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Fresh pasta is the epitome of homely comfort food for the Shearer family. It is a weekend ritual to whip up some dough to turn into fettuccine, spaghetti, or ravioli or to tear and toss with a rich and hearty ragu sauce. Any scraps can be re-rolled into whatever pasta type takes your fancy, as fresh pasta freezes really well.
Mezzelune are half-moon stuffed pasta bundles, like ravioli except for the name and shape. Traditionally they would be stuffed with ricotta and spinach, but for these recipes we have created filling options with beetroot and pumpkin.
When rolling pasta, whether you are using a manual or an electric machine, keep the dough covered with plastic wrap to ensure that it does not dry out. The more you make fresh pasta, the quicker you will get; and once you get hooked, it will be a weekly go-to. It’s easier than it looks.
Makes about 40
2 cups flour grade 00 4–6 egg yolks 1 whole egg
Note: The quantities of egg needed will vary depending on the size of eggs and room temperature. If mixing the dough in a electric mixture, use the dough hook, start with four egg yolks and one whole egg and then add more if needed to bring the dough together. If mixture is too wet, add some more flour. Grade 00 flour is readily available at most supermarkets.
Put flour in large shallow bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yolks and whole egg.
Stir from the centre outwards, slowly incorporating flour until a rough dough is formed. Knead with hands until smooth.
Wrap tightly in cling wrap and leave to rest in refrigerator for half an hour before rolling into thin sheets. This can be done on a pasta machine, rolling to setting #7, or using a rolling pin.
5 medium beetroot 1 Tbsp olive oil ½ garlic bulb 500g feta, crumbled ½ cup parmesan, grated 20 large basil leaves, chopped 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar salt and pepper extra parmesan cheese to serve
Clean the beetroot, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in tinfoil and bake at 180℃ with the garlic bulb until tender. Cool.
Chop beetroot into small pieces and squeeze out the garlic.
In a small processor add the beetroot and garlic, blitz for 1 minute.
In a bowl add the beetroot mixture with the rest of the ingredients, mix together and season.
Divide the pasta dough into 4 pieces. Roll out 1 piece using a pasta machine or rolling pin, into a rectangular shape. Using a 8cm ring mould, cut out 10 shapes.
Place 1 tsp of filling mixture in the middle of the pasta. Wet one side of the pasta, food over and join together to form a semicircular parcel, sealing the edges and expelling as much air as possible.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the filled pasta in one at a time. Cook for 8–10 minutes until pasta is cooked. Drain and keep warm.
Sage burnt butter
100g unsalted butter 20–30 fresh sage leaves
In a frying pan over a medium heat, heat the butter and sage until the butter starts to brown and the sage is crispy.
Serve the pasta in a warm bowl and pour over butter sauce & sage leaves. Grate over extra parmesan cheese.
Alternative pumpkin filling
1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed ½ cup parmesan, grated 200g ricotta 1 egg, lightly beaten ½ tsp grated nutmeg ¼ tsp cinnamon Pinch cayenne pepper ½ tsp flaky sea salt ½ cup toasted pine nuts to add to the burnt butter sauce
In a bowl mix together all of the ingredients.
Follow method for beetroot pasta, adding toasted pine nuts to the burnt butter sauce.