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Orecchiette al Crema di Cavolo Nero e Broccoli

We know that you all love eating fresh pasta – but, do you know how to make it? It’s not as hard as you think, so we asked Galway’s pasta genius, Tony Carelli, to share his favourite methods for a quick and easy recipe on how to make fresh pasta.

Why do we all love fresh pasta?

There’s an undeniable charm to fresh homemade pasta that captivates the senses and delights the palate in a way that store-bought alternatives simply can’t match. 

From the moment it’s kneaded by hand, or rolled out with precision, there’s a connection to tradition, craftsmanship, and love – that infuses every strand. 

There is a texture to freshly made pasta that is tender, with a comforting richness that envelops each bite. Unlike dried pasta, fresh homemade pasta has a supple quality that effortlessly absorbs sauces, allowing flavours to meld together in perfect harmony. 

Whether it’s the simplicity of spaghetti tossed in garlic-infused olive oil, or the decadence of handmade ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach, each dish tells a story of care and attention to detail. 

It’s no wonder that people are drawn to the art of making fresh homemade pasta, as it represents not just a meal, but a celebration of culture, family, and the joys of sharing good food with loved ones.

Are you convinced yet to give it a try? – Well there’s no better man than Tony from Pasta a Casa to help you get started:

Crema di cavolo nero e broccoli, by Pasta Casa, showcasing how to make fresh pasta in Galway

“I want to say from the off that you don’t have to make the pasta! The most important aspect of cooking is doing what you can, and what you have time to do – so if you don’t want to make the pasta that’s fine, just use a good quality bronze extruded pasta, such as Rummo or Molisana, as you’ll want to get that sauce clinging to every available surface area possible. Dried pasta that’s been extruded with a bronze die will provide the best possible texture. 

For those of you who are up for the challenge – lets get started!

There are essentially two types of pasta in Italy, one with eggs, and one with water. Historically the pasta with eggs is northern based, and the pasta with flour and water is southern.”

This recipe uses a southern pasta and the easiest dough to get going. 

The flour that’s used for this type of pasta is called semolina, but you can use plain flour if you can’t get hold of some. 

How to Make Fresh Pasta

Pasta Dough: Makes 4 

• 400g semolina flour

• 200g water

This equation works every time. Use half the amount of water to flour, so that you can scale up or down accordingly.

Place the flour on a work bench and make a well.

Pour the water into the centre and with a fork gently whisk a bit of flour at a time. Keep repeating until you start to see the beginning of a dough forming. Once that’s happened, knead for 10-15 mins until you have a smooth surface, and when you gently press the dough it bounces back.

How to make fresh pasta, by Pasta Case, Galway.

That’s it! Now cover with a bowl or wrap in cling film and let rest for 30 mins to 1 hr. 

If not using right away, then place in the fridge and bring back out 30 minutes before making pasta – so that it reaches room temp.

How to make fresh pasta, by Pasta Case, Galway.

Orecchiette

Orecchiette means ‘little ears’ and it was one of the first shapes that I made when I was learning how to make fresh pasta. It’s from the Puglia region of Italy in the south.

Take a portion of dough and roll into a rope shape. From this shape, cut into small thumb nail pieces. Place each individual piece under the blade of the knife and gently press down and drag towards you. Once that’s done turn the shape inside out creating a concave with texture that now resemble a small ear.

Dust with semolina and leave uncovered whilst you make the sauce.

How to make fresh pasta, by Pasta Case, Galway.

Crema di cavolo nero e broccoli

Ingredients

• 1 large head of broccoli

• 200g cavolo nero

• 80g parmesan

• 1-2 cloves garlic

• Pinch of chilli flakes

Broccoli, garlic and parmesan cheese, for Crema di cavolo nero e broccoli.

• 2 teaspoon maldon sea salt

Method:

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then season with salt.

Pull the cavolo nero leaves away from the stalk.

Cut the florets from the broccoli.

Add the veg and boil until the broccoli is soft (approx. 10 mins).

Remove the veg from the pot with a slotted spoon and add to a blender.

Add 1-2 grated cloves of garlic.

Add a pinch of chilli flakes.

