How To Make Restaurant-Worthy Pasta Dishes At Home | sheerluxe.com
With restaurants temporarily closing their doors – and everyone faced with the reality of putting store cupboard essentials to good use – we asked the chefs at some of the capital’s best-loved Italian restaurants for their easy at-home pasta recipes. From Padella’s crab tagliarini to Gloria’s la gran carbonara, here are seven dishes to recreate yourself.
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THEO RANDALL AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL

Tagliatelle With Pesto & Courgettes (Serves 2)

Pesto is easy to make and brings out the best in fresh basil. It works perfectly with courgettes, and together they make the tagliatelle juicy and flavoursome.

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 250g of fresh or dried tagliatelle

  • 2 courgettes, cut into long strips

For the pesto:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 150g of basil leaves

  • 75g of pine nuts, preferably Mediterranean

  • 100g of parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • ​Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. First make the pesto. In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with ½ a tsp of sea salt to a smooth paste. Add the basil leaves and pound so the leaves turn to a pulp. Add the pine nuts and crush until smooth. Add 3 tbsp of water and emulsify, then add the parmesan cheese. Finally, slowly work in the olive oil.

  2. Cook the pasta with the courgettes in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes – the pasta should still have a bite. 

  3. Meanwhile, warm half the pesto in a frying pan. Using tongs, lift the pasta and courgettes from the water and add to the frying pan. Toss with the pesto and add 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water to loosen the sauce so it coats the pasta strands.

  4. Check the seasoning and serve with the remaining pesto on top.

Tagliatelle With Aubergines, Tomato & Basil (Serves 4)

This kind of sauce works well with tagliatelle - as the aubergines become creamy, it coats the pasta nicely.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tbsp of olive oil

  • 2 large aubergines, cut into discs 1cm thick

  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced

  • 1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

  • 8 basil leaves, torn

  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes

  • 250g of fresh tagliatelle (or dried egg tagliatelle)

  • 75g of pecorino cheese, grated

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Heat 5 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergines, in batches, until lightly golden on the outside and soft all the way through. As each batch is done, place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.

  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan, add the sliced garlic and cook gently until softened. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Season to taste. Cut the fried aubergines into strips 2cm thick and add to the tomato sauce with the basil, dried chilli and some seasoning.

  3. Cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, until al dente (or cook according to the packet instructions for dried tagliatelle). Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and add to the sauce. Toss well, adding a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary, and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Serve with the grated pecorino and some black pepper.

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PADELLA

Tagliarini With Dressed Crab (Serves 4)

This isn’t a fluffy version of crab pasta – this crab has integrity and knows where it comes from.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g of dried spaghetti or linguine

  • 80g of white cooked and picked crab meat

  • 80g of brown cooked and picked crab meat

  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp of parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice

  • 50g of unsalted butter

  • Salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. In a bowl, mix together the white and brown crab meats, chilli, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with a good grind of pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add salt to resemble sea water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

  3. Meanwhile, add a splash of pasta cooking water to a separate pan, add the butter and melt on a low heat, then add the crab mixture.

  4. When the pasta is cooked, remove it from the water and add it to the crab. Keep the pasta cooking water. Vigorously toss the pasta in the pan for at least 30 seconds to work the gluten, adding a splash more cooking water if it starts to dry up. Continue cooking the pasta until the sauce emulsifies. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately. 

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PASTAIO

Sausage Malloreddus (Serves 4-6)

This is one of the easiest pasta sauces, and is great as a fall-back family meal. It’s a simpler version of the one served at Pastaio. Try to get fresh Italian sausages if you can, they’re made from coarse meat and fermented slightly so you get a nice tang. If you have to use British ones, add a little finely diced pancetta to the sausage when you fry it to get that important cured meat flavour. If you can’t find malloredus, you can use conchiglie or another shape that will hold the sauce nicely. 

