This vegetarian pasta dish combines a mixture of peppery basil, sweet tomatoes and creamy mushrooms. The smooth homemade tagliatelle and rich sauce warm the soul.
- 300g double-zero flour (see note)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 carrot, grated or diced
- 1 large celery stalk
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 can cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
To serve: Fresh parsley or basil leaves & Shaved parmesan
1. On a clean bench surface, combine flour and salt. Make a mound with the flour and create a small well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well, add the olive oil and beat lightly with a fork to mix. Using your fingertips, slowly add a tiny amount of flour from the sides and mix it with the eggs. Keep adding small amounts until the dough is like a thick batter. Bring together remaining flour with your hands and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, springy and elastic.
2. Once you have a smooth dough, cut it into 2-3 pieces. Roll each piece out lengthways until it’s about 1-2cm thick. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting and roll the dough through it. Click the machine down a setting, and roll through again. Repeat this process about six times, until you are left with a fine, silky sheet of pasta. Using the tagliatelle setting on your machine (or by hand), cut the pasta into 8mm-wide tagliatelle pieces. Set aside.
3. For the sauce, put the mushrooms and the walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until they turn to small chunks, similar to the consistency of mince. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Fry the onion, carrot and celery for a few minutes, until the onion starts to become clear. Add the mushroom and walnut mixture, along with the crushed garlic. Stir until they begin to brown. Pour in the can of cherry tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir until combined. Simmer for 2 minutes before adding the balsamic vinegar, wine, rosemary, oregano and chilli flakes. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, frequently stirring until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the water along with the fresh tagliatelle. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the water. Serve the tagliatelle with the mushroom and walnut sauce on top. Sprinkle fresh parsley or basil and shaved parmesan over the sauce.
Note: Double-zero flour is a silky Italian flour used in pasta and pizza. But it from some supermarkets and specialty stores.
An edited extract from Rob’s Kitchen by Sophia Cameron (Sophia Cameron, $49.99), drawn from the recipes of Sophia’s late mother, Robyn. Proceeds from the book will help to support women with metastatic breast cancer through the charity Sweet Louise.