I had in mind a "peas and carrot" dish, Italian pasta style. So I created this recipe with carrot puree as one of the pasta ingredients. The dough isn't overly orange nor too strong tasting as I would have liked, but you can deepen the color and flavor with a bit more carrot puree. I love Italian cuisine, and what compares to homemade pasta? Freshly made pasta brings out the Italian in me (my last name is Servidio). There are different ways to make good pasta, and I share one of my favorite techniques with you.
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp of carrot puree (optional, I used 3 but might want to go with 5 tbsp)
1 tsp salt
1 lb Ricotta cheese drained of water
5 oz fresh mozzarella
5 oz Fontina cheese
2 oz shredded fresh parmesan
Salt and black pepper
English Pea sauce
2 cups fresh shelled english peas
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of chicken stock
2 sprigs of basil
2 tbsp of butter
1 cup of english peas
For the pasta, place the flour in a bowl, make a well or hole in the center of the flour. Place the eggs, olive oil, salt, and puree (if using) into the hole. Using a fork, beat the eggs, puree, and oil until smooth. With the fork, gradually stir in the flour little by little until the egg isn't so sticky. Using your hands instead of the fork, begin forming the dough by folding the flour into the mixture. Continue the folding action until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Adjust the amount of flour depending. You may need a little more or less depending on whether you included the puree. Once the dough is formed, knead it for 5 minutes, wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make the cheese filling. Pulse the mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan in a food processor until the cheese is in tiny pieces. Add the ricotta cheese and puree until smooth. With the food processor running, add the egg. Stop the processor to scrape the sides of the bowl and season the filling with salt and pepper. Puree one last time and taste to adjust the seasoning if needed. Refrigerate the filling until ready for use.
For the sauce, add oil, garlic, and shallots to a small sauce pan on medium high. Saute for 2 minutes and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Add 1 tbsp of salt and then english peas. Cook for 3 minutes and pour the sauce into a blender. Add the basil sprigs and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning and place the sauce a small glass bowl. Set the sauce bowl into an icy water bath (fill a larger bowl with ice water and set the smaller bowl in it). Stir the sauce to cool it quickly. Cooling the sauce quickly keeps it a nice bright green and not an overdone army green color.
For the pasta. Fill a large soup pot full of water, add salt and bring to a boil. Take the full amount of dough and cut it in half. Half of the dough is sufficient for this recipe. Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin. Place the flattened dough in the pasta machine on the thickest setting, and pass it through. Adjust the thickness of the setting with the knob. For cannelloni style pasta, I adjust the setting to a 5 or 6, and not much thinner. Pass the pasta through the machine down to a 5 or 6 and then fold the dough back up and repeat the process, a total of 3 times. You might need to add a little flour if the pasta is sticking. Repeated folding and passing the dough through the pasta machine builds structure into the pasta which will enable it to attain the the aldente when boiled. On the last pass through, don't fold the pasta. Lay the sheet out on a floured surface or table and cut the pasta in rectangular sheets every 3 inches.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl and place it next to the pot of boiling water. Add a few pieces of pasta to the boiling water and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Put the cooked pasta into the water bath. Repeat until all the pasta sheets are cooked. Drain the cooled pasta and toss lightly with olive oil. Lay out a few pasta sheets on a flat cutting board and place a line of cheese on the bottom third of each sheet. Roll the pasta into a tight tube. Repeat the process with the remaining pasta sheets and cheese. This makes roughly 8 to 10 cannelloni's. Add a few ladles of pea sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and place the cannellonis on top. Place the dish into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. I didn't cover mine and got a little color on the top but if you don't want that you can cover and bake for 30 minutes.
To serve, heat up 2 cups of english pea sauce and add 2 tbsp of butter to finish the sauce. Blanch a cup of english peas in salted boiling water, strain and add the peas to the sauce. Place one cannelloni onto the plate with a ladle of sauce and peas next to it. Garnish with micro basil leaves, shaved and shredded parmesan.