This is a really great and summery pasta dish that brings together so many fresh and delicious Mediterranean flavours; it just makes me wish I was in some hillside Tuscan village with a large crisp glass of wine, soaking up the Italian culture. Instead I am lying on my sofa, watching some far too energetic people compete in the commonwealth games with tomorrow’s day at the office looming. But hey, at least the sun has been shining and I can almost touch the weekend!
I suppose one could also see this as a twist to a classic carbonara dish. I have to say I did steel the basic sauce methods from when I have made it in the past, but this dish gives a carbonara a completely different experience, and I have to say I love it!
For the pasta
- 200g 00 flour
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 eggs
- Pinch salt
For the additions
- 1 courgette – sliced
- 3 small mild sweet peppers – finely sliced
- 1 red onion – finely sliced
- 250g roast chicken – either left over from a roast or roast 2 chicken breasts in the oven until cooked through (usually about 25 minutes), and then bashed with a rolling pin so they become flaky
- Handful basil – torn
- 10 sundried tomatoes – roughly chopped
For the sauce
- 2 eggs
- 60g mascarpone
- 25g parmesan – finely grated
- Salt and pepper
To make the pasta, mix the flour with the salt and the paprika and place on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Crack the eggs into it and beat with a fork until smooth.
Mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined.
You now need to knead and work the dough with your hands for a good 5-10 minutes, stopping when your pasta starts to feel smooth and silky instead of rough and floury.
Roll the pasta using a pasta machine, making sure it’s well clamped to the work top
To do this, dust your work surface with some flour and take a lump of pasta dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips. Make sure you wrap up the dough that you are not currently using so it doesn’t dry out.
Set the pasta machine at its widest setting – and roll the lump of pasta dough through it, lightly dusting the pasta with flour if it sticks at all.
Fold the pasta in half and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. (This may seem a crazy amount of times but by doing this you are making the dough smooth and silky.)
Now work the dough through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to about setting number three. Dust with flour if it begins to stick at all.
Once you have a thin sheet of pasta roll it through the tagliatelle setting, set aside and cover while you repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Once you have prepared all your tagliatelle, cover it while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside until needed
In a large saucepan or wok, gently fry the onion, peppers and courgettes for 5 minutes, or until soft and then stir in the chicken for a couple of minutes
In the meantime, bring a pan of really salty water to the boil and cook the pasta for 2 minutes
Drain the pasta and pour into the pan with the chicken and the vegetables.
Turn off the heat and stir in the sauce – making sure you continue to stir so that it thickens instead of curdles.
Finally add the basil and the tomatoes and a good twist of black pepper before plating up and enjoying.