Chilli Tuna Pasta Bake
A massive hit with Andy Allen's housemates in the MasterChef house.
50 g stale country-style bread
150 ml Homemade Tomato Sauce (see page 40)
10 g basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 quantity of Fresh Pasta (see page 167)
Coarse semolina or ‘00' flour, for dusting
1 x 125 g ball of mozzarella, roughly chopped, plus the water/ brine from the bag
125 ml double (heavy) cream
125 g unsalted butter
Salt, to taste
25 g salted or unsalted butter, cubed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
25 g grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the filling, soak the bread in a small bowl of cold water until soaked through. Remove the bread from the bowl and squeeze out the water. Put the tomato sauce in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the bread to it – it will melt into the pan. Add the basil and stir through. Leave to cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the bread has broken down and thickened the sauce. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
To make the ravioli, take half the fresh pasta. Flour the work surface but don’t flour the top side of the pasta or it will be hard to seal. Roll out the pasta using a rolling pin or a pasta machine until you can see your hand through it. If using a pasta machine set it on the second to last setting – the very last setting makes the thinnest pasta but this is too fragile for ravioli – and roll out 2 equally sized
sheets of pasta.
Dot heaped teaspoons of the filling at even intervals (two fingers’ width apart is ideal) onto one of the sheets and place another sheet of the same length over the top. Press down around the filling to expel the air and seal the pasta sheets together. Using a pasta wheel or a sharp knife, cut the ravioli into even 5 cm (2 in) squares. Set the shapes aside on a surface dusted with flour or semolina (semolina is good as it doesn’t stick to the pasta). Repeat with the remaining pasta until the filling is used up.
For the mozzarella cream, put the mozzarella, the brine from the bag, the cream and butter into a saucepan and set over a high heat to melt. When the cheese has melted pass it through a sieve to remove any remaining small lumps of cheese. Taste and add salt as necessary.
To serve, warm the mozzarella cream sauce over a gentle heat. Drop the pasta into well-salted boiling water and cook for just 2–3 minutes. Drain and put into a warm dish with the butter and toss the bowl to combine – this will stop the pasta sticking. Put a ladleful of mozzarella cream into each bowl and place the pasta on top. Drizzle some olive oil on top of each dish, sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan, season with black pepper and serve straight away.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Tuscany by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi published by Hardie Grant Books $49.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Tuscany by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi published by Hardie Grant Books $49.99 and is available in stores nationally.