Perfect Pasta – Orecchiette with greens

intermediate

Serves: 4-6

Prep: 1 hr 15 min, plus resting dough and drying pasta

Cook: 20 min

Ingredients small handful of greens, such as broccoli raab, spring greens or chard, tough stalks removed, leaves sliced into bite-sized pieces extra virgin Olive oil

3 anchovy fillets

1 large clove Garlic, thinly sliced

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped freshly grated Parmesan,

to serve black pepper

For the pasta

500g flour, or unbleached flour

3 whole Eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp Olive oil

good pinch of Salt

Method

1. First make the pasta. Pile the flour on the work surface and make a well in the centre. Put the eggs, oil and salt in the well. Stir gently, gradually drawing in the flour from around the edge. Once all the flour is incorporated, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is pliable and smooth. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (You can store the dough for a couple of days if necessary.)

2. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.

3. Roll out into long sausages and cut into three manageable pieces. Roll these into thinner sausages about 1cm thick. Cut into thin slices, about 2cm thick, and use these to make your orecchiette.

4. Press your thumb down onto the pasta slices to form a shell. Leave to one side for 10-15 minutes until they have dried out a little. Then re-shape by turning the shell over and pressing down with your thumb until an ear-shape is formed.

5. Next make the sauce. Bring a large saucepan of salted water (at least 3 litres) to the boil. Add the greens and blanch for a couple of minutes. Remove the greens with a perforated spoon and drain in a colander. Keep the water boiling ready to cook the pasta.

6. Add the pasta to the pan of boiling salted water, and cook for a few minutes until ‘al dente’.

7. While the pasta is cooking, pour some oil into a large high-sided frying pan over low heat. Add the anchovies and stir until melted. Add the garlic and chilli and gently fry for a minute or so until the garlic is just starting to colour.

8. Add the greens to the pan. Toss in the oil mixture, then cover and leave over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse. 9. Drain the pasta and add to the greens. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and toss well. Serve while still warm with a bowl of freshly grated Parmesan.

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