Fresh pasta with tomato, basil and ricotta

Rachel Allens home-made pasta takes a little effort but youll be rewarded with ribbons of fresh pasta served with a no-cook sauce
By Rachel Allen
Fresh pasta with tomato, basil and ricotta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus chilling time
  • Effort: medium


  • 200 g strong white flour or 00 pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • salt
  • 2 eggs

For the tomato sauce

  • 375 g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large handfuls basil, roughly torn
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice
  • pinch caster sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 110 g ricotta cheese


1. For the fresh pasta Sift the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt into a bowl. Whisk the eggs together in separate bowl, then make a well in the centre of the flour and add half of the egg. Mix into a dough using your hands, adding the remainder of the egg if you need it.

2. The pasta should just come together but shouldnt stick to your hands if it does, add a little more flour. Knead in the bowl for a few minutes until smooth and then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes 1 hour to relax. (It will keep for about two days in the fridge.)

3. The dough can also be made in an electric food mixer or food processor, again being careful not to make it too wet.

4. Divide the dough into quarters and, using a rolling pin, roll out one piece at a time on a floured work surface into a very thin sheet. You can use a pasta machine, working a piece of dough at a time through the machine, starting with the widest setting and ending with the narrowest. You should be able to read the headline print on a newspaper through the pasta.

5. To shape by hand, roll each strip into a tube and, using a sharp knife, cut into slices 5mm wide for tagliatelle, 3mm for fettucine or 1.5cm for pappardelle or feed through a pasta machine at the correct setting.

6. Once cut, unroll the strip and let it run through your fingers to separate the strands. Use immediately or allow to dry when the pasta is completely dry (anything from an hour to a day depending on room temperature) store in an airtight box or plastic bag for up to 3 days.

7. When you are ready to cook the pasta, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a fast, rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and drop in the pasta, stirring well. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook for 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta.

8. For the tomato, garlic and basil sauce Place the tomatoes, spring onions, garlic and the torn basil leaves in a large bowl, add the freshly cooked pasta, pour over the olive oil and lemon juice and toss everything together.

9. Season with the sugar, salt and pepper, stir in spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese, garnish with the whole basil leaves and serve.

Apdapted from Rachel Allen Home Cooking (Collins)

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