300g ’00’ grade flour
3 lrg eggs
6 rashers streaky bacon
200ml double cream
2 garlic cloves
1 sml onion
Salt & pepper to season
Hard cheese to serve
First to make the pasta, into a bowl add the flour and the the eggs in a well in the flour. Mix together so it is combined evenly.
Mould the flour and eggs into a ball of dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed the dough until it becomes glossy and more elastic in consistency, roughly 6 minutes of hard elbow grease should do it.
Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes before shaping.
To shape the pasta, place on a lightly floured surface, roll out to just over 5mm thick and then fold in half and roll out again. Repeat this a couple more times, rolling the dough into a longer rectangle each time.
You can do this by hand if you do not have a pasta machine by rolling out the pasta very thinly, dusting with flour and turning over as you go. If you are lucky enough to have a pasta machine, dust both sides of the dough and feed it through the machine on the thickest setting. Fold it over on its self and feed it through again, you should have a long straight edged rectangle, if not repeat once more.
Feed the pasta through, reducing the thickness setting each time and dusting doth sides as you go. For tagliatelle, you want a thickness of just thinner than a beer mat. Slice the length in half and now pass through the tagliatelle cutter, if doing by hand, slice into long thin lengths.
Until you are ready to use the pasta, it needs to be hung out so that it does not stick together. Improvisation is key; I hung it over two long wooden spoons propped up by the backs of chairs, a clothes airer would also be perfect.
When you are ready to cook, place a pan of slightly salted water to the boil.
For the sauce, slice the bacon, onion and garlic and fry on a medium heat in a little oil. When the bacon looks like it’s turning crispy, add the kale, removing any stalky bits. When the kale looks like it has softened, remove from the heat and add the cream, a small pinch of salt and lashings of cracked black pepper.
Place the pasta in the boiling water, it should take about 4-5 minutes, depending on its thickness and how much it has dried out. Spoon a couple of splashes of water from the pasta into the sauce to loosen it up, drain the pasta and then mix into the sauce.
To serve, divide it out and shave a little cheese over the top and a bit of cracked black pepper. I always like to add a drizzle of rapeseed oil over dishes like this as it looks nice and just make it go down that touch better.
This is a really simple recipe, sauce wise, as the bacon and kale are so quick and tasty, but one of my staples growing up, and still to this day an all time favourite, is pesto pasta. The pasta is the hard part and the hero, the sauce can simply be a matter of preference.
Forget this recipe…have pesto!
I do dream of a day when I could live the lifestyle of a rural Italian; growing your own veg, working pasta, making focaccia and drinking good red wine with friends every evening. Well, I may be a generation or so out of sync but I like to think that as soon as you leave any Italian town, this is exactly what is going on.