A full version with recipes can be found at the Slow Travel Berlin website. more...
Full version with recipes can be found at Slow Travel Berlin. more...
I've been a big fan of Felicity Cloake's Perfect column for the Guardian ever since it started. more...
I had still been having trouble finding a dish suitable for the supperclub using homemade pasta. I have not been able to find a reliable method of storing homemade ravioli for longer than a couple of hours without them going soggy and I don't have the time to make ravioli for 18 people at the last minute. And if I cut pasta into strips, for pappadelle, I find it dries too quickly. I suspect the answer is that I am a pasta novice and I will certainly keep perservering. However, I recently came across a pasta method I hadn't seen before: rotolo, where flat sheets of pasta enclose the filling, rolled up like a swiss roll. This was a revelation, as the actual assembly, unlike ravioli, is quick and easy and can absolutely be done at the final moment.
Serves 6 as a starter
For the pasta
1 portion of fresh pasta
200g smoked salmon
2 bulbs of fennel
a little butter
2 tbsp ricotta
a bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
For the sauce
a splash of dry white wine
2 tbsp double cream
100g butter, kept cold, in about 6 separate pieces
a generous pinch of saffron threads
a quarter of a lemon
First, prepare the fennel. Peel away the tough outside leaves, remove the stalks and chop the rest finely, discarding the core.
Saute lightly in butter until softened, then blend to a thick cream with the ricotta. Leave to cool in a sieve over a bowl, so any excess liquid drips away.
Lay out a clean tea towel on the kitchen surface and roll out your pasta into a large thin sheet (about 30cm by 20cm) on top of the tea towel. You can do this with a rolling pin, or with a pasta machine, although you will need to fix together individual strips from the pasta machine to get the right size.
Lay the slices of smoked salmon on top of the pasta, reaching almost, but not quite to the edge and leave an uncovered strip of about 3cm on the long side, furthest away from you. Cover with the fennel cream, then scatter the parsley over. Brush a little water on the uncovered strip of pasta, then roll the whole thing up lengthways with the join at the bottom. Then roll up the roll of pasta in the teatowel and tie with string at both ends and perhaps one loosely in the middle to secure. You can leave it like this in the fridge for at least a couple of hours with no problem.
When you are ready to cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. You really need a fish kettle for best results, but with a little creativity and a slightly bent rotolo, you can make it work with a large round pan.
When the water is boiling, lower the whole thing, tea towel and all into the water and cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure it is fully submerged.
Whilst the rotolo is cooking, prepare the sauce. Finely chop the shallot and cook over a high heat in a small saucepan with the wine until reduced to about 2 tbsp of liquid. Turn the heat down to low, add the saffron and the cream and stir in. Add the butter, cold, one lump at a time, whisking constantly. Don't allow the mixture to boil. Season and squeeze the lemon quarter into the pan. Pass the sauce through a sieve and leave it at a very low heat on the stove top.
When the rotolo is done, remove it from the pan, cut the string and turn it out carefully onto a large chopping board. Remove the messy ends and cut into 12 slices about 4 cm thick, as you would with a sushi roll.
Put three slices of rotolo on each plate and ladle over a small spoon of sauce. Serve immediately.