Tag Archives: Pasta

Fresh pasta the Giulia way

Giulia is an Italian foodie who lives in Southern Italy. She shares her family recipes and delicious concoctions as @giuliaeats on Instagram. I love the food she makes and earlier this week when she posted a traditional recipe for making pasta, I had to recreate it ASAP. I did not have a pasta maker and what followed was a painstaking process of lining up a ruler on the pasta dough to cut the strips with a knife. Making the dough took about 10 minutes, there was a 30 minute resting period, and getting the pasta done took about 75 minutes. Of course, not only did I make the Tagliolini, but I also made a batch of lasagna noodles and two batches of pappardelle with the dough. If you have a pasta maker, this will be ready much quicker. With more time at home, there is no time like the present to give this a go. I am sharing this recipe with Giulia’s permission!

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams 00 flour (This is key. The flour is available on Amazon)
  • 5 eggs
  • 40 grams extra virgin olive oil

How to:

1. Mix the ingredients well with your hand to make a dough and set aside the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

2. Divide the dough into four balls.

3. If you have a pasta machine, you can run the dough through your machine.

4. Since I do not have a pasta machine, I used a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a rectangle that was around 9″ by 12″.

5. Using a ruler as a guide, I cut the rolled dough into thin strips (see image) to make the Tagliolini.

6. I rolled out two other balls of dough similarly, and using a ruler, cut it into broader pasta, pappardelle.

7. I took the last ball of dough, rolled it out and cut it into 8 lasagna noodles.

8. I’ve only cooked the Tagliolini so far, and have saved the rest. To cook the pasta, boil water, add some salt, and cook the pasta for about five minutes.

9. Serve with your favorite sauce. I just sautéed some capers, red chili flakes, and garlic in olive oil, tossed the pasta and had it topped with some fresh mozzarella.

Easy, fluffy, pillowy, homemade gnocchi

I have been in love with gnocchi for a very, very long time. In fact, I craved these little pasta clouds of potato and flour served with tomato sauce throughout a pregnancy. But till recently, my love for gnocchi was satiated by buying the best Italian brands on supermarket shelves and eating it on my forays into Italian restaurants. But just recently, I decided to make these on my own. The process is easy (albeit a little messy), but feels at every moment like you are creating a work of art. I am so in love with this home made version that I have sworn to never really buy gnocchi ever again. Okay, with that said, here’s how I created these divine works of art.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 1/3 heaped cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp of kosher salt

How to:

1. Wash the potatoes, scrub them and pierce holes. Cook in a microwave at the potato setting till completely cooked. Peel the potatoes and rice them in a ricer over a wooden board. If you don’t have a river, you can grate the potatoes with a grater that has small holes. Spread the potatoes over the board using a fork. Sprinkle the kosher salt. 

2. Sprinkle or sift the flour over the potatoes and using a bench scraper just chop all over the potato/ flour mixture.  Gather the mixture into a ball. Flatten the ball with your hands, bring the ends of the dough together and press it down again. Just repeat this gently till the potato flour mixture is seamlessly blended. 

3. Dust the work area with more flour, pinch off two inch rounds of dough and gently roll it into a rope. Cut into one inch pieces using a knife and lay down each gnocchi on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Once all the gnocchi are made, press down the surface of each gnocchi with a fork to create ridges that will help the sauce cling to to the pasta well. 

4. Repeat process till all the dough is used up. 

5. Freeze tray of gnocchi for 15 minutes.  

6. Now you could bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi and cook just for a minute or two till the gnocchi floats to the top or alternately use my preferred method and sauté the gnocchi in a bit of butter or oil till they are moderately browned. 

7. Serve with your favorite sauce. 

Giovanni’s – A Lip Smacking Dining Experience in Covent Garden, London

By Lakshmi:

It was our first visit to the Covent Garden area.  Yes, in all our visits to London, we had never visited this hip and happening spot, till a friend from the US suggested we meet up there for dinner.

From the moment you emerge from the tube station, the energy of the area just draws you in.  Well dressed youth milling around in animated conversations, elegant opera goers, dapper business folks and tourists all make the area a totally fun place for people watching.  Amid this hustle bustle, we decided to scout out our place to hang for the evening.  We were too late to watch Daniel Radcliffe, too hungry to eat fast food, did not want to go into any of the pretentious looking places that charged a gazillion pounds, passed on Koshary as too much of a quick bite and finally settled on Giovanni’s.  The restaurant was small, the menu enticing and the atmosphere cosy.

A sixty year old institution in a fabled old area, the people and the food at Giovanni’s made for a perfect evening.  We decided to share three dishes accompanied by the mandatory prosecco!  Here are the dishes that made us savor every bite and not leave even a morsel on our plates.

Pappardelle “Maestro Pavarotti” – Pappardelle (ribbon pasta) with broad beans, garden peas, spring onions and parmigiano with a little fresh chilli pepper

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This was the perfect summer dish.  The pappardelle ribbons making the perfect bed for the fresh summer veggies.  A light pasta dish so perfect for al fresco dining experiences.  A pasta I had never tasted stateside and yet appeared so easy to create.

Bufala di Aversa – 100% Bufala mozzarella served with sliced beef tomato, fresh basil leaves and cold pressed olive oil

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Eating really fresh mozzarella is a subliminal experience and this salad with the summer fresh tomatoes and basil drizzled with really good olive oil could not go wrong in any way.

Orecchiette con Broccoli – Shell shaped pasta with broccoli, garlic and chilli

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If there was a “crowning glory” to our meal, it would have to be this dish.  A pasta dish so simple, with good for you ingredients, that a recreated version now features on our dinner plate at home.  The orecchiette was tossed with finely chopped steamed broccoli and flavored with just olive oil, garlic and chilli.  Simply perfect – with the only regret being not having enough room in our belly to tuck in a second plate!

We ended our meal with a Tiramisu and espresso, emerging in a blissful state into the throngs of folks leaving the opera.  Our meal was the music for our soul that evening.

To learn more about Giovanni’s please visit their website at

http://giovannislondon.co.uk/