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When the washing up takes way longer than the eating, you’ve got to question yourself. And I did momentarily, but would happily repeat, and so the recipe below. I wanted to use the dried portabello mushrooms I’d had for a while, and it seemed fitting to use fresh homemade pasta; thus using the hens’ eggs. I perhaps should have stopped there, but the mascarpone in the fridge was calling to me, and so the pasta became ravioli. I then did other flourishes because I was enjoying my time in the kitchen, whilst Jamie was doing time on Molly’s bathing routine. I love being left alone in the kitchen. It’s time to relax. Sometimes I’ll happily admit that I go overboard with the ingredients (was there really a need to roast the red pepper or use toasted pine nuts?). So tonight I was using a lot of pans, a lot of ingredients, all resulting in a lot of swift, happy munching. Yum.


The Pasta – serves two (it’s basically 100g and 1 egg per person)

200g Tipo ‘00’ flour

2 eggs

In a bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour, and crack the eggs into it. Using a fork, beat the eggs, whilst slowly incorporating more and more flour. Then start using your hands, and once the dough is roughly formed into a ball, start kneading on a suitable flat surface. Once the dough feels really silky then it’s done, usually takes five to ten minutes. Then cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge whilst you make the pasta sauce (dough needs at least 15 minutes).

After the resting period, divide the dough in half and squish half into the pasta machine, on the widest setting, fold in half and repeat a couple of times. Gradually reduce the thickness until the pasta is silky and thin. It’s probably best to cut the pasta in half, otherwise it will become unmanageably long. Repeat with other half of the dough.

To Make the Ravioli:

Lay down one sheet on a floured surface, and every five centimetres or so, do a teaspoon dollop of filling, along the length of pasta. Then lightly brush with water around the sides of the pasta, and then lay another pasta sheet over the top. Cup the pasta with palm of hand, expelling any air, and press down to make the ravioli. Cut off any excess pasta (just want to leave a bit along the sides so the ravioli don’t leak.

As the pasta’s fresh it only takes two to three minutes to cook (in boiling water). Use a large saucepan to avoid the ravioli sticking to each other.

The Filling:

1 red pepper, roasted until blackened. Cool, peel off skin and cut into small chunks

200g mascarpone cheese

Few grates of parmesan

1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Squeeze of lemon

Few grates of nutmeg


Mix all together in a bowl.

The Sauce:

4 rashers smoky bacon, chopped

1 red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 packet of portabello / porcini dried mushrooms, re-hydrated as per instructions (keeping the liquor)

Dash of dry sherry

3 dollops of crème fraîche

In a pan, fry the bacon in olive oil. When crispy, add the onions, shortly followed by the garlic. I then made the ravioli at this point, to resume on the sauce nearer the time (would only take 10 minutes).

Next fry the mushrooms for five or so minutes, then add the sherry and about 250ml of the mushroom liquor. Reduce down ‘til it’s almost gone, then remove pan from the heat and add the crème fraîche. Season to taste.

To Serve:

Handful of toasted pine nuts

Sprinkling of flat-leaf parsley

Few grates of parmesan

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