Duck stew with Italian Sausage and Pappardelle

Serves 6-8


Ingredients

  • 2kg of duck leg thighs filleted skin off
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil – use as needed
  • 250g pancetta diced finely
  • 250g Italian fennel pork sausages skinned and pulled into little pieces
  • 1 large Brown onion finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano
  • 2 cups of green sicilian olives
  • 1/2 cup of masala
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 jars of tomato purée or pasata
  • 350g of The Pasta Company’s fresh pappardelle
  • Salt for pasta water
  •  Parsley chopped finely
  • Shaved parmesan for serving

Method
Cut the duck thigh fillets  up into 1 inch pieces. Place the corn flour into a freezer or zip lock bag along with salt and black pepper. Hold the bag tight and shake to evenly mix the seasoned flour. Add the duck pieces into the seasoned flour bag and again shake to coat the pieces.

In a heavy bottomed braising pan or Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat till just smoking. Place duck pieces into the an and sear until golden brown . You may need to brown the duck pieces  in two – three batches removing as you go. Once all browned Remove from pan and set aside. Now add the sausage pieces and pancetta. Cook until lightly browned and add onion, celery, carrots and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the oregano and garlic and stir for a minute or two. Add the olives, Marsala , red wine and reduce slightly then add the tomato pasata and bring to a boil then add the duck pieces and again  bring up to the boil and turn down the heat and simmer for around  an hour.

Whilst the duck is on a simmer and almost completed cooking have a pot of boiling water ready. Once the water is rapidly bubbling add salt then parpadelle strips and stir to prevent the strands sticking. 3-5 minutes depending upon cooking preference and  your pasta is ready to drain.

Add the pasta to a deep serving bowl and ladle over 1/2 the duck and sausage stew till coated well and stir gently through. Have the remaining stew beside the pasta to ladle over the served pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan shavings and parsley.

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Lasagna with Chicken, Portobello Mushrooms, Spinach and Four Cheeses

Serves 10-12


Ingredients:

  • 5 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium – large onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 500g fresh portobello mushrooms trimmed and roughly chopped ( if portobello mushrooms are not available then substitute with a button or Swiss brown)
  • 250g English spinach leaves, stems removed and leaves washed or baby spinach leaves left whole and rinsed
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 kg skinless chicken thighs fillets cut into approximately ½-inch pieces
  • 1cup dry white wine
  • 200g corn flour
  • 1 cup pouring cream
  • 1 cup of mascarpone
  • 5 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  •  11/2 cups of Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 20 sheets of The Pasta Company fresh lasagne sheets
  • 700g of fontina cheese, cut into small pieces, grated mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheeses mixed and set aside
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan separate to he cheese mix
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 170oC

In a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add the onion and celery and season with salt and pepper then sauté stirring constantly. When the onion and celery become transparent add the garlic and place mix in a bowl and set aside.

Turn the heat up to high, and add mushrooms. Sauté , constantly stirring, for a couple of minutes then add the spinach leaves. Cook until spinach leaves are wilted and mushrooms are just cooked. Remove these ingredients and place to the side .

Turn the heat to a medium.

Add the butter and remaining oil to the pan. Season and coat the chicken –  Place the corn flour into a freezer or zip lock bag along with salt and black pepper . Hold the bag tight and shake to evenly mix the seasoned flour. Add the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour bag and again shake to coat the pieces  in the flour coating on all sides, add this to the sizzling melted butter and oil. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is almost cooked through- we do not want crisp or golden chicken pieces!

Add the white wine and simmer until reduced. Sprinkle the left over flour from the chicken over the chicken, and sauté  stirring, till the chicken and liquid thicken. Slowly add the cream, mascarpone and milk, and whisk constantly.

Simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, allowing the liquid to thicken.  Reserve 2 cups of liquid without chicken pieces.

Remove the pan from the heat, and add the onion, garlic, celery and mushroom mix. Add the chopped parsley. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.

Layering the Lasagna:
Place a layer of 4 lasagna sheets on the bottom of a greased lasagna tray, overlapping them slightly. Top with one third of the chicken mixture, then one third of the cheese mix. Repeating till reaching the top of the tray, finishing with a layer of pasta. Spread the reserved sauce over the top sheets of pasta and then sprinkle with Parmesan.   Cover with foil and  bake for 1/2 an hour to 40 minutes. Increase heat to high around200oC – 210oC, remove the foil,  and then bake until golden brown, around 10 minutes till a golden yellow brown and bubbling on top.

