Monday, February 15, 2016

Alessandra's Vegan Homemade Fresh Pasta

Fresh pasta in Emilia Romagna (Italy) is traditionally made with flour and eggs, but since I am using aquafaba (the brine from a can of chickpeas) a lot these days, and it works very well as an egg replacement for many recipes, I thought that it could work for fresh pasta too!

And yes it works! The chickpea brine gives protein to the mixture and elasticity to the dough which is easy to roll exactly like an egg dough. Only the colour is lighter (not so yellow) but I don't see this as an issue, and you can always add a pinch of saffron to the aquafaba if you like your pasta more yellow. The taste is perfect and the pasta dries very well, and cooks well too. Plus the taste is great!

And if you are not a Vegan but would like to be more 'in touch with the seasons' you can use this recipe in winter when chickens don't lay eggs.

Alessandra's Vegan Homemade Fresh Pasta

200 g high grade flour (plus more for dusting)
150 ml aquafaba

Serves 4

Mix the ingredient until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Divide the dough into small pieces (about 6-8) and pass through the rollers of a pasta machine, starting from the larger setting down to the thinner setting. Don't skip settings, every piece of dough will need to go through all the settings one by one, dust with flour if the sheet of pasta looks too sticky and you find it difficult to put it through the settings. After the last setting (or the second to last if you prefer your pasta thicker) cut the pasta to your chosen shape. I made tagliolini here. Dust with more flour and roll the pasta into 'nests', place on a try lined with a clean tea towel and let it dry (if not using immediately). Keep it in a dry place and it will last a few days (I haven't tried to leave it for too long, but usually I do make pasta one or two days ahead). To cook: place the pasta in salted boiling water and stir immediately, it won't take long to cook, if it is very thin it will take just a couple of minutes. Drain and serve with your favourite sauce.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Strawberries with orange and cinnamon

Just wash and cut the strawberries (two punnets), add the juice of one orange, a cinnamon stick and one tbsp of sugar. Let the strawberries marinate for a few hours at room temperature, and then a few more hours in the fridge. Serve cold, with cream, or yogurt, or ice cream, or just as they are!

Photo and recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, February 1, 2016

Vegan chocolate pudding with strawberries and edible flowers

Arantxa picked flowers from the garden: roses, lavender, sage, violets and nasturtiums 
 I made my trusted vegan chocolate pudding, and since we are in season I wanted to top it with some strawberries, and maybe some flowers too? So I asked Arantxa to look after this.

For 4 puddings:
500 ml oragnic soy milk (I use Vitasoy, either Original, Milky or Calci Plus)
2 tbsp raw sugar
1 heap tbsp cocoa (the better the cocoa the better the flavour, so don't go for cheap baking cocoa, but for 'hot chocolate' quality)
1 tbsp cornflour
Natural Vanilla essence (or a little cinnamon if you prefer)
Strawberries and edible flowers to finish (I have lots of strawberries and edible flowers in the garden now!)

Dissolve the dried ingredients with a little soy milk to make a paste, then add the rest of the milk and mix well. Put on the stove on low and, always stirring, bring to simmering point. Make sure that you stir well, especially around the borders and bottom of the pot, so that the pudding has a smooth consistency. As soon as it start thickening turn the element off, add the vanilla essence (if using) and keep stirring until it has cooled down a bit. Divide into 4 dessert ramekins or small bowls (or teacups) and refrigerate. Cut the strawberries and place over the puddings, then add the petals of edible flowers (I think that maybe there was a bit much here, with lots of lavender, rose and sage aromas… but it was definitely a very perfumed dessert!).

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©