I read recently that our country only produces approximately 50% of the food that we consume, and just eight companies control 90% of our food supply. This seems a little frightening to me, and together with the personal restrictions we’re all facing at the moment I feel it’s never been more important to produce some of our own food and not to rely entirely on supermarkets to feed us. It also shows us that essentials like food should not be taken for granted.
Growing food for me is a self-care, mindful practice that connects me with the earth and gives me great satisfaction and appreciation of my food. Involving my children is immensely satisfying but obviously things just take a little longer. Some days it feels like I’m sweeping up leaves in the wind so we just make mud pies, some days they want to help me plant some seeds and some days they just want to explore on their own while I busy myself with things that need attending to. Eventually though, one little seed at a time, we get there, and we love every minute of it.
Anyway, here’s a little video that we made last summer for a bit of fun. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did making it, and we hope it inspires you to turn the soil in your own garden and plant some seeds.
To be honest, making pasta does takes a little time but the results are worth the extra effort and I can guarantee it will taste amazing. The texture is so silky smooth and all you need to do is add a few lightly cooked fresh vegetables, herbs and your favourite cheese and you’ll be pasta happy, promise. Kids love joining in with pasta making, turning the pasta machine handle and making up their own shapes. My 7 year-old daughter, has been making pasta with me since she was a baby and can now make tortellini and ravioli like a pro. We have had an Imperia pasta machine for a long time, it’s nothing fancy but I’ve used it regularly, at home and for catering and it’s still going strong.
- 300g semolina flour
- 300g plain white flour – plus a little extra for dusting
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
The quantities given makes enough for two separate meals for our little family of 5. I normally make it all up into tagliatelle and freeze half for another day. Just put the pasta in little nests on a tray and put the tray straight into the freezer for about 1 hour, when the pasta is hard, take it off the tray and put it into a freezer box or bag, this way, it won’t stick together and it will keep for about 1 month. When your ready to cook it, just cook from frozen for 2 minutes.
Place the flours and salt into a blender and blitz to combine. Slowly add the eggs until you see it just coming together into large crumbs. (You probably won’t need all the egg, but as different flours absorb liquid at different rates it’s difficult to give an exact quantity of egg. Too much and it will be sticky and too little it will be crumbly – either way the dough will be more difficult to roll) Stop when it looks like cooked couscous and comes together when you try to press it between your thumb and finger.
Tip it onto a dry work surface and kneed briefly until it comes together in a smooth ball. Wrap it up and rest it in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes – this relaxes the dough and makes it easier to work with. When you’re ready to roll it out, slice off about a ¼ of the dough and flatten it out.
Set the pasta machine to the widest setting and pass it through. I normally fold it over and send it through a second time on the widest setting to make a neater square. Continue sending it through and reducing the width on the machine until you reach the thinnest setting, dusting with a small amount of flour, if needed. Slice into more manageable lengths before sending it though the tagliatelle cutter.
Place it loosely in a little nest on a tray whilst you make the rest of the pasta. It will keep this way for a short time while you make the rest of your meal but if your planing to make it well in advance I’d advise freezing it to prevent it sticking together. When you’re ready to cook it, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook for 1 minute for fresh pasta and 2 minutes for frozen pasta.