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Italian Pork Ragu’

Ingredients

  • 2.5kg pork – mix of pork neck bones and spare rib pieces ( best from a butcher)
  • 250g pancetta or bacon – cut into small pieces
  • 4 eshallots onion bulbs finely chopped ( or 1 large white onion)
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 1 leek finely chopped
  • 4 garlic pieces finely chopped or minced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tins of crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 fresh bay leaves bruised
  • Fresh basil and parsley


Method

To a deep pot ( dutch oven style or bessemer) on a medium heat add In one table spoon of the olive oil and brown the seasoned pork Neck and rib pieces on both sides.  You may need to brown the pork pieces  in two batches. Once all browned Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the remainder of the tablespoons of the extra virgin oil  and sauté the pancetta, bay leaves, the onion, carrots, leek and garlic, celery. Sauté until the pancetta, onion, carrot  mix etc have all become translucent then add the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Reduce the balsamic vinegar and then add the red wine and reduce by approximately  half.  After the wine reduces add the pork necks and spare ribs back into the pan and coat the necks with the red wine/ balsamic and veggie mix.

Add the 3 tins of crushed Tomatoes, the teaspoon of sugar, the basil leaves and the chopped parsley.

Bring the sauce to a boil then immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook the sauce for 2-3 hours. After the 2-3 hours you can take the bone pieces only out of the sauce.  Pull the meat off the bones and return the meat to the pan.

Ideally Served with parpadelle, tagliatelle or gnocchi.
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and fresh parsley!

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Creamy Fettuccine Carbonara

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250grams of fresh fettuccine
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 grams pancetta or smoked bacon (diced)
  • 1 tub of The Pasta Company creamy white wine and garlic ( defrosted)
  • 2 cups of full cream milk or cream depending on how rich you’d like the sauce
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup pecorino (grated)
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Method
Sauté the pancetta over a medium heat to render most of the fat from the pancetta, While the pancetta is rendering, add the tub of  the white wine and garlic cream sauce with sea salt and black pepper to taste and whisk till it slightly thickens. Once it starts thickening add the 2 cups of cream or milk and whisk through again till it becomes slightly thickened.

Hint: Remember not to thicken the sauce too much as when the sauce  cools and you add Parmesan and pecorino it will thicken up more so.

Bring water to the boil. Cook the fettuccine until al dente.

Drain the pasta and place  into a serving bowl and then stir in the pancetta and cream and half the cheese to the pasta and fold through with fresh ground black pepper .

With the remaining pecorino and parmesan mix sprinkle over the top along with the finely chopped parsley.
Serve immediately!

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs

(Pasta con pangrattato)

This is a simple and delicious.
Many Italians like to add in dried peppers, toasted or dried peperoncini, or pancetta, smoked bacon or anchovies.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of fresh (1-2 day old bread) ciabatta bread is best suited
  • 4 large garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g of spaghetti or linguini is best

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, medium heat only. Add the fresh breadcrumbs and sauté until golden, around 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté another minute or two, do not over cook the garlic!

* if adding dried peppers, toasted or dried peperoncini, or pancetta, smoked bacon or anchovies then add at this step.

Remove the pan from the heat and turn down to a low then whilst the  pan is off the heat toss through the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Please do not turn the stove off!

Stir well to combine.

Cook the pasta  al dente. Drain and add to the pan with breadcrumb mix, place the pan
Back on the stove and toss over the low heat until the pasta is coated.

Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese and extra Parmesan cheese.

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Three meat Ragù


Serves 6-8


Ingredients

  • 1 x kilo of boneless shoulder pork meat cut into rustic cube pieces
  • 500g of veal shoulder or veal shank meat cut into rustic cube pieces – (Season the pork & veal meat with a good amount of Salt and cracked pepper)
  • 6 Italian sausages with skin taken off and broken into little pieces
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley ( reserve around 2 tablespoons for serving)
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and oregano leaves
  • 2 onions finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 large carrots peeled & finely chopped
  • 200 grams of chopped pancetta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoon of cream fresche
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1tin or jar of tomato puree/passata
  • 500mls of home made veal or chicken stock

 


Method:
In a large pot or dutch oven heat on medium high heat till the olive oil is fairly hot but not smoking.

Seer the diced pork and veal and remove from pot then add diced onions, diced carrots and pancetta in the heated olive oil, season with a little more salt and cracked pepper. This mix should be soft and will take around 10-15 minutes then once the ingredients are soft and transparent add the garlic and stir well for a further 1-2 minutes.