Add EVO oil.

Add flaky sea salt.

Add parmesan.

Blitz.

Using the same water you can now add the orecchiette. These will take 3-5 mins and when ready will be soft with a slight chew. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining.

Put the orecchiette back into the pot and add all the sauce placing back on the heat.

Add some of the reserved pasta water to help emulsify the sauce.

It will be rich and creamy. If too loose then keep on the heat stirring frequently. If too dry, add some more of the pasta water.

Serve with more parmesan and a drizzle of EVO oil.

ENJOY!

Tony runs a regular series of popular courses on fresh pasta-making: COURSE DATES & DETAILS.

He also provides home pasta kits, as well as catering services, and the occasional pop-up in collaboration with popular restaurants in Galway. Check out his Instagram page for updates.

If you are enjoying our recipes – then pop along to check out our other blogs: HERE.

Homemade fresh pasta: Crema di cavolo nero e broccoli, by Pata Casa, Galway

Beetroot, Pine Nuts & PX Sherry Vinegar

We are delighted to share a series of vegetarian recipes that showcase the best vegetarian dining in Galway, and we are absolutely thrilled to begin this culinary adventure with award-winning chef – Jp McMahon, co-owner of Cava Bodega and Aniar Restaurant:

“Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables, and it is something that grows particularly well in Ireland. In Spanish cooking, it is used in a variety of similar ways, from salads to hot and cold tapas. We have served beetroot on the menu in cava in many dishes cooked in various ways and the customers really enjoy it. Beetroot is delicious and the fact that it’s lauded as a ‘superfood’ these days is an added bonus!” Jp.

Beetroot and Pine Nuts in a blue dish, at Cava, showcasing vegetarian dining in Galway
Beetroot & Pine Nuts with PX Sherry Vinegar, by Jp McMahon. Photo Credit: Julia Dunin

The Perfect Match for Beetroot Bliss:

This delightful beetroot dish needs a wine pairing that sings, and Woodberry’s recommendation hits all the right notes: Cantina Altarocca ‘Librato’ Rosso Orvietano 2019.

Woodberry’s Recommendation

Imagine 100% organically grown grapes from Orvieto transformed into a stunning wine. Its color? A captivating ruby red with delicate violet hues. On the nose, it’s intense and harmonious, bursting with rich red fruit and a hint of earthy vegetables. Take a sip, and discover a full-bodied yet balanced experience, where elegant fruit notes mingle with smooth tannins.

Why it pairs beautifully: This wine perfectly complements the beetroot’s earthy and sweet notes. The fruitiness cuts through the dish’s richness, while the earthy undertones echo the vegetable’s character. It’s a harmonious pairing that elevates both the wine and the food.

(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

500g beetroot

a few sprigs of thyme

75g butter

100g pine nuts

2 tbsp PX sherry vinegar

a small handful of chopped herbs (parsley, chive, dill, fennel, etc.)

olive oil

sea salt

Method

1. Lay the beetroot on some tinfoil and season with sea salt and thyme. Wrap the foil tightly together and bake in a 180°C oven until you can pass a knife easily into the beetroot. This will take around 2 hours.

2. Remove the beetroot from the foil and peel. You should be able to do this by hand, but it’s best to wear a pair of disposable gloves.

3. Dice the beetroot.

4. Heat some olive oil in a large pan and add the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the pine nuts and cook briefly.

5. Add the beetroot and season with salt. Continue to stir together with the aid of a spoon to prevent the butter burning.

6. After a few moments, add the sherry vinegar. Reduce to a sticky glaze.

7. Add the herbs into the pan and toss the whole lot together.

8. Serve into four warm bowls.

If you would like to discover where to eat in Galway, then pop over to our Guide to Vegetarian Dining.

From comforting classics to innovative masterpieces, great pasta dishes transform humble ingredients into an unforgettable culinary experience, and NEXT UP – our vegetarian recipes blog feature a delightful pasta dish: Orecchiette Al Crema di Cavolo Nero e Broccoli, by Chef Tony Carelli.  BONUS – Fabulous wine pairing by Woodberry’s. Keep an eye on our instagram feed to find out when this blog is being launched:

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