Tagliatelle

This one isn’t vegan – one more recipe from an Italian granny. Make sure all the ingredients are good quality as you will be able to taste all of them (no factory farm eggs – for every reason).

Tagliatelle

1/2 kg 00 Flour
Olive Oil (3 tbsp or so)
pinch of salt
4 eggs at room temp
some warm water (body temp)

Mound the flour making a well in the middle, add oil and salt. Crack the eggs into the centre, gather flour over eggs and begin to knead. Add a little warm water as needed, keep kneading and the dough will form. Knead for at least 10 minutes.
Separate into halves, form into balls, and cover. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
Take the first half and roll our into a very large thin slab. Roll, flip over, turn 90 degrees, roll, repeat, repeat, repeat. The dough needs to be very thin. Roll it around the rolling pin (flour as necessary) and let sit again for a few minutes, then remove the pin but leave the dough rolled up.
Cut the dough into strips about 1cm wide, then unfold them once the dough is done being cut. Add some flour and toss the noodles between your fingers to separate and loosen the noodles.
Gather the noodles into little nests to be saved in the fridge for 2 weeks. Store between sheets of paper towel in a pizza box (or similar). I put a plastic bag open over the box.

Serve with ragu or sauteed mixed mushrooms with olive oil and parsley.

To cook the noodles, fill a large pot and boil. Salt the water and add the noodles. It only takes a few minutes so taste as it cooks. Once ready, immediately dump a large glass of cold water into the pot, then drain in the sink. Add the tagliatelle to your sauce and serve and eat immediately.

Semolina Gnocchi

Another that isn’t vegan – the butternut gnocchi is, though.

250 g semolina (1.5 cups)
1L water (4.25 cups)
1 Egg, room temp.

Salt the water liberally and bring to a boil. Add the semolina, the water should not boil again once the semolina is added. Stir constantly 15 minutes, it will thicken a lot.

Once you remove the dough from the stove, add 1 egg, beaten, with a tablespoon of olive oil. Fold into the dough with a wooden spoon, then spread the dough out on a baking sheet lined with parchment and let it cool and congeal for an hour or so. It should be about half an inch thick and as even as possible. Once it is solid (like polenta cooled) cut dough into circles that are about 1.5-2 inches in diameter – you can use a cookie cutter or a shot glass – this sort of thing. Bake on parchment in a 400 degree oven for 30 – 40 min or until the edges are crispy; you can flip halfway through.

If you eat dairy, add some grated reggiano towards the end of cooking on the stove but before removing from the heat.

You can freeze the gnocchi instead of baking it immediately, just flash freeze and once each piece is frozen separately then bag with sheets of parchment or wax paper between the layers of gnocchi. Then just bake as usual but for a few minutes longer.

Butternut Gnocchi

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

1 med Butternut Squash (about 3 cups cooked and mashed)
Salt
1-2cups Plain Flour plus extra

Roast the squash in the oven for an hour or until fully soft and mashable. Mash the squash with a fork/mashed, but do not beat. Add salt to the squash and add 3/4 cup of flour, mixing with a knife. Add more flour gradually mixing with your fingers, until the dough isn’t sticky. Try not to over-knead your dough.

Once you have a dough that isn’t sticky, divide into segments, roll them into long snakes and then cut on a diagonal to make the small gnocchi pieces. Press a fork lightly into each gnocchi. Do this one at a time for each segment of the dough instead of rolling them all into snakes first.

Once all the dough has been shaped into gnocchi, cook as soon as possible or you can freeze the gnocchi at this stage by placing them in a single layer in the freezer for about an hour and then transfer to ziplocs. To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt the water. Whilst the water is still at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi stir gently a couple of times then leave to cook for a few minutes or until they rise to the surface. It’s best to cook in batches so you don’t over crowd the pan otherwise the pieces will stick together.

These freeze incredibly well and are really quite good. This recipe makes about 65 pieces, so 2 meals for one big and one little eater, or 6 meals for a little eater 😉

I’ve been eating these cooked with simply olive oil and salt, or on top of greens with a ginger dressing and hemp seeds,  but you can make a sage sauce for them. Meat eaters eat these with a simple ragu.

Pasta all’aglio, olio e peperoncino

(Pasta with garlic, oil and chili pepper)

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Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic – 4 cloves, crushed or pricked with toothpick
Crushed red pepper flakes – a few shakes
Sea salt
Bread crumbs (we made our own from toast, not sure of safe brand)
De Cecco Pasta – spaghetti or penne

Begin to cook the pasta and in the meantime heat the oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, add the crushed garlic, red pepper and a little salt, then mix together for a few minutes on low heat, until the garlic is golden. Once golden (but not burnt) remove and discard the garlic.

Drain the pasta when it is al dente and toss in the pan for 30 seconds with the olive oil and pepper and mix well. Add breadcrumbs and taste, adjust salt if needed. Serve hot.

Fennel Tomato Pasta Sauce

100% Whole Wheat Pasta (fusili, rotini, elbows – anything that pairs well with a chunky sauce)

Tomato-Fennel Sauce:
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh fennel
1 1/4 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, fennel and fennel seeds and sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and next 4 ingredients. Simmer until sauce thickens, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.)

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Serve with sauce.

This sauce is also really nice with baked eggplant or white beans.