’ve tried out pretty much all of the countless recipes included inside, but more than anything else this book gave me such a brilliant foundation and introduced me to all sorts of different cooking methods.
I wanted to share the fresh pasta dough recipe as it is SO easy and cheap to make, and fresh pasta is so delicious (not to mention that it’s a pretty easy brag). Again, this pasta recipe is such a great foundation, and you can make all sorts of sauces using up whatever you have leftover in your fridge. I’ve added a really easy tomato and black olive sauce recipe since those were the ingredients I had in my kitchen when I last made this, but the really great thing about this recipe is that there is a lot of room for improvisation.
Here’s the recipe, and (naturally) we’ve included a little freezing tip in here for you too because we do love a good ol’ freezer hack!
Jamie’s Pasta dough recipe (for 4):
- 600 g Tipo 00 flour
- 6 Organic / Free Range Eggs
- Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth.
- Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined.
- Knead the pieces of dough together – with a bit of work and some love and attention they’ll all bind together to give you one big, smooth lump of dough!
- Once you’ve made your dough you need to knead and work it with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour, otherwise your pasta will be flabby and soft when you cook it, instead of springy and al dente. There’s no secret to kneading. You just have to bash the dough about a bit with your hands, squashing it into the table, reshaping it, pulling it, stretching it, squashing it again. It’s quite hard work, and after a few minutes it’s easy to see why the average Italian grandmother has arms like Frank Bruno! You’ll know when to stop – it’s when your pasta starts to feel smooth and silky instead of rough and floury.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes – make sure the clingfilm covers it well or it will dry out and go crusty round the edges (this will give you crusty lumps through your pasta when you roll it out, and nobody likes crusty lumps!).
- Whether you're rolling by hand or by machine you'll need to know when to stop. If you're making pasta like tagliatelle, lasagne or stracchi you'll need to roll the pasta down to between the thickness of a beer mat and a playing card.
- Once you've rolled your pasta the way you want it, you need to shape or cut it straight away. Pasta dries much quicker than you think, so whatever recipe you're doing, don't leave it more than a minute or two before cutting or shaping it. You can lay over a damp clean tea towel which will stop it from drying.
Tips for pasta dough - you can freeze it once you've kneaded it. If you are rolling and shaping before you cook it, leave under a damp cloth to prevent it drying out.
Ruby’s Quick & Simple Sauce(for 2)
- 1 red onion
- Olive Oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Red chilli flakes
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 100g pitted black olives
- 20g capers
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Dice a red onion and add to a frying by with a good splash of olive oil.
- On a medium heat sweat the onion down for around 5 minutes (top tip: always add a good pinch of salt to onions when cooking, as this helps them to go softer and sweeter).
- Once the onion looks like it has sweat down considerably add the garlic, oregano and chilli flakes.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the tin tomatoes with a pinch of sugar.
- Reduce this down for 10 minutes, and then add the chopped olives and capers.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if you are using fresh chopped parsley add it now.
Naturally this sauce is also freezable and just as delicious second-time around!
Combining the sauce and pasta:
- Once both are ready, mix the sauce through your cooked pasta, and serve with a good grating of parmigiano reggiano, then you are ready to serve!