Add the white wine intermittently to demiglaze the base of the pan and continue to stir the mix to collect all the flavours reducing the wine and lifting the caught flavours from the bottom of the pan.

Making sure the pan is still hot after the addition of the white wine then add the 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook well remembering to stir constantly  until the tomato paste amalgamates with the other ingredients and becomes a rusty colour.

Now place the pork and veal meats back to the pot and add the tomato puree and the equivelany of water to rinse out the puree tin or jar and add to the casserole.

Once these steps are completed turn the heat right down to a very, very low temperature and cover for roughly 11/2-2 hours.

Intermittently check on the ragu and this is when the addition of the veal or chicken stock is added to keep the liquid well above the half way mark.

When pork and veal is tender enough that the meat on the fork when prodding falls away easily, then remove the meat from the sauce and set aside. Add to the sauce the de- skinned sausage and continue cooking the sauce further for around 1 hour more. Sauce should now be “dark, rich, shiny and thick.” now return the pork and veal meat and stir together and simmer on low for 1/2 an hour and turn off leaving the ragu on the stove. Once 15 minutes has passed add the Creme fresh and stir gently through.

To serve: Cook the  pappardelle pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Add 3/4 of the ragu sauce to pasta pot and add the pappardelle pasta to this sauce  and toss to combine.

Serve the ragu and tossed pappardelle by grabbing hold of the pappardelle with tongs and gently twisting the tongs twice around and lifting up the pasta and place the pasta  into the bowl forming a high nest formation then add   an extra ladle of sauce around the base of the pasta nest and sprinkle with parmegano cheese and some of the remaining finely chopped  parsley.

Buon appetito …

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Cannelloni Pork and Veal

Serves 6-8

Serves 6-8


Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1kg combined lean ground veal and pork mince
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs separated – whites only
  • 1/2  cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tb spoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt  & 1/2 teaspoon fine black pepper

 


Method:
In a large, deep skillet or heavy based frying pan  heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and half of the garlic and cook until translucent, do not allow to golden this should take around 5 minutes. Remove this onion mix and reserve to the side, now increase the heat to a medium-high
(you may need a touch more oil) Add the ground meat mince and season then fry stirring occasionally, after a couple of minutes add the remainder of the garlic, the onion mix and the bay leaf and continue to sauté around 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Place meat mixture in a blender removing the bay leaf and pulse in a blender till smoothish but not a paste! You will want some texture.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, egg whites, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, the fresh parsley and thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the meat mixture.

Then either pipe the mix or form the mix into long sausage shapes and roll into fresh pasta sheets (fresh  lasagna sheets are best! We sell these and they’re a perfect size for cannelloni ) or fill dried cannelloni tubes by  pushing the mix in with the handle of a a teaspoon or wooden spoon.

Hint:  by pre cooking the dried cannelloni tubes this dish will cook in almost the same time as the fresh pasta sheet cannelloni)

Meanwhile heat up 2 packets of  *The Pasta Company napoli sauce in a pot or microwave.

Grease an ovenproof dish with olive oil and place the pork and veal cannelloni in a single layer.

Pour the pre heated tomato * Napoli sauce over the cannelloni and Sprinkle with a good Parmesan cheese.

Cover canneloni with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180◦C for around 30 -40 minutes.

If using fresh cannelloni sheets or pre cooked dried cannelloni tubes you should bake the canneloni for around 15-20 minutes.

Remove foil 5 minutes before cooking time is complete and the cannelloni dish should  look golden brown and bubbling on top.

Serve canneloni hot,  garnish with Italian parsley and set beside a tossed green salad and crusty bread.

Buon appetito …

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Spicy Spinach and Feta Spirali

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 500g Spirali  (dried)
  • 4 tbsps olive oil ( 2 to cook with and 2 reserved for tossing)
  • 1 large onion (diced finely)
  • 4-6 tomatoes diced (seeds and inner soft flesh removed )
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh basil chopped finely into slithers
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 fresh chili’s ( hot or mild )
  • 200g fresh feta cheese crumbled
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper

 


Method:
Bring 4 litres of water to the boil in a large pot.

While the water is reaching the boil add the 2 Tbs of olive oil to a skillet or heavy pan and heat the oil over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot but not smoking add onions and cook till transparent and softened, stirring constantly to prevent from sticking or browning.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes ensuring the garlic does not over cook and then add the finely chopped chili, basil and oregano. Turn the pan off and add the 2 Tablespoon of olive oil to the pan to warm through and then season the mix with the salt and pepper and give it one last stir.

