PAPPARDELLE (BROAD PASTA) WITH BROAD BEANS AND ROCKET (PAPPARDELLE ALLE FAVE E RUCOLA)
1 recipe quantity of basic egg pasta dough (page 330)
flour, for dusting
2 handfuls of podded broad beans
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Sardo
2 small bunches of rocket, plus one extra for garnish
For the pasta:
500g 00 (doppio zero) flour, sieved
3 large eggs plus 2 extra (large) egg yolks (all at room temperature)
pinch of salt
For the butter sauce:
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 black peppercorns
100ml white wine
2 tablespoons double cream
For the broad bean purée:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
300g frozen broad beans, defrosted and peeled
100g cold diced unsalted butter
1 First make the pasta preferably by hand – especially if you are making a relatively small quantity like this, which will be difficult for a food processor to mix well. Sieve the flour into a clean bowl, then turn it out into a mound on a clean surface and make a well in the middle (in Italy we call this the fontana di farina, ‘fountain of flour’). Sprinkle the salt into the well, and then crack in the eggs.
2 Have a bowl of water on one side, so you can dip your hands into it and wet them, to help bring the dough together if it is being stubborn towards the end of kneading. To begin, break the yolks with the fingertips of one hand, and then begin to move your fingers in a circular motion, gradually incorporating the flour, until you have worked in enough to start bringing it together in a ball. Then you can start to work the ball of dough by pushing it with the heel of your hand, then folding the top back on itself, turning it a little clockwise, and repeating, again and again, for about 10 minutes, wetting your hands if it helps, until the dough is springy, but still feels quite firm and difficult to work.
(If you are using a food processor, sieve the flour into the bowl, add the salt, then start the machine, and slowly add the egg yolks, followed by the whole eggs. Keep the motor running slowly, or it will heat up the pasta too much, and also ‘beat’ rather than mix. Once the dough has come together, take it out and put it on a clean work surface).
3 Don’t worry that the dough feels hard; after it has relaxed for a while it will be perfect.
4 Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap each in a damp cloth and rest for about an hour before using.
5 Roll the first ball of dough with a rolling pin (keep the rest covered in the damp cloth) – until it is about a centimetre thick, and will go through the pasta machine comfortably (if it is too thick, the pasta machine will have to use so much force to make it go through that it will damage the machine and squeeze out too much moisture in the process, so the pasta will be dry). There isn’t an exact number of times you will need to feed the pasta through the machine – each time you make it might be slightly different (and not every pasta machine has the same number of settings) but use the next few steps as a guide, and after a while you will get the hang of rolling the pasta, and feel your own way.
6 Put the machine on the first (thickest) setting to start with, then feed the piece of pasta through the machine turning the handle with one hand, and supporting the dough as it comes through with the other. Then change to the second setting, and put it through again. Repeat another 2-3 times, taking the setting down one each time. Don’t worry if the pasta appears slightly streaky, this should disappear as you carry on rolling it.
7 Next, fold the strip of pasta back on itself, put the machine back onto the first setting and put the pasta through. Repeat 3-4 more times, again taking the setting down one each time, and you will see that the pasta begins to take on a sheen. As it begins to get longer, you will find that you have to pull it very gently, so that it doesn’t begin to concertina. You shouldn’t need to dust it with flour, unless you feel it is too soft and likely to stick and stretch too much.
8 Now you need to cut your strip in half. Keep one half covered in a damp cloth, then fold the length of the other strip into three, bringing one end in and the other over the top of that, so that the pasta is the same width as the machine. Roll it with the rolling pin, so it is no more than half a centimetre thick, then put the machine back onto the first setting and feed the pasta through – the opposite way this time, i.e. widthways, not lengthways. The idea of changing direction is to put equal elasticity and strength throughout the pasta. Keep feeding it through this way, taking it down two or three settings as you go.
9 Finally, fold the pasta back on itself, then put the machine back onto the first setting, and take it down again through the settings until it is about 1.5mm thick.
10 To make the pappardelle, work with one strip of pasta at a time. If it is dry or frilly at the edges, trim with a sharp knife. Then, using your rolling pin as a straight edge, cut the pasta across into strips 2-2.5cm wide.
11 Dust a tray with flour. Then, with a spatula, lift up the strips 3-4 at a time and lay them on the tray. Dust again with flour, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest on the side while you prepare the sauce.
12 Cut all but two knobs of the butter for the sauce into small dice and keep in the fridge.
13 To make the purée, heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes without allowing it to colour. Add the frozen broad beans and cook with the onion for another 4-5 minutes.
14 Slowly add some water, a ladleful at a time until the vegetables are covered. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, put on the lid and leave to cook slowly (adding more water if necessary) until the beans are soft (about 20-25 minutes). At this point carry on cooking, without adding any extra water, until you have a quite firm purée.
15 While still hot, purée with a hand blender or a food processor, adding the diced butter as you go (if the purée gets too dry, add a little water – the finished consistency should be like mushy peas). Transfer to a small saucepan, check seasoning and keep warm, covered with cling film to stop a film from forming.
16 Make the butter sauce: melt one knob of butter in a pan, add the shallots and sweat them for 2-3 minutes with the peppercorns, then add the wine and reduce that by three-quarters. Add the cream and reduce for another 2 minutes or so. Take off the heat and keep to one side.
17 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, put in the broad beans and blanch them for 2-3 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Peel off the outer skins of the beans.
18 Melt the other knob of the butter in a sauté pan, and add the broad beans. Season lightly and turn off the heat.
19 Put the pan containing the wine reduction back on the heat, bring back up to the boil, then slowly whisk in the cold diced butter. While you are whisking in the cold butter, turn up the temperature slightly to keep it from splitting, but once it is all incorporated turn it down again for the same reason. Pass through a fine sieve into a warm container and keep in a warm place.
20 Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt, put in the papardelle and cook for a couple of minutes, keeping it moving all the time until al dente (checking after a minute). Drain, reserving the cooking water.
21 Put the pan containing the beans back on a low heat, and add the pasta, with a little of its cooking water. Toss, add the Pecorino, some pepper, the 2 bunches of rocket and 3 or 4 ladlefuls of the butter sauce. Toss a little more for 1-2 minutes, adding a little more cooking water if necessary to loosen, and serve.
22 While you are tossing the pasta, warm up the purée, then spread a little on each of your plates, and top with the pasta. Garnish with a little more