Fresh from the garden: eggs, rocket, lemon
Recipe source: Pasta: Stephanie Alexander, Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids. Dressing: Melissa
Our Kitchen Garden students love making pasta! This recipe includes the dough mixture as well as instructions on how to use a pasta machine. In the summer you could add chopped cherry tomatoes too, for their explosive bite…
What to do:
To make the pasta:
- Wash a handful of rocket thoroughly and spin dry. Discard any tough stalks and chop roughly.
- Weigh the flour, then combine it with 1½ teaspoons of salt in the bowl of the food processor. With the motor running, add the eggs and the chopped rocket. Process for a few minutes until the dough clings together and feels quite springy.
- Tip the dough onto a clean, dry workbench. Knead the dough for a few minutes, then wrap it in plastic film and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Fill the large stockpot with water and set to boil on high with the lid on.
- Fix the pasta machine to a suitable bench or table – if the surface is not thick enough you may need to place a thick book under the machine. Screw the clamp very tightly.
- Clear a large space on the workbench alongside the pasta machine. All surfaces must be clean and dry. Press or roll the dough into a rectangle about 8 cm wide.
- Set the rollers on the pasta machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through. The dough will probably look quite ragged at this stage. Fold it in 3, turn it 90 degrees and roll it through again. Go to the next-thickest setting and pass the dough through 3-4 times.
- Continue in this manner (changing the settings and passing the dough through) until the dough has passed through the second thinnest setting. Don’t use the very thinnest setting, as the dough gets too fine and is hard to manage. If the dough gets too long to handle comfortably, cut it into 2-3 pieces using the large knife, and roll each piece separately.
- Lay the pasta strips on a lightly floured surface & dust with a little more flour. Fold up carefully 2 or 3 times and then using a knife or cutter, slice pasta into strips about 2cm wide.
- Carefully unravel each strip as you go and hang to dry.
- Clean the pasta machine by brushing it with a dry, wide pastry brush & putting back in its box. At this stage you can make the dough for the next lesson!
To finish the dish:
- Check that the stockpot has been filled with water and is set on high to boil.
- Wash the remaining handful of rocket and spin it dry. Discard any tough stalks and chop roughly and put into the large bowl.
- Wash and dry the lemon and zest it into the rocket. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the bowl.
- Peel the garlic cloves and squeeze them into the bowl.
- Measure the parmesan and grate what you need.
- Measure 1/3 cup of olive oil into the bowl and sprinkle on a few pinches of flaked salt and a good grind of pepper and toss to incorporate.
- When the stockpot has started a fast boil, gather your drying pasta on a large baking tray. Add the pasta to the pot with a tablespoon of cooking salt, stir once and quickly put the lid back on.
- As soon as the pot begins to boil again, take the lid off. The pasta should only take 2 minutes or so to cook from boiling. Taste to check – it’s important that the pasta remains al dente and is not overcooked!
- Using tongs, carefully pull the pasta (and some of its cooking liquid) out and into the big lemony, rocket bowl and toss to thoroughly incorporate. The rocket should start to wilt.
- Divide into serving bowls, sprinkle a little parmesan on and eat immediately!
Notes: Never wash the pasta machine – it will rust! Just brush down with a strong brush to remove the leftover dough.