INGREDIENTS     

  • 2 tsp of fennel seeds

  • 1 dried red chilli, crushed

  • A small handful of rosemary leaves, chopped

  • Olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

  • 400g of Italian sausages

  • 250ml of white wine

  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 500g of malloredus

  • A handful of grated parmesan

  • A couple of handfuls of fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp of dried oregano       

METHOD

  1. Bash the fennel seeds, chilli and rosemary in a pestle and mortar until ground and nicely combined. Heat a splash of olive oil in a nice heavy casserole style pan and add the garlic. When it begins to colour and becomes sticky, add the fennel mixture, stir for a moment, then squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins and into the pan. Fry until the meat colours breaking it up a little with a spoon as you go. 

  2. Stir in the white wine and cook until it reduces. Add the tomatoes, then turn the heat down and cook very gently for a couple of hours. 

  3. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain, keeping back some of the cooking water.

  4. Stir the pasta through the sausage sauce, then add the parmesan and a little cooking water if it needs loosening, sprinkle with parmesan or toasted breadcrumbs.

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CAFÉ MURANO

Spinach & Ricotta Tortelli (Serves 6)

If time is on your side and you’re feeling adventurous, this one works best with homemade pasta…

INGREDIENTS

For the pasta dough:

  • 400g of '00’ pasta flour

  • ½ tsp of salt

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

For the filling:

  • 400g of spinach

  • 150g of ricotta

  • A pinch of grated nutmeg

  • 50g of fresh breadcrumbs

  • 75g of parmesan, freshly grated

METHOD

  1. For the pasta dough, mix the flour and salt together then tip them on to a work surface and make a well in the middle. Mix together the eggs and olive oil, and pour two thirds of this into the well, reserving the rest.

  2. Starting from the outside, work the flour into the liquid until it forms a dough. Knead until the dough is smooth, firm and elastic (this will take 5-10 minutes). You may need to add more egg mixture if the dough doesn’t come together. Wrap the dough in cling-film and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  3. Heat the spinach in a large saucepan with two tablespoons of water until it wilts down (about three minutes), then set aside to cool. Once cold, squeeze out the excess moisture then chop finely and place in a bowl. Add the ricotta to the spinach and mix together. Add the nutmeg, breadcrumbs and parmesan, and salt and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until you are ready to fill the pasta parcels.

  4. To make the tortelli, cut the dough into four pieces and use a rolling pin or the palm of your hand to flatten a piece to the width of your pasta machine. Starting at the widest setting, run the pasta dough through twice. Reduce the setting by one notch and run it through twice again. If the dough feels sticky, add a little flour, but not enough to dry it out. Run it through the machine twice on each notch until you get to the narrowest notch. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  5. Using a serrated pastry wheel, cut the dough into long strips 10cm wide. Put a heaped teaspoon of filling at intervals along the strip, about 2.5cm apart and about a third of the way from the long side of the strip nearest to you. Brush in between each mound of filling with egg wash. Fold over the side of pasta nearest to you. Carefully press down around each mound to get the air out. Brush the top third of the strip with egg wash and fold it back down over the mounds, again pressing down with your cupped hand.

  6. Using a serrated pastry wheel, cut out individual tortelli. Boil in salted water for three minutes. Drain and serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and extra parmesan.

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LINA STORES

Burrata Pansoti With Datterini Tomato, Toasted Pinenuts & Basil (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce:

  • 250g of burrata

  • 500g of datterini or cherry tomatoes

  • Handful of toasted pine nuts 

  • 10 fresh basil leaves 

  • Salt

  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil

  • Parmesan, grated

For the pasta dough:

  • 300g of plain white flour

  • 3 eggs

  • Salt 

  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Mix the pasta dough ingredients by hand until smooth, wrap in cling film and let the dough sit in a cool, dry space for half an hour before using. 

  2. Roll up the pasta dough thinly until about 0.7mm and cut it into equal squares of 4 inches each. Fill each square with 25g of fresh burrata and close the square by folding it in half into a triangle. Push the ends together so they stay closed. Set aside.

  3. For the sauce, quickly blend the tomatoes for a few seconds into rough pieces. Put the tomatoes through a strainer to drain the juice into a separate bowl to separate the juice from the solids. Add 100ml of olive oil and one tablespoon of plain flour to a pan and sweat down with no colouration. Add the juice from the tomatoes to the pan and let this cook until it thickens. Take the sauce from the heat and let it cool down. 

  4. Add the raw, solid datterini tomatoes pieces from the strainer and mix into the sauce, add salt to taste and 10 leaves of chopped basil leaves. Mix. 

