“Pasta e patate makes use of ingredients that aren’t so expensive: potato and pasta, and soffritto to make it aromatic. It’s very versatile – in winter we make it more of a soup, with extra liquid and more olive oil to give it a little spiciness.” Instead of making your own pasta, you could use a good-quality dried durum wheat pasta such as orecchiette or tagliatelle.
- 4 small eggs (55gm each)
- 400 gm “00” flour
- 5 waxy potatoes, such as Desiree (about 180gm each), cut into 1cm cubes
- To serve: finely grated parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil
- 120 ml olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 600 gm canned peeled tomatoes, crushed
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1Pulse eggs and flour in a food processor until crumbs form (2 minutes). Turn onto a work bench and knead until smooth, then wrap and set aside to rest (30 minutes).
- 2Divide dough in two and, working with one piece at a time, feed through pasta machine rollers, starting at the widest setting. Lightly flour dough as you fold and feed it through, reducing settings notch by notch down to the second-lowest setting. Cut into 15cm-long sheets, dust heavily with flour and layer on top of one another, roll into a log, cut into 1cm-wide strips then cut in half to make 5mm-wide strips. Shake strips open to form ribbons and set aside on a floured tray.
- 3Place potato in a bowl, cover with cold water, drain. Repeat three times or until water is clear and starch is removed, then return potato to bowl with 500ml water and set aside.
- 4For soffritto, heat half the oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until onion is almost caramelised (15-20 minutes). Add tomato, celery and parsley, season to taste, bring to the simmer, cook until tender (12-15 minutes).
- 5Add potato and potato water to onion mixture with remaining oil and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through (15-25 minutes). Set aside.
- 6Meanwhile, shake excess flour from pasta and cook in two batches, in two large saucepans of boiling salted water, until al dente (1½-3 minutes). Strain, reserving 250ml cooking liquid, and add pasta to soffritto with enough cooking liquid to moisten, toss to coat, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with parmesan.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of .