We've just had a splendid first week of our Vegetarian Diploma course! Our talented students did a great job with this dish of fresh herb-pressed pasta. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, we do advise investing in a pasta machine. If you're not sure, read our tips for homemade pasta - some dishes don't require a machine! And keep an eye on our upcoming pasta classes if you'd like to try a machine before buying.
The main components are this dish are the fresh pasta and griddled asparagus with cherry tomatoes. We also recommend serving with a homemade tomato sauce and dabs of wild garlic pesto. The pasta and sauces can be made in advance. (Make a large quantity of the sauce to enjoy in other dishes.) Then just griddle the veg and serve to your delighted friends!
- 100g 00 pasta flour
- 50ml water
- Semolina for rolling
- 15g each of soft herbs – basil, dill, tarragon
- Place the pasta flour in a mixing bowl.
- Mix the water into the flour and knead to make a firm dough.
- The dough will be firmer than bread dough but not so dry that it crumbles when you knead it.
- Knead for a few minutes until smooth and then wrap in clingfilm and chill for half an hour before rolling.
- Sprinkle the table with semolina. Work with half of the dough at a time to make 2 long strips of pasta. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. You can use the rolling pin to begin, then finish by passing the dough through a pasta machine to the setting before the last.
- Pick the herb leaves off the stems. Lay the leaves over one half of the pasta strip, leaving a little space between each leaf.
- Fold the other side of the pasta over and press gently with the rolling pin. Roll through the machine on the setting before the last thinnest setting a couple of times so that the herb leaves are well pressed and spread out through the dough.
- Trim the edges then cut the sheets down into short lasagna lengths.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil add a large pinch of salt. Boil the pasta sheets for 2 minutes until tender. Drain well before serving.
Chargrilled Asparagus with Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 bunch asparagus, remove the woody ends
- 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
- 4 basil leaves, finely sliced
- To serve with pasta: homemade tomato sauce and wild garlic pesto
- Heat a chargrill pan until it is so hot it is smoking. Very lightly brush the asparagus with a drop of oil and a tiny pinch of salt.
- Place on the chargrill for a couple of minutes to create a few black lines, turning half way through cooking. Put to one side.
- Place the tomatoes skin side down on the chargrill and sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Cook for a minute, just on the skin-side to create black lines, remove carefully from the chargrill pan.
Serve as an Open Lasagne
- Warm the tomato sauce.
- Arrange on a plate the chargrilled asparagus and roasted cherry tomatoes in between pasta sheets.
- Add dabs of wild garlic pesto, sprinkle with optional vegetarian parmesan and drizzle the tomato sauce around the plate.
- Finish with finely sliced basil leaves.