Sunday, October 19, 2014


I’ve been quite excited about getting the Flour+Water cookbook, I even pre-ordered it, something I don’t do that often, the book is beautifully put together, full of stunning photographs, and very well written with easy to follow recipes. Their instagram feed is a must follow. The Orecchiette below is from the book (not verbatim) and the sauce my own, more of a I really really want to make Orecchiette, get another pasta method under my belt, and I have leftover roast chicken thighs that were going to become a rye berry salad but transitioned quite easily to a nice stocky sauce.

Leftover chicken meat shredded, thighs and drum
1/2 carrot very finely diced
1/2 red onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp parsley and oregano, finely diced
1 cup chicken stock, infused with thyme and chilli
1 tsp cider vinegar
Chard, leaves finely sliced and stalks finely diced
1 tbsp butter
75~100 ml pasta water
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Sauté chicken until crisp and golden around the edges, toss in the carrot, onion and chard stalks, cook until translucent, add the garlic and deglaze with cider vinegar. Add the chard leaves and chicken stock, simmer until reduced by half. Put the pasta onto cook, and after about a minute add a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and swirl in the butter, don't stir. Taste and season.1 minute later (2 minutes total) add the 80% cooked pasta and toss, finish cooking it in the sauce. Stir in the herbs, cook for 30 seconds more. Double check seasoning. Serve up with shavings of parmesan.

180g flour
180g fine semolina
168g warm water
10g salt

  • Dissolve salt in water.
  • Mix flour and semolina together.
  • Form a well and pour in water.
  • Mix together and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Cover tightly with cling film and rest at room temp for 30min.
  • Cut off about quarter of the dough, cover the remainder.
  • Using your hands roll out into a thin log, about a pencil width thick.
  • Cut into 1cm segments.
  • Use a butter knife and push down on the far edge of a piece and pull towards yourself, so the dough curls over.
  • Uncurl over your thumb and turn inside out to form a dome.
  • Place completed Orecchiette on a sheet pan dusted with semolina.
  • Leave to air dry at room temp until you’re ready to cook.
  • Boil in well salted water for about 2 minutes, and then another minute in the above sauce.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ricotta Cavatelli

I’m becoming quite addicted to the Google Keep App, it’s a large tile of post-it like notes or lists that you can access via a web page or phone/tablet app. I find it handy for jotting down ingredients or ideas, partial and full, and the obvious shopping lists and being able to tick off as you go. This started out as one of those little post-its, “artichokes, pine-nuts and sultanas”, I had that down and wanted to do something with it. I happened to have a tub of Zany Zeus ricotta in the fridge and a desire to revisit cavatelli, so again much consternation about finding some consistency across recipes for ricotta cavatelli I ended up forming what I thought would be a good ratio and set to work.

I did happen to mention the cavatelli accompaniments to my other half, and much like any savoury with a fruit addition her nose screwed up and indignantly told me in no uncertain words that she would not be having that for dinner, so she got a garlic-bacon-tomato sauce that was whipped up.

Ricotta Cavatelli
200g Flour
200g Ricotta
1 egg
5g salt
  • Mix the flour and salt together and form a well.
  • Add the ricotta and egg.
  • Use the back of a fork to mash the egg and ricotta together, slowly working into the flour.
  • Use your hands and form into a ball.
  • Knead for about 5 minutes, until nice and smooth.
  • Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for half an hour.
  • Roll out the dough on a well floured bench and cut into strips ready for the cavatelli machine.
  • I floured the machine, and on top of the roller so a bit of flour gets sprinkled over the dough with each turn.
  • Pinch the dough and run through the machine.
  • Toss in flour to keep the cavatelli separated until you’re ready to cook.
  • Shake off any excess flour and cook in well salted boiling water for 3–5 minutes.

For the pictured dish:
  • Soak sultanas in a hot liquid
  • Toast pine-nuts
  • Quarter cooked artichoke hearts
  • Pick some pea-shoots
  • Zest and juice lemon
  • Finely chop some parsley, dill would be nice too
  • Sauté the artichokes in a little olive oil and butter until they begin to caramelize.
  • Toss in the lemon zest, sultanas and pine-nuts.
  • Stir in some butter and toss through.
  • Taste and season with lemon juice and salt (I’m totally obsessed with smoked salt at the moment).
  • Add the parsley and cooked cavatelli, toss together.
  • Dish up and garnish with the pea-sprouts.

Bacon-tomato sauce
2 rashers of bacon
1 can of good tomatoes
1 onion
3 big garlic cloves
cider vinegar
chilli flakes

In a pot over a medium heat, sauté the chopped onion and whole garlic cloves, when soft add the chopped bacon, cook until the bacon has rendered most of the fat but not coloured too much, add a splash of cider vinegar, add the tomatoes and a pinch of chilli, cover and turn the heat down, cook for about 20 minutes. The onions and garlic should be very soft, purée the sauce with a stick blender, taste and season with salt and adjust the acidity with vinegar. Simmer until the desired consistency is reached. Toss cooked cavatelli through the sauce.