Somehow over the course of time, I have drifted away from my staple TV diet of E! News and trashtastic reality TV shows such as the Kardashians and Real Housewives and found myself washed up on the shores of the Lifestyle Channel devouring the likes of Grand Designs Australia and Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia (yes, I realise there’s still a reality TV element there, but just go with me).
While on holidays, Chris and I stumbled across a cooking show that mixes two old mates paying each other out, with a dash of interesting history, a generous serving of easy but awesome recipes and served with a side of beautiful scenery.
I’m talking about Two Greedy Italians.
The two awesome, hysterically funny Italian dudes are Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, both successful and internationally renowned chefs who have known each other for nearly 30 years.
They return to Italy to rediscover their hometowns and also to see for themselves just how Italy has changed when it comes to food.
Obviously they are big believers in the old school way of cooking – fresh, seasonal and local ingredients without any pomp or ceremony.
After watching the first episode, we were feeling inspired, brave and hungry.
Neither of us had ever made pasta from scratch, but guess what? It worked! It was delicious! And it looked almost as good as Gennaro’s!
So I bring you Mama Contaldo’s Ricotta Dumplings…
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 225g ricotta
- 3 egg yolks
- 30g parmesan, freshly grated
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg (or be lazy like us and use nutmeg from a jar)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, cut into thick slices
- 1 chilli, sliced
- 2 x 400g cans tinned diced tomatoes
- basil leaves
- Mix the flour, ricotta, egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg and seasoning together in a large bowl to form a soft, moist dough.
- Tip the mixture out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3-5 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a long, thin sausage shape, then cut into dumplings about 2cm long.
- Cook the dumplings for 3-4 minutes in a large saucepan of salted boiling water.
- Meanwhile for the sauce, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli for one minute, then remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes.
- Return the pan to the heat, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the dumplings from the pan with a slotted spoon and add them to the tomato sauce.
- To serve, spoon the dumplings onto a serving plate and sprinkle over the basil leaves.
Serve with a generous
bucket glass of your favourite red wine.
Have you made pasta from scratch before? What’s your favourite pasta dish?