To celebrate World Pasta Day, we have created a simple dish that combines the strengths of fresh pasta with a simple coating of Urfa chilli, butter and parmesan. The Urfa Chilli Paste and butter work brilliantly together, as the fat helps to amplify the Urfa chilli’s complex flavour and subtle heat whilst not overwhelming the flavour of the pasta itself.
Separate the eggs into a bowl, whisk to combine, then add the olive oil. Place the flour on a clean worksurface, add a good pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle and add the egg mix. Use a fork to stir the egg mix so the flour is slowly incorporated. Once it becomes too thick to stir, use your hands to form a ball of dough. Different brands of flour can behave differently, so if it looks a bit wet and sticky then add a little extra flour.
Knead the dough with the heal of your hand for around 10 minutes, then shape into a disc, wrap with film and place in the fridge to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
A pasta rolling machine is very useful but not essential, as it can be rolled out by hand with a rolling pin and there are plenty of videos depicting this on the internet. If you haven’t made rolled pasta before then it’s worth watching a few videos to get some basic tips. Set up the pasta machine on a bench and lightly dust your worksurface with flour. Unwrap the dough and flatten with your hand. You can use a rolling pin to get it thin enough so that it will go through the widest setting on the rolling machine, if you need to. Put it through this setting twice, then bring the short edges together in the middle and fold one half on top of the other, so it looks like a book. Press down to flatten, then put through the rolling machine with the open edge going first. This process helps to strengthen the dough, so the pasta becomes silky and has a bit more bite once cooked.
Put the pasta through the machine twice on each setting, dusting lightly with flour every time to prevent the pasta sticking, until you get to the second to last setting (the final setting will give you a very thin sheet, but we like to keep it a little thicker). If it gets too long to handle confidently, cut the pasta in half.
Cut the pasta into shorter lengths and then run through the tagliatelle cutter on the machine if it has one. If it doesn’t, place on a chopping board and cut by hand, around 1 cm wide. Once cut into ribbons, toss with semolina and place in a tray and cover with a cloth or cling film. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
When ready to cook, place a large pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil. In another large pan, gently melt the butter on a low heat with the Urfa chilli paste, to allow the flavours to infuse. Shake off the excess semolina then add to the pot and stir once or twice to prevent sticking. If you don’t have a very large pan, cook in two batches. Cook for 2- 3 minutes, so the pasta is al dente, then drain but reserve some of the water. Add the drained pasta to the butter mix and toss to coat. If necessary, add some of the pasta water to loosen and give you more of an emulsified sauce. Grate in half of the parmesan, divide between plates then grate the remaining parmesan over the top.