Pappardelle with Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers and Fresh Basil Oil
The weather has been rather miserable this weekend, and so I have naturally decided to hibernate. The little dusting of snow we are getting is just enough to keep by the warmth of our log burner. Plus I’ve had the additional task of looking after horses whilst my mother and her partner went to a christening, so I’ve been rather farm-bound; a.k.a kitchen bound. After completing all farm duties yesterday morning I decided to fetch out the pasta machine. What better way to spend a wintry afternoon in doors than to rustle up some delicious, fresh pasta?! Like a kid with a ball of play doh, I excitedly rolled out and cut, rolled out and cut, to my little hearts content. If you’ve read my previous pasta post, Ottolenghi’s Lemon and Walnut Fettuccine, then you will know that along with my pasta machine, I also have a farfalle cutter and a ravioli cutter. But in the end, I decided to go for simple, beautiful ribbons- perhaps better known as pappardelle. I’ve always liked the look of these beautiful blankets of pasta; the way they roll and twist in the bowl, the way they mop up thick sauces and layer between pieces of meat and vegetable. And I was quite happy with my own creations, somewhat rustic compared to the shop bought stuff, but better off for it! I haven’t yet purchased a pasta drying rack, not because they are overtly expensive, but because I have no where to put it. I have a collection of bowls, plates, tins, silicone mats gathering on my window sill in my room. My mothers kitchen cupboards are overflowing as they are; so all I can do is hoard my own collection in my room. So to dry my pasta I chose to drape it over several clothes hangers. Genius. I know! I need to get my hands on some polenta; coating the pasta in a light layer of the stuff stops the pasta from sticking, thus meaning you don’t have to dry the pasta strand by strand. But hey, I’m coping without it!
I couldn’t be bothered to drive and get groceries so I just searched the fridge and cupboards and went from there. I wanted something simple; I didn’t want to draw too much attention away from the delicious fresh pasta, so I grabbed some tomatoes, peppers and onion for roasting, and thought I’d whip up a little fresh basil oil. Fresh, simple, satisfying. Exactly what I needed on a rather depressing day.
- 1 large pointed red pepper
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 3-4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large handful of fresh basil
- rind and juice of 1/2 large lemon
- salt and pepper
- 175-200g of pappardelle (fresh or dry)
- grated fresh parmesan
- meat lovers could opt in some pancetta
- Preheat the oven at 180C for fan, 200C for your average oven.
- Begin by cutting the pepper into chunks, halving some of the tomatoes (leaving some whole for variety), and slicing the onion. I opted to leave everything quite chunky, but feel free to slice into smaller chunks if necessary. But bare in mind roasting time will be less. Place the vegetables in a roasting tin, dress with half the oil, add the crushed garlic and season- then into the oven. Roasting will take approximately 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.
- Using a pestle and mortar, crush the basil leaves with the rest of the oil, lemon juice and rind. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- When the vegetables ready you can turn off the oven leaving the tray inside, while you cook your pasta. Fresh pasta takes minutes, depending on the thickness. But if using dry pasta, then follow the instructions on the packet, which usually averages at about 8-10 minutes.
- When the pasta is ready drain the water and toss the pasta in the roasting pan with the vegetables. Add the basil oil and serve, with a shower of fresh parmesan cheese.
- Eat it all. And lick the bowl. And smile with satisfaction.