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Herb-Pressed Pasta with Chargrilled Asparagus

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!

Herb-Pressed Pasta

Dietary: Vegan

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 100g 00 pasta flour
  • 50ml water
  • Semolina for rolling
  • 15g each of soft herbs – basil, dill, tarragon

Method

  1. Place the pasta flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the water into the flour and knead to make a firm dough.
  3. The dough will be firmer than bread dough but not so dry that it crumbles when you knead it.
  4. Knead for a few minutes until smooth and then wrap in clingfilm and chill for half an hour before rolling.
  5. 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.
  6. Pick the herb leaves off the stems. Lay the leaves over one half of the pasta strip, leaving a little space between each leaf.
  7. 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.
  8. Trim the edges then cut the sheets down into short lasagna lengths.
  9. 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

Dietary: Vegan

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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. 
  2. Place on the chargrill for a couple of minutes to create a few black lines, turning half way through cooking. Put to one side.
  3. 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

  1. Warm the tomato sauce.
  2. Arrange on a plate the chargrilled asparagus and roasted cherry tomatoes in between pasta sheets. 
  3. Add dabs of wild garlic pesto, sprinkle with optional vegetarian parmesan and drizzle the tomato sauce around the plate. 
  4. Finish with finely sliced basil leaves.

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