Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta and peas | A kitchen in Rome

A square meal from Lazio featuring spring peas and lasagne sheets cut up into stamp-sized pieces

Take a sheet of paper. You can simply use it as is, filling it with words or drawings, or you could roll it into a tube, shred it into ribbons of any width, rip or cut it into any number of squares, or fold it into a boat, hat or peacock. Well, the same applies to sheets of pasta! I am thinking mostly about the sheets of fresh egg pasta that here in Italy come in stacks in cellophane-topped packets. For a long time, I only ever saw these sheets as “sheets to be layered” (their purpose was stated in their name), but even when the packet has “lasagne” printed on the front in big letters, it doesn’t mean that’s the only way to use them; they are sheets of great potential, to be rolled into cannelloni or sliced into ribbons of any width.

They can also be cut into squares of any size, to wrap around a filling (if the pasta is soft enough, although it generally isn’t after days in the packet). I cut sheets into 6cm squares or diamonds for basil and other types of pesto, while for minestrone and other bean soups a 3cm square or lozenge is a good shape and size for a spoon. And the shapes don’t need to be neat. Quite the opposite, in fact – maltagliati (meaning badly cut) is one of the nicest shapes of all, and then there are quadrucci, which are little squares that vary in size from postage stamps to mosaic tiles or to the size of a pencil rubber or pea.

Continue reading...

Older Post Newer Post