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Twickenham Ladies - How to Make Pasta

Hello everyone, we're back for another round with the Twickenham Ladies, today the gals myself, Saga, Clare, Cristiane and wee little Owen enjoy Italian cuisine. Moving on from our xmas luncheon of last, we had on this especially grey day in February, planned a day of pasta making. The venue was once again at our Scandi's (Saga) casa, joined by her lovely Sardinian friend and today's 'pasta mentor', Gemma. Saga had prepared some authentic delights direct from Sardinia. Firstly, Bottarga (a cured fish roe) and salsiccia (sausage), the later from Gemma's very own family farm in Sardinia together with Castelvetrano olives and Parmesan cucumber bites.

We had two pasta machines - your's truly took along her not-so-trusty pasta machine, this was eventually discarded as it turns out that it makes very wonky pasta, nothing to do with the operator at all... (not! lol) errr, a total manufacturing defect.
We started on the pasta dough. This was a real labour of love where Gemma took five eggs in a large bowl with plenty of pasta flour. She mixed this together with a fork and the odd drizzle of water, a pinch of salt to create a good consistency to the dough.

Gemma who is Sardinian demonstrating the making of the dough
Bringing the ingredients together to form a dough like this takes some time so don't be put off, this is a labour of love remember, if you don't have a large bowl like me, just use a clean bench surface. Gemma works her magic and eventually we get a large dough. She divides this into smaller workable sizes and then massages them flat enough to place through the pasta machine on its widest setting first, then incrementally book folds the pasta sheets and re-enters through the machine numerous times to where we have lovely sheets.

Rolling the dough
Clare with the cut tagliatelle pasta 

The resulting sheets are then put through the wide noodle setting on the pasta machine to create tagliatelle. Meanwhile Saga had a delicious ragu bolognese that had been prepared earlier ready to heat the moment the pasta was cooked. The ragu is a meat based sauce with onion, garlic,wine, tomato and herbs that Saga had enriched with chicken livers. The livers gave the dish a depth of flavour that was perfectly balanced with the acid and sweetness of the tomato. With the fresh pasta it was a simply heart warming dish with lovely deep flavours profiles lightened with basil, it was absolutely delicious and the ladies were duly impressed.

Saga's Mozzarella Salad
End Result - Ragu Bolognese

Earlier on with the bites we enjoyed a fresh mozzarella, tomato and avocado salad garnished with basil pesto and served next to salad greens. The pasta was enjoyed with freshly grated parmesan and olive oil.

Salsiccia - Sausage
Bottarga - Cured Fish Roe

The results from the time and effort it takes to make fresh pasta is most rewarding. The proof is in the eating, fresh ingredients and how they are prepared is what makes every dish stand out, we are lucky to be able to have the day's run by our host Saga, and I want to say on here thanks to her for always opening up her lovely home to us and sharing another wonderful Twickenham ladies day. :)

Little Owen, Me, Cristiane, Clare & Saga


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