Now cook the spirali according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss through with the olive oil, onion, garlic, herbs and chili mix.

In a large bowl transfer the Spirali pasta mix and toss through with the spinach and diced tomato. Sprinkle with  the crumbled feta and serve.

This is a great accompaniment to steak or grilled chicken – perfect for an addition to any outdoor BBQ outing.

Buon appetito …

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Spaghetti with Radicchio and Pine nuts

Serves 4-6

Serves 4-6


Ingredients

  • 500g of fresh Pasta Company  spaghetti
  • 1 onion
  • 500g of  red radicchio
  • 150g of speck or pancetta
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 50g pine nuts toasted
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 100g butter cut into small cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Shaved Parmesan for serving
  • ( 150mls of cream optional if using cream then also add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg)

 


Method:
In a dry non stick pan on a medium heat toast  the pine nuts till a golden brown . Set aside.

Chop the pancetta or speck into diced pieces and set aside. Next step is to rinse the radicchio leaves and pat dry then remove the white stem, discard this stem as it can be fairly bitter in a sauce, cut the radicchio leaves into strips and set aside.

Chop the onion very finely
Peel the garlic and depending on preference  either mince or finely slice ( I finely slice )

Now in a heavy based frying pan add the olive oil and heat on medium heat and wait till the pan is hot but not smoking. Once the pan is at the desired temperature add the onions and cook till transparent stirring constantly to prevent burning or sticking this should take around 5 minutes (the onion should look no darker than a light golden colour) now add the pancetta to the onion and cook together, stirring occasionally, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the garlic and season with the salt and pepper then add the garlic for a minute or two followed by the white wine, add this  in two batches to  demiglaze the pan. Once the white wine has reduced slightly add the radicchio, as soon as the radicchio wilts add the butter cubes including the parsley and gently toss through till melted.

* if you wish you may add the cream and nutmeg here

Turn the heat off and remove from the element to prevent further cooking.

Bring a large pot of water around 4 litres to the boil and add a generous amount of salt only  when the water has reached the boil !
Hint: you can do this step as you start the radicchio sauce

Cook the pasta spaghetti for the recommended 3 minutes. If using dried pasta follow the package directions.

Drain the pasta and add the drained pasta to the pan and turn the heat on again to sauté for no more than a minute to warm through and coat the spaghetti finally add the pine nuts and toss together.

Immediately serve with freshly shaved parmigiano reggiano.

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Duck stew with Italian Sausage and Pappardelle


Serves 6-8


Ingredients

  • 2kg of duck leg thighs filleted skin off
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil – use as needed
  • 250g pancetta diced finely
  • 250g Italian fennel pork sausages skinned and pulled into little pieces
  • 1 large Brown onion finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano
  • 2 cups of green sicilian olives
  • 1/2 cup of masala
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 jars of tomato purée or pasata
  • 350g of The Pasta Company’s fresh pappardelle
  • Salt for pasta water
  •  Parsley chopped finely
  • Shaved parmesan for serving

Method
Cut the duck thigh fillets  up into 1 inch pieces. Place the corn flour into a freezer or zip lock bag along with salt and black pepper. Hold the bag tight and shake to evenly mix the seasoned flour. Add the duck pieces into the seasoned flour bag and again shake to coat the pieces.

In a heavy bottomed braising pan or Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat till just smoking. Place duck pieces into the an and sear until golden brown . You may need to brown the duck pieces  in two – three batches removing as you go. Once all browned Remove from pan and set aside. Now add the sausage pieces and pancetta. Cook until lightly browned and add onion, celery, carrots and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the oregano and garlic and stir for a minute or two. Add the olives, Marsala , red wine and reduce slightly then add the tomato pasata and bring to a boil then add the duck pieces and again  bring up to the boil and turn down the heat and simmer for around  an hour.

Whilst the duck is on a simmer and almost completed cooking have a pot of boiling water ready. Once the water is rapidly bubbling add salt then parpadelle strips and stir to prevent the strands sticking. 3-5 minutes depending upon cooking preference and  your pasta is ready to drain.

Add the pasta to a deep serving bowl and ladle over 1/2 the duck and sausage stew till coated well and stir gently through. Have the remaining stew beside the pasta to ladle over the served pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan shavings and parsley.

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

Use Olive Oil

Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

When we often think of oil, we immediately think of how bad for you oil is and ways to avoid it. But when consumed in moderation, oil can be a healthy way to enjoy weight loss.

One tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories, which may seem like too many calories for a tablespoon but not when combined with a well-balanced diet. After all, the right kind of fat is essential to a healthy diet. Olive oil has 14 grams of fat, only 2 grams from saturated fat. With no cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber or protein you’re probably beginning to see why olive oil nutrition facts are so appealing to dieters.

Olive oil has no minerals and very few vitamins, but adding a little to your diet can give you 10% of your recommended daily value of vitamins E and K. Olive oil nutrition facts also reveal 103 micrograms of omega-3 fatty acids, making sure you get some essential nutrients in your diet.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

It’s difficult to adjust our thinking on fats, but one of the most appealing health benefits of olive oil is the anti-inflammatory benefits. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil reduce bad cholesterol, helps regulate blood pressure and can prevent diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Another health benefit of olive oil as part of a healthy diet can slow down the growth of unwanted bacteria in the digestive tract. These bacteria can cause stomach infections, digestive problems and even stomach ulcers. The health benefits of olive oil can be derived from just a few tablespoons in your diet each week.

Who would’ve thought that olive oil would be considered brain food? It turns out that yet another health benefit of olive oil is its ability to improve cognitive functions. Studies have shown that verbal fluency and visual memory in the elderly has been improved by adding olive oil to your diet.

Weight loss is another health benefit of olive oil because it is more satisfying than saturated fats, making you feel fuller after a meal. When your hunger is satisfied after a meal you are less likely to eat more than you need, which will cause weight loss to occur. When combined with more physical activity, weight loss benefits of olive oil increase.

Adding Oil To Your Diet

  1. Choose extra virgin or mild olive oil for cooking to minimize olive taste.
  2. Follow these tips to maximize the health benefits of olive oil
  3. Blend olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and balsamic vinegar for a Mediterranean style vinaigrette.
  4. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil when pan frying to replace common cooking oils.
  5. Combine olive oil, fresh oregano, minced garlic and parsley. Spread on bread for homemade herb and garlic bread.
  6. Substitute olive oil whenever possible to enjoy the health benefits of olive oil. Whether in cooking or salads, olive oil is a great way to boost fat burning efforts.


How to cook Fresh Pasta

Water quantity

A large 5 litre pot is recommended and left uncovered. Around 1 litre (4 cups) of water for every 100 grams of pasta. Salt quantity is 1-1/2 tablespoons to 500g  pasta. Some would argue and  prefer that the salt is added to the water prior to bringing it to a boil, we would disagree and recommend adding the salt to the water once it has reached the boiling stage, immediately adding  the pasta.

Fact: The high heat ‘sets’ the outside of the pasta and stops it sticking together; lots of water ensures the pasta can move freely and cook evenly; and salt is needed to bring out the flavour of the pasta, which is made without salt.

Cooking the Pasta

And don’t add oil to the water, it won’t do anything! Once the water reaches a rapid boil, then as above add salt then add the pasta. Cooking time starts from when the water returns to a boil  again. Cooking time is dependant on the shape. When the water is rapidly boiling, drop in the pasta stir around once, then place the lid on briefly so the pasta comes again to the boil and immediately remove lid once the boiling water returns. The Italians have a saying that they shout “Butta la pasta” throw in the pasta ! Just as they’re ready at the door for lunch, over cooked pasta is a big no no!

Fresh is  from 3-12mins fresh depending on the type of pasta ( wholemeal, frozen, fresh, or filled) and your “al dente” preference.

Dried is from 10-15 mins check the packet for instructions and test as instructed belowand with regards to your “al dente” preference.

A tip for filled fresh pasta and an exception to the rule is to drizzle a little oil when cooking filled pasta such as ravioli and tortellini  to help prevent splitting and friction.

fact: Most dried and fresh pasta doubles in volume when cooked

Testing & Tasting

To test if the pasta is ready, you simply taste a strand or a morsel. Most pasta coniseurs  enjoy pasta “al dente” to the tooth, just tender. while some  prefer it softer, this is preferential. Once the pasta is to your liking then drain and add to your sauce or if reserving then toss in a little olive oil to prevent the pasta sticking and store.

N.B. Remember that hot pasta will continue to cook after it is removed from the water.

Adding the pasta to the sauce.

After cooking your sauce whether it be a cream base or tomato, simply add your pasta and stir,  Usually this is done in the pan the sauce is cooked in, which also serves to keep the pasta warm, reserve some of the sauce to ladle over the dish prior to serving. Remember to use a large enough pan for the sauce to accommodate the pasta plus room to toss. Use a serving fork and spoon or tongs.  Either serve immediately or cover and allow the pasta to absorb the sauce a little.