Saturday, 20 February 2010

Black Pasta

Black pasta is my new passion. When I say new I really mean that I've liked it for a long time but had forgotten about it. Teaching last week at Cucina Caldesi I made some pasta with a fresh prawn and cherry tomato sauce and it was excellent. I just had not remembered how silky the pasta is and how toothsome. To make the sauce you sweat onions and garlic in plenty of olive oil then add halved cherry tomatoes. Simmer till everything is quite reduced and then add a large glass of white wine. Simmer again crumbling in some dried chilli and adding salt and pepper.
The raw prawns are added immediately before you drain the pasta so they only just cook through.
But the true glory of this dish is the pasta.
Pasta Nero
300gm pasta flour
2 large free range eggs
2 tablespoons nero de sepia ( cuttlefish ink)
Blitz the ingredients in a food processor until the dough is formed then let it rest under an up-turned bowl for about 15 minutes. It must be very dry, if not add more flour at this stage.
Cut into quarters and roll out. On my machine I go to number 6 but yours might be different. Leave the sheets of dough to dry for about 10 minutes then cut them using the fine cutter on the machine.
When you're ready to eat put the heat under the sauce, bring a huge pan of water to the boil, add a handful of salt and throw in the pasta. When the water returns to the boil, stir once using the handle of a wooden spoon.
Tip the prawns into your sauce and drain the pasta- it should cook for no more than 2-3 minutes.
Toss the sauce and pasta together and eat.
This recipe might serve 2-3 people if one of them is not as greedy as me.