RECIPES: Jamie Oliver's Pasta Faves

"Naked Chef" shares recipes for cherry tomato sauce, ravioli, fresh pasta.

ByABC News
November 26, 2008, 2:42 PM

Dec. 15, 2009— -- Chef Jaime Oliver shares some of his secrets for making everyday pasta. Click HERE to read more about Oliver.

All recipes from "Jamie's Food Revolution" by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2009. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

We've been able to buy fresh lasagne sheets in grocery stores for years and now there are also free-range and organic pastas available. The great thing about these sheets is that you can use them for more than just making lasagne: you can cut them up and use them in different ways, as I've done here. If you can't get fresh lasagne, improvise — I've made this in the past by breaking up dry sheets (but you'll need to cook them for longer).This dish is such an easy thing to make if you want to feed four people very quickly.

This is a north Italian pasta sauce, and they're more inclined than their southern neighbours to use butter in their pastas — it gives a silky texture and an extra layer of flavor.

Yield: 4 - 6 Servings



To prepare your pasta

Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters. Peel and slice the garlic. Pick the basil leaves off the stalks and put them to one side. Finely chop the stalks. Cut the lasagne sheets into 3 or 4 long strips and put to one side. Grate the Parmesan.

To cook your pasta

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a couple of lugs of olive oil and the garlic. Add the butter and let it melt. When the garlic starts to brown, add the tomatoes. Give everything a good stir, then add the basil stalks and half the leaves. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drop your fresh pasta strips into the pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the frying pan with a splash of the cooking water and half the Parmesan. Give it a good stir. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

To serve your pasta

Divide the pasta between your plates or bowls, or put the pan in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan and the basil leaves, tearing any larger ones up. Lovely with a simple side salad

All recipes from "Jamie's Food Revolution" by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2009. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Ravioli has been, and often still is, thought of as just pasta fitted with ground meat and covered with tomato sauce — a spaghetti-and-meatball substitute, a quick snack between meats, something to warm up when you can't be bothered to cook anything else. But ravioli is much more than that. They are sexy little special things, they're like little presents, but they have to be nice presents if you know what I mean.

What I'm trying to say is that, after going to the trouble of making your own lovely pasta, you should fill it with a classy and fresh fitting. Ravioli is very diverse, so the flavors can be strong, tight fragrant; just be tasteful in your choice, using the best seasonal ingredients. In Italy ravioli is a delicacy: regions, towns, villages and restaurants can be famous for particular shapes and sizes.

The most important thing about ravioli is it must be sealed completely. If the edges aren't sealed or cracks appear in the pasta (which can sometimes happen as different textures of filling can be harder to cover and seat), boiling water will leak in and ruin your tasty filling.

Making Ravioli:

1. Roll out several, sheets of pasta, about 1mm thick, and make small batches of 4-5 ravioli at a time, covering the extra sheets with a damp cloth. I normally make them around 3 x 3 inches — your sheets of pasta if made in a machine will generally be about 4 inches wide, which gives you a little extra to mold around your filling and trim.

2. Lay out your pasta on a generously dusted surface and place a good heaped teaspoon of filling in the middle of the sheet at one end. Repeat this all the way along the pasta, spacing 2 inches apart.

3. Then, using a clean pastry brush and some water (not egg, I don't know who invented that, it's a horrible idea), tightly but evenly brush the pasta. (It's the water which wilt stick your pasta together, and common sense should tell you that if this isn't done correctly you won't be able to seat it properly.) Lay another similar-sized sheet of pasta on top of the first.

4. At this point you should try to have a gentle touch. With your thumb or the base of your palm, gently pat the pasta down on the long side farthest away from you.

5. Starting from one side, with the side of your hand, push the pasta down at one end, then slowly curl your fingers and your palm around the filling, eventually cupping and gently pushing down on the other side of the filling. (This sounds complicated but it is not, it takes seconds and is an extremely effective way of extracting all the air and ensuring that the ravioli is tightly sealed.)

6. Repeat along the length of the pasta, making sure it hasn't stuck to the work surface. Then trim and cut the ravioli into shape with a knife or crinkly cutter.

Now you've made your ravioli you can cook it right away, generally for about 3-4 minutes in salted, gently boiling water. Or you can store it uncooked in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours on a tray generously dusted with semolina, if you want to eat it later.

All recipes from "Jamie's Food Revolution" by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2009. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

I really want you to make this pasta – it's very quick and simple and is something you're going to be really proud of. These are the two pastas I make at home. The ingredients are slightly different, but the method is the same and you can make them by hand, in your food processor or in your electric mixer. just remember, eggs and flour are always slightly different, so if you think it's a bit wet or sticky add a little more flour and if it's too dry add a little more egg. I always make far too much on purpose. I then dry it and keep it in airtight jars for really good, quick pasta.

Everyday Quick Basic Pasta Recipe

Yield: Serves 4


Special Pasta Recipe

Yield: Serves 4

Method (for both pasta recipes)

The making of pasta isn't some temperamental nightmare - you just chuck the eggs and flour together, no big deal. You don't need salt or oil, that's a fallacy. The only essential for the most superior pasta experience is the freshest organic eggs and good, finely ground, bread flour or semolina flour. We will knead these ingredients to a smooth, fine and silky-textured dough, and work it enough to develop and strengthen the structure of the gluten in the dough to make it elastic.