A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

Officially speaking, this isn’t a recipe, it’s a technique, but I wanted to share it with you for a reason. I’m not a chef, I’ve never been trained in the culinary arts, and so I consider myself to be a hack DIY cook. There have been moments when I’ve observed some aspect of cooking and been totally blown away by the simplicity. These experiences break down that wall of fear and intimidation I sometimes have with cooking. And that’s why I wanted to share this skill of making farfalle, because truth be told, it’s very easy, and it makes cooking with the kids extra fun.

I’d been asked to present a talk about my life story at an event called the Do Lectures in a little country village somewhere in Wales, where we were fortunate enough to be invited to eat dinner at the house of the event organisers. They had also invited a friend to dinner who just happened to be a chef, who just happened to work for some bloke called Jamie Oliver. We made some fresh pasta that night, but instead of making pappardelle, fettuccine or spaghetti, Mr Chef made farfalle (as I watched in amazement). Now farfalle isn’t hard to make, and this is why I observed the process in amazement. Why had I thought it was complicated or difficult?

Most times I’ll just have a go at anything, like changing an engine in a car or learning how to build a house, but in the kitchen, in front of a chef, I’m often happy to take a back seat because I convince myself that I’m not as able as a trained chef and thus I allow myself to be intimidated.

Anyway, every time I make farfalle I’ll be reminded of this experience and tell myself not to be intimidated and give things a go in the kitchen. My girls love helping with making food, and this process is one they always put their hands up to help with.


Quantity Ingredient
500g 00 farina flour
5 eggs
plain flour, for dusting


  1. Pour the 00 flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the well then, using your hands, slowly mix the two ingredients together until a hard dough forms. Knead for a few minutes to ensure the dough is smooth. (The trick I use is to try to pull the dough apart. If it resists, it’s done. If it breaks apart easily, it still requires some kneading.) Wrap in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Roll the dough into a sausage-shaped log and cut it into small chunks. Run each chunk of pasta dough through a hand-cranked pasta machine, first on a wide-open setting, then slowly progressing to a tighter setting. You might put each piece of pasta dough through six to eight times, until you have one large strip of flat pasta. Lay the pasta on a flour-dusted bench.
  3. Using a knife or a rolling pasta cutter, cut each wide strip of pasta down the centre lengthways to make two long strips. Now cut the strips into small segments 3–5 cm long.
  4. Pinch each segment to form a bow, and voilà! Farfalle.
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