Chocolate Sichuan pepper fettuccine with porcini & black olives

Chocolate Sichuan pepper fettuccine with porcini & black olives

By
From
V is for Vegan
Serves
4

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the chocolate fettuccine:

Quantity Ingredient
250g italian 00 pasta flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for cooking the pasta
1 teaspoon very finely ground sichuan or other pepper
50g cocoa powder
115ml water
165ml water, mixed with 1 teaspoon egg replacer
fine semolina, for dusting

For the sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
20g dried porcini
100ml water, boiling
50ml olive oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
100g fresh ceps or other wild or brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
12 stoned black olives
1/2 lemon, juiced
100ml soya cream

To serve:

Quantity Ingredient
basil leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Make the fettuccine (see note), and adding the pepper and cocoa powder at the same time as the flour and salt.
  2. Cover the dried porcini with the boiling water and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the soaking water.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat, sweat the shallots, adding the garlic and salt, then add the fresh mushrooms and the olives. As the sauce reduces, gradually add the porcini soaking liquid until it develops a thickened but pouring consistency. Add the lemon juice and leave to rest, then add the soya cream just before serving. (The sauce develops flavour if left a while.)
  4. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil with at least 1 tablespoon sea salt.
  5. Making sure the fettuccine is in separate strands before you put it in the water, drop it in the boiling water and be ready to scoop it out when it floats. Depending on how thick your pasta is, this can take only a minute.
  6. Place the pasta in the middle of the dish and drape the sauce over it.

To make the pasta

  • If mixing by hand, put the flour, salt, pepper and cocoa powder into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the water, and water and egg replacer. Stir with a wooden spoon, then knead it together with your hands. Good pasta is all about texture; it mustn’t be too dry or too wet. Form a ball, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. The resting time is important, as this will make the dough more flexible.

    If using a food processor, put the flour, salt, pepper and cocoa powder in and slowly pulse in the water, and the water and egg replacer. Stop when it looks like large couscous. Then remove the dough, form a ball and knead it by hand for several minutes until well combined. Continue as for by hand.

    Once the dough has rested, divide in half. Use one half at a time, leaving the other half covered with clingfilm or a damp clean tea towel as you work. If you have a pasta maker, run the ball through it on the widest setting. Then fold the dough over and run it through the machine several times, folding over each time and inserting the open end into the machine. Eventually you will see a bubble form and/or a popping sound as the folded end goes into the pasta machine. This means the pasta is ready to roll.

    Thread the flattened oval of pasta through the machine (no longer folding it over) on each setting, starting at the widest and narrowing it by one notch each time. By notch 5 you will probably have to cut your tongue of pasta in half, unless you have an assistant or unbelievably long arms. Continue to run the pasta through the machine and stop before the last notch (usually 7) because you don’t want the dough so thin that it will break and leak the contents while cooking. Hang up the pasta tongues to dry (I use my wooden washing line(!) but you can buy wooden pasta dryers) for 10–15 minutes or so. However you don’t want it to dry too much or it will break.

    If you don’t have a machine, then roll the pasta out very thinly on a floured surface, making quarter turns as in pastry, until it is about 2 mm thick.

    Then change the flat pasta roller on the machine for the shape of pasta you want to cut, or if you are making it without a machine, roll up the oval of dough loosely and make perpendicular cuts all along, every 5 mm, so that you end up with coils of flat, thin pasta.

    The second problem with pasta, once you have made it, is to stop it sticking. I sprinkle a thick layer of fine semolina on a tray and spread the pasta out on top. In fact, while I’m making long pasta shapes in the machine, I hold the tray underneath so that the pasta falls straight into the semolina flour. With finer pasta such as fettuccine, curl it into nests, liberally sprinkling with the semolina, and leave to air-dry for a day. If I’m not using it straightaway, I freeze it on the tray (so choose a tray that fits into your freezer shelves). Once it is frozen, you can tip it into a plastic freezer bag and store it for up to 3 months. Remember NEVER wash your pasta machine, or it will go rusty. Clean it with a dry brush.

    To cook the pasta, always add salt to a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cook the pasta for 1–5 minutes until it floats to the surface. Ravioli can take a bit longer – 5–10 minutes – but don’t walk away from the stove!
Tags:
Vegan
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