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Making fresh pasta at home

How to cut it with ravioli

To make ravioli that’s not too stodgy, roll the dough into a thin sheet, but not so thin that the filling will burst. Using a fluted pastrywheel, cut the pastry into strips 8cm wide. On half of each strip, dab small amounts of filling about 4cm apart. Moisten the dough around the filling, fold it over and seal. Use the wheel or a ravioli cutter to create ravioli parcels. You can freeze ravioli and cook straight from frozen in 6-7 minutes. Ravioli works well with butter and sage, tomato sauce, marjoram and pine nuts.

John Lewis Pasta Cutters (set of 3), £15
Drying on the rack

If you’re not cooking your fresh pasta straight away, dust it with flour (use semolina flour if you can) to prevent it from sticking. Draping the pasta over a drying rack is much easier than using a worktop.

Drying rack stand £15
Top tagliatelle tips

Cut tagliatelle on the second narrowest gauge of the pasta machine. Italians like to eat their pasta al dente, which is 2 or 3 minutes before the pasta is completely cooked, so start testing it early. And don’t throw away all the water when you drain your pasta – adding some pasta water to the sauce will loosen it. Choose meat and cream sauces, such as bolognese and carbonara, to accompany tagliatelle.

Perfect for fresh pasta

Start with the rollers on the widest setting. It’s best to use Italian 00 grade flour, which has a high gluten content, and free range eggs for a lovely yellow colour. Many chefs add a tablespoon of olive oil to make the pasta easier to work with. Roll the dough through the machine several times, gradually narrowing the rollers until the dough is see-through but not completely translucent. While you’re working, keep the dough covered with a damp cloth as homemade dough dries out quickly.

The Measure of spaghetti

Alessi Spaghetti Measure The pasta should be the focus of the dish so cook two-thirds of spaghetti to one-third sauce. If serving as a main course, you need to allow 115-150g of fresh pasta per person. And for every 450g of pasta, use about 6 litres of water and 1 tablespoon of salt; too little water, and the pasta will stick together. Although often paired with bolognese, in fact spaghetti and linguine work best with a light tomato sugo, or olive oil sauces that coat rather than drown the pasta.

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