  5. Boil pasta in salted water for about 2 minutes.

  6. Add the pasta triangles into the same pan as the sauce and mix in slowly. Top with some parmesan. Divide the pasta squares equally between four people and top with toasted pine nuts.

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GLORIA TRATTORIA & CIRCOLO POPULARE

Spicy Bomba Rossa: Spaghetti With Spicy Tomato & Basil Sauce (Serves 4)

You can vary this recipe in your own way: try adding chilli pepper for those who like a bit of heat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • 10 basil leaves

  • 2 pinches of espelette pepper or paprika

  • 600g of spaghetti or linguine

  • 10 tomatoes, halved 

  • Salt and pepper

For the tomato sauce:

  • 3-4 tbsp of olive oil

  • 250g of small fresh tomatoes, such as datterini or cherry tomatoes

  • 500g of canned peeled tomatoes, such as San Marzano 

  • Salt and pepper

For the confit tomatoes:

  • 300g of datterini or cherry tomatoes

  • Olive oil

  • Fine salt

  • 1 tsp of icing sugar 

  • 4 thyme sprigs

METHOD

  1. First, make the tomato sauce. Add the olive oil to a large heavy-based pan. Heat for 3 minutes and add the fresh tomatoes. Crush a few of the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to release their juice. Using an immersion blender placed directly in the can, purée the canned tomatoes and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Gently simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. For a less runny consistency, continue to cook for another hour. When cooked, adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  2. Meanwhile, make the confit tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash and halve the tomatoes vertically. Place each half cut-side down in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and the sugar and add the thyme. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

  3. Once both tomato elements are made, put a frying pan over a low heat, warm 500g of tomato sauce, olive oil and half of the basil leaves for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of espelette pepper.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Remove with pasta tongs and transfer to the frying pan. Add 1 ladle of the pasta cooking water and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

  5. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a serving dish. Scatter over the tomato confit and remaining basil leaves, then sprinkle with another pinch of espelette pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.

La Gran Carbonara (Serves 4)

You heard right: real Italian carbonara sauce is made without cream. Chef Filippo La Gattuta makes a spectacle of serving it straight out of a big pecorino wheel at London trattoria Gloria.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 whole eggs and 6 egg yolks 

  • 90g of grated pecorino cheese
    90g of grated parmesan cheese 

  • 1 tsp of pepper

  • 400g of spaghetti

  • 8 slices of guanciale (cured pork cheek/jowl), finely sliced

METHOD

  1. In a bowl, mix the whole eggs and egg yolks with the pecorino, parmesan and pepper. Set aside. 

  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain, reserving the cooking water. 

  3. In the meantime, add the guanciale slices to a dry frying pan over a medium heat and sear for 5 minutes, or until crispy.

  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the pasta cooking water, followed by the spaghetti. 

  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the egg mixture and mix briskly. The eggs should not cook too much and the consistency of the sauce should be creamy. 

  6. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve immediately.

Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g of gnocchi

  • 120g of grated parmesan cheese, plus 30g to gratinate 

  • 200g of mozzarella di bufala or other mozzarella cheese, cut into 1cm dice 

  • A few basil leaves, to garnish 

  • Salt and pepper 

For the tomato sauce:

  • 3-4 tbsp of olive oil

  • 250g of small fresh tomatoes, such as datterini or cherry tomatoes

  • 500g of canned peeled tomatoes, such as San Marzano 

  • Salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. First, make the tomato sauce. Add the olive oil to a large heavy-based pan. Heat for 3 minutes and add the fresh tomatoes. Crush a few of the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to release their juice. Using an immersion blender placed directly in the can, purée the canned tomatoes and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Gently simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. For a less runny consistency, continue to cook for a further 1 hour. When cooked, adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi for about 3 minutes: they will rise to the surface when cooked. 

  3. Drain and put into a separate large pan with 400g of the tomato sauce. Reheat over a high heat, stirring continuously, for 3 minutes. 

  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Transfer everything to a baking dish and arrange the diced mozzarella on top with the remaining parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and has begun to form a crust. 

  5. Remove from the oven, garnish with the basil leaves and serve immediately. 

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