Pappardelle Verde al ragu d’Anatra – Green hand made pasta with Duck sauce

2014-02-26 15.07.30 2014-02-26 16.02.52

We had a couple of friends over for dinner and decided to make Green Pappardelle wit Duck Ragu.


Pasta is one of those wonderful products where with just two or three ingredients many different products can be created, and it should always be the pasta that is the prominent component of the dish and not so much the sauce. The sauce and the type of paste needs to match in such a way that they both compliment each other. In this case Pappardelle and Duck Ragu is the ideal match

When making fresh pasta you need about 100 g of flour per serving, if you are not having a dish to follow after the pasta as many people do. We however always have the pasta as a first coarse (Primi Piatti) after the Antipasto and before the second coarse (Secondi Piatti), finishing off with a salad, and in this case 60 g flour per serving should suffice.

500 G Plain Flour

5 Eggs lightly beaten

15 – 20 Fresh Spinach leaves

Mix the flour and eggs and knead until smooth. This should be a hard dough, but should it be too difficult to work, add a small bit of water. Leave it covered to rest in the fridge for one hour. Take small quantities (about 50 g) at a time, flatten it out by hand and then roll it out with a pasta machine on the thickest setting. Fold it over, turn it 90 degrees and put through the machine again. Do this a couple of times until the pasta is smooth and homogeneous. Use enough dry flour during this process to avoid stickiness. Lay the pasta sheets out on a floured surface and repeat with the rest until all the dough has been used. On half of each sheet of pasta, lay out the fresh spinach leaves and fold the sheet over to make a sandwich. Now repeat the process of putting it through the pasta machine, folding over, turning 90 degrees and putting it through again, until the pasta and spinach are well mixed and smooth. Once all his is done, put every sheet gradually through a thinner setting of the pasta machine, until the finest setting ( 7 ?) is achieved for each sheet. Remember to use flour to make it all run smoothly.  Cut the pasta sheets with a knife or pizza cutter in about 20 mm strips. The pasta is now ready to cook or dry, for later use. I normally make this in the morning , or day before, and let it dry for use when required. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly (about 5 minutes) and it is very important not to over cook it (Pasta al dente) otherwise it will be soggy.

Make the sauce of choice to suite Pappardelle and once cooked, drain and mix with the sauce in the sauce pan, heat through while mixing gently and serve immediately.


Smoked Eggs for Brekky = Kruger National Park

2014-03-03 08.56.312014-03-03 09.42.12

I bought some Manuka Smoked Eggs (scroll down in the link for contact details ) at the Stadium Market on Sunday. I was very eager to taste them but managed to save them for breakfast this morning. The eggs look stunning, one side is dark chocolate and the other almost caramel, much too lovely to break! The vendor, Rachel told me that the best way to eat them was scrambled.

The taste was lovely and smoky and lingered long after the last bite, a taste that took me back 45 years to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Now breakfast is cooked on gas there but in those days big communal fires were made and my father would happily trot off with his blackened pan and eggs,  and bring back delicious scrambled eggs from the  cooking kitchens. Every one would fetch a few burning logs from the big fire to put in the fire place in front of their hut at night and after barbecuing the family dinner we settled down to listen to the night noises of the animals! You have to admit that that is quite a remote flashback – in time and distance – just because of a bit of scramble egg eaten on a very chilly. wet,  Dunedin morning.