Saturday, 18 May 2013

Mandilli di Seta (Silk Handkerchief Pasta With Pesto)

The Recipe
For Pasta
250g Italian ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt

For Pesto

large bunch basil
10g sea salt
40g pine nuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
100ml olive oil
80g Parmesan, freshly grated
To make your pasta, place the flour in a bowl or on a work surface, and make a well in the centre. Add the egg, yolks, half the oil and a pinch of salt. Firstly with a fork and then with your hands, gradually mix the flour with the eggs and oil until you obtain a rough paste.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until it is smooth, not sticky. Cover with a cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for atleast half an hour, but over night would be better.

Once rested divide the dough into quarters. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough in turn until you have a 1mm thin dough, without it sticking or ripping. (If you have a pasta machine, place the dough through the rollers gradually, starting with the highest setting, until you have sheets about 1mm thick).
Cut the sheets of pasta into large squares, about 15cm by 15cm, and dust with flour to prevent them sticking together.

To make the pesto, put the basil leaves in a  mortar with the salt, pine nuts and garlic. Grind down with the pestle until it becomes a fine pulp. Start to add the oil and continue grinding until the mixture is smooth. Add the parmesan and mix well.

Place the pasta sheets one by one into a saucepan with plenty of lightly salted boiling water, and add the remaining oil. Cook until al dente, about 3 minutes or so.

Place 4 tablespoons of pesto in a large pan and warm up gently with the same amount of water from cooking pasta pan, which will loosen the pesto to form a sauce.
Remove the pasta sheets from the water with a slotted spoon, and place them into the sauce, add the rest of your pesto and toss together well till the mandilli are well coated with pesto.

Serve with a few extra basil leaves to garnish and topped with a little more grated Parmesan.

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