Where does Attenborough get his pasta?

All supermarket pasta seems to be packaged in plastic bags, and with no alternative available, I decided to have a go at making my own.

Following my supermarket sweep, I couldn't find any fresh or dried pasta not in plastic packaging. The only alternative was tinned spaghetti, and I was almost fooled by Gallo risotto which looked to be in a cardboard box but had plastic inner packaging.

After trying and failing at finding plastic-free supermarket pasta, I decided to give making my own a go! It takes a bit of effort but it's a good work out and would be a fun activity to do with the kids too. You can also use this pasta dough recipe to make pizza bases!

Here's my recipe for plastic-free pasta dough, which I had with a yummy butternut squash sauce.

Pasta Dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 275g 00 grade pasta flour
  • 3 free range eggs
  • Elbow grease (for kneading)

Method

  1. Pop your flour into a large mixing bowl (you can do this on a work surface but I make too much mess!) and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add the eggs and gradually mix into the flour using a fork.
  3. As a dough begins to form, get your hands in and start kneading!
  4. Divide the dough into three sections. Flatten one section in your hands a little to help squeeze it into the pasta maker.
  5. Use your pasta maker to roll our the dough until it's thin enough that it's just slightly transparent (you'll see your fingers through it). Try not to roll it out more than 9 times or the pasta can become chewy when cooked.
  6. I passed my pasta sheet through a tagliatelle cutting attachment, but you can choose whichever you like! (If you're making with the butternut squash sauce, make that before moving on to step 7).
  7. Add your pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook for just 3-4 minutes, you'll see it lighten in colour and begin to float to the top.
Fresh Pasta
Tip! You can freeze fresh pasta. Simply cut it out into the shapes you want (you can't freeze the ball of dough), set onto a tray and freeze for an hour or so. Once solid you can transfer the pasta into a Tupperwear box or bag to keep in the freezer when you need it!

Butternut Squash Sauce

Ingredients

  • Butternut squash
  • Tbsp coconut oil
  • Chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • Large knob of butter
  • 1-2 tbsp plain flour
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • Cup of boiling water

Method

  1. Peel and chop your butternut squash into cubes, then roast in a tray with a crushed garlic clove, coconut oil and chilli flakes to taste. About 180 degrees, 20-25 minutes.
  2. Finely chop your onion and place in a pan with a large knob of butter. Cook until soft and transparent.
  3. Make a roux by slowly adding plain flour to the butter and onions until it forms a thick paste. On a low heat, cook off the flour mix for a few minutes.
  4. Slowly add your hot stock to the mix, stirring all the time. Gradually, a sauce will emerge.
  5. When the squash is ready, add to the base sauce and blitz to a smooth consistency. Season to taste.
  6. Voila! The perfect accompaniment to your fresh pasta.
Tip! You can also put the sauce into ice cube trays to save for later. Fill them half way and you can also use as an easy filling for fresh ravioli.