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Homemade Pasta with a Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce

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One of my favourite things to do when I have guests over is to get everyone into the kitchen and start cooking together. It’s happened so often that the whole evening goes by without anyone leaving the kitchen. I love the spontaneity of it all, and usually, that’s when you make the best memories. Making homemade pasta together never fails to get everyone stuck in. So few people know how to do it, but it’s so easy and so much fun! The fior di latte, bacon and sundried tomato sauce was inspired by a particularly delicious pizza I had in Nice Port one perfect summer’s night.

Homemade Pasta with Fior Di Latte, Bacon and Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce

TIME: 2 hours, Pasta Resting time: overnight | SERVES: 4 people

INGREDIENTS

for the homemade pasta sauce

80 g onion (sliced thinly)

1 garlic clove

40 g tomato paste

80 g sundried tomatoes (chopped finely)

300 ml Nestlé Ideal milk (unsweetened)

150 ml cream

60 g parmesan cheese

salt

ground black pepper

for the garnish

small basil leaves

sunflower oil (for frying)

60 g raw cashew nuts

250 g streaky bacon

fior de latte mozarella cheese

for the fresh pasta dough

500 g cake flour

250 g egg yolks

20 ml olive oil

20 ml water

10 ml salt, fine

extra flour for dusting

METHOD

for the fresh pasta dough

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand-up mixer with a dough hook attachment. Make a small well inside the flour and add the whisked egg yolk, olive oil and water. Begin to mix on a slow speed until all ingredients are combined. Knead for 2 minutes on speed 3. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours or ideally overnight. homemade pasta

Chef’s Tip: Shape into small batches to make it easier to roll out later. homemade pasta

rolling out the pasta

On a floured surface, divide the pasta dough into 4 equal portions and press down to flatten into an oval shape about 0.5 cm thick. Set the pasta maker on the widest setting and start by rolling the dough through until it moves through with ease. Fold the pasta and repeat on this setting. Continue to roll the pasta, each time lowering the setting until the 4th lowest setting. Change the pasta maker attachment to make spaghetti and pass each pasta sheet through, making sure the surface is slightly dusted with flour to avoid the pasta from sticking. Dust the spaghetti in flour and reserve. Fill a medium pot with water, a generous amount of salt and 30ml of olive oil. Bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta in batches for 4-5 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and drizzle with olive oil, to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick together.

for the pasta sauce

In a large saucepan start by frying the onion and garlic in a small amount of oil. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the tomato paste and stir for 3-5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the sundried tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the Nestlé Ideal Milk and cream and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the grated parmesan and stir until the cheese has melted completely. Season with salt and pepper. Decant the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.

for the garnish

Place the sunflower oil in a medium pot, and heat over medium heat. Carefully deep-fry the basil leaves. A lid can be used to prevent the oil from spattering. When the leaves are crisp, remove from the oil and place on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.

Place the cashew nuts in a pan, and toast over a medium heat. Remove from the pan and roughly chop as soon as they turn golden brown.

Dice the bacon into small pieces. Place the bacon in a small non-stick pan, on a high heat. Stir occasionally and fry the bacon bits until crisp and browned.

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Slice each mozzarella ball in half. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the halved mozzarella balls (curved side facing up) on the tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until melted, but still retaining the round shape.

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