June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • The six rules of barbecuing

    28 April, 2016 The six rules of barbecuing

    Even the best cooks can be stumped when it comes to cooking to perfection over coals. We ask Ben Tish to tell us the six most important rules of barbecuing so we can grill with confidence over the long weekend.
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November, 2015

October, 2015

September, 2015

August, 2015

July, 2015

  • Eat like an Italian

    20 July, 2015 Eat like an Italian

    If you’ve ever been on holiday to Italy, like us, you’ve probably eaten classic pizzas, pastas and risottos until you’re fit to burst. While sticking with what you know isn’t always a bad thing, delve a little deeper and you’ll find the true heart of the region; eating cotoletta in Milan, beans in Florence and artichokes in Campania will open up a whole new world of Italian cooking. We spoke to three Air B’n’B hosts about the food of their region, must-eats while you’re there, and asked about the best-kept secrets when it comes to eating out.
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  • Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    06 July, 2015 Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    With so many Michelin-starred chefs on the site, we challenged Cooked writer Imogen Corke to test her mettle on some of the trickier recipes. This week, she cooks Atul Kochhar’s cod in nilgiri korma gravy from his latest cookbook, Benares.
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May, 2015

  • Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    22 May, 2015 Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    We ask our authors ten questions about their life long love of food. This week, we speak to Rosie Birkett, author of A Lot on her Plate, about roast dinners, tuna tacos, and why you should never run your finger through hot caramel.
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  • The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    01 May, 2015 The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    Each week, we take some of our favourite recipes and give them a little tweak to make perfect packed lunches.
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Seven easy steps to making fresh pasta

Helen Barker-Benfield
15 March, 2017

Fresh pasta is great fun to make for everyone, even younger budding chefs will enjoy creating their own supper. We’ve gathered advice from the expert Italian cooks and chefs in the library, to help you to get started.

1 You will need…

Antonio Carluccio offers the best advice for novice pasta makers. Most people might think that making fresh pasta is a major task. Nothing could be further from the truth! Even the equipment can be reduced to an absolute minimum: all you really need is a knife, a rolling pin and a surface to work on. (You might choose to go down the pasta-machine route – that’s even quicker!) Skye Gyngell says, as we make it in fairly large quantities in the restaurant, we use a food processor; at home I enjoy making pasta by hand.

2 Choose your recipe

There are two types of fresh pasta recipes. You can make an egg-free pasta or one with eggs, which gives a slightly richer end result. Mammissima Author Elizabetta Minervini says of the egg version, ‘I usually make it on Sundays and special occasions – it also cooks slightly more quickly.’ Why not get to grips with Elizabetta’s foolproof Homemade pasta recipe when you next have a free Sunday?

3 Make your dough

Some chefs use a bowl for dough-making, others build a volcano-shaped mound on the worksurface, with a dip in the centre, for the liquid. Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi use the bowl method, Katie starts with a table knife to gradually make a paste, then suggests using the fingertips of one hand to incorporate any remaining liquid together until you have a ball of dough. Try to squash all the crumbs of dough into the ball, but discard any that don’t make it.

4 Perfect your kneading technique

Just like bread-making there is a key to making your dough pliable enough to roll out. Katie Caldesi: kneads the dough by flattening and folding it around for 5-7 minutes, adding a little more flour if it is very sticky. Do this until it stops sticking to your hand. The dough should form a soft but firm ball that bounces back to the touch when prodded. And just like with bread-making they’ve perfected a gluten-free recipe, which works in just the same way.

5 Get ready to roll 

Pasta for ravioli should be as thin as you can make it, so when you hold it up, you can see your hand through it,’ says head chef Lello Favuzzi of acclaimed London restaurant L’Anima. ‘But pasta dough for pappardelle, fettuccine and spaghetti can be thicker. If you don’t have a machine, just roll it as thinly as possible and make “rag” pasta (pasta dough cut into rough shapes). It’s just as good. Lucu Lorusso makes light work of orechiette and cavatelli shapes (as above) in his book Sharing Puglia.

6 Rest your pasta 

Elisabetta Minervini always dusts her flour on both sides of fresh pasta and leaves it to dry on clean tea towels for 25-30 minutes before using. Gill Mellor hangs the lengths over the back of a chair when making pappardelle, while he rolls and cuts the remaining dough. And Antonio Carluccio’s advice is handy for making filled pasta. He says, go right ahead and incorporate the filling, while the pasta is still malleable. This is better than leaving the cut pieces for a while, when a moist filling might seep through the pasta or indeed perforate it.

7 Store your fresh pasta

If you get carried away and make more pasta than you need in one sitting, Carluccio suggests; cut the pasta into whatever shapes you want, leave it to dry completely on a tea towel or a lightly floured surface, then pack it very carefully into an airtight bag or container. Wind long strands, such as tagliatelle inot nests while the pasta is still pliable. The pasta will keep in the fridge for two to three days, or you can freeze it for up to six months. If freezing, wrap in clingfilm or foil first, then defrost in the normal way (not in a microwave).


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