Whenever I see or eat pasta and pesto it takes me right back to my university days, as not only is it staple student grub but one of my housemates used to make it by the bucket load! I could still probably count all of Stephies dinners on one hand; spag bol, jacket potato and tuna mayo, her Mum’s chicken curry (which BTW was delicious!) and not forgetting pasta pesto – I think there may have also been the occasional addition of chicken. Her cooking has diversified somewhat these days but the memory always makes me smile.
Now, you all know how much I love my homemade pasta, but this time I had a bit of stressful time with the dough, to the extent that Sam had to stop me throwing it away and turning to the store cupboard. I have started buying the mixed weight free range eggs from the supermarket, but although they are cheaper the mixed weight means that some of them are actually quite small – and these eggs were clearly too small for this recipe. I have to admit in order to fix it I added some liquid, and as I had a glass of wine in my hand the wine went in! This may have therefore become the first wine infused pasta dough, and I have to say it was delicious. So, if you find that your eggs are too small and you are struggling to knead your dough, just give it a splash, because as Sam reminded me there isn’t any problem can’t be fixed (with wine).
For the pasta
- 200g 00 flour
- 2 medium – large eggs
- ½ tsp salt
For the Pesto
- 3 handfuls basil – roughly chopped
- Small clove garlic – chopped
- 1 handful pine nuts
- 1 handful parmesan – finely grated
- Juice 1 lemon
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tbsp. white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
For the roasted veg
- ½ courgette – sliced into disks about 3-4mm thick
- 15 cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 160’C
Toss the courgette and tomatoes with the oil and vinegar and lay the courgette out in an oven proof dish. Place the tomatoes on top, making sure that the cut side of the tomato is facing up.
Roast in the oven for 45 minutes
To make the pasta, mix the flour with the salt 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. 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, turn it 90 degrees 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 linguini setting, set aside and cover while you repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Once you have prepared all your pasta, cover it while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
To make the pesto – bash together the basil and the garlic in a pestle and mortar.
Add the pine nuts and bash again until you have an almost paste
Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the parmesan, lemon juice and vinegar.
Add the oil a splash at a time until you have your desired consistence, you want it to be smooth without being runny.
Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste
Heat a pan of salty water to the boil and cook the pasta for 3 minutes.
Drain the pasta and stir in the pesto and the roasted vegetables.
Plate up the pasta and enjoy 😀