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Garganelli

Introduction

Garganelli is a favourite of mine and gets requested often; I think of it as the richer forerunner of penne. Making pasta like this is a labour of love, so I keep it for special occasions.

Pasta like this holds sauces well and the imperfections of hand-made pasta offer a more sensuous texture.

This pasta combines well with any meat ragu.

Tips

Ordinarily I use a gadget that I fashioned from a dozen bamboo skewers plaited together with string, but a hair pick or afro comb is a perfect substitute (see below).

Step 1

Keep the pasta wrapped and just work with one strip at a time or the pasta will dry out and become unworkable.

If you are going to hand roll the dough knead it well so that it is smooth and elastic. Do not do this if using a pasta machine or the pasta will be chewy.

Ingredients

Measures available: Metric  Imperial  U.S.

  • 400g semolina or plain flour (type 00)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 14oz semolina or plain flour (type 00)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of semolina or all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt

Tools of the Trade

  • A pasta machine will save time, but you can roll by hand
  • A food mixer with the dough hook fitted (optional)
  • A piece of wooden dowelling or a thick pencil
  • A slotted or draining spoon

     

Step 2

Method

Making pasta dough by hand

Mix the flour and salt together and place in a mound on a work surface. Keep a little extra flour handy for your hands and for kneading.

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly for 20 seconds. Make a well in the mound of flour, so that it looks a bit like a volcano, and pour in the eggs.

With your fingers work to amalgamate the eggs and flour, you will end up with a slightly sticky dough. Add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.

On a clean floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and a elastic. If using a pasta machine proceed to the next stage. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for twenty minutes.

Making pasta dough using a food mixer

Place flour and salt in the mixing bowl and switch on for a minute to blend.

Beat the eggs lightly and add to the mixer. Process for a minute or two on a low setting until you end up with a smooth dough. If using a pasta machine proceed to the next stage. If rolling by hand cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for twenty minutes.

Step 3

Rolling and shaping the pasta by hand

Take a piece of pasta dough the size of a large walnut and roll it out into a strip roughly 4 inches\10cm wide. It should be about the thickness of card; you may need to dust with flour to prevent it sticking, but do not over flour.

Cut the strip into 2inch\5cm squares. Take each square and roll it up as shown in the photos shown throughout this recipe.

Rolling and shaping the pasta using a pasta machine

Take a piece of pasta dough the size of a large walnut and run it through the pasta machine on its thickest setting. Process the strip through the remain settings until the second from last. The strip should be roughly 4 inches\10cm wide; you may need to dust with flour to prevent it sticking, but do not over flour.

Cut the strip into 2inch\5cm squares. Take each square and roll it up as shown in the photos shown throughout this recipe.

Step 4

The rules are different for cooking fresh pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and watch carefully. When it floats to the surface, count to thirty seconds, scoop out the cooked pasta and add to the sauce. Because this is hand-made pasta it won't all float to the surface at exactly the same time. Taste the pasta, if it is particularly al dente let it gently cook in the sauce for a couple of minutes.

Suggestion

Add a handful of a freshly chopped herb when making the dough. Rosemary, sage and mint are particularly good, but rosemary must be finely chopped.