Andrea Berton’s Spaghetti Alla Chitarra

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The incredible infused plum tomato sauce in this dish is a classic example of authentic Italian dining. It comes from chef Andrea Breton who, with his four Michelin stars, has been delighting taste buds for years. Accompany it with a light bodied red or rosé for the perfect pasta pairing.

Serves 8

Ingredients
For the spaghetti alla chitarra:
750g of pasta flour
250g of semolina flour
300g of pasteurised egg yolk
3 1/2 eggs
50g of water

For the plum tomato sauce:
500g of plum tomatoes, chopped
50g of fresh basil, chopped
50g of extra virgin olive oil, preferably Taggiasca olive
10g of flaky sea salt

For the olive paté:
100g of olives, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp chilli, roughly chopped
35ml of extra virgin olive oil, preferably Taggiasca olive
1 pinch of salt

To serve:
1/2 bunch of fresh basil, cut into julienne
basil cress, 1 punnet
extra virgin olive oil, preferably Taggiasca olive
salt
black pepper

Method
1 For the pasta, combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the egg yolks, whole eggs and water and mix together to form a dough.
2 Knead the dough for 5–10 minutes until smooth, then shape into a ball and place into a vacuum bag. Seal the dough in the bag and leave to rest for 24 hours – if you don’t have a chamber sealer wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm and leave to rest overnight.
3 The next day prepare the tomatoes for the pasta sauce. Arrange the plum tomatoes in a bowl and toss over the basil, salt and oil. Set aside and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, make the olive paté by blitzing all the ingredients together in a blender to form a smooth, slightly chunky paste. Transfer to a dish or container and cover with cling film until required.
5 For the pasta, remove the dough from the vacuum bag and flatten it slightly. Roll it evenly through a pasta machine, reducing the thickness setting each time until the dough is 0.5cm thick.
6 Cut out sheets measuring 20x10cm from the dough and these slice into long strands of spaghetti with a chitarra pasta cutter. Twirl the strands into individual nests weighing approximately 100g each and dust lightly with flour.
7 Blend the marinated tomatoes together until smooth, passing the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the pips and tomato skins.
8 When ready to serve, cook the pasta nests in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, or until al dente, and drain well through a colander.
9 Meanwhile, transfer the blended tomato sauce to a pan and warm through over a medium heat. Stir in the cooked pasta along with the chopped basil and stir to combine, then season generously with olive oil, salt and pepper.
10 To serve, brush each plate with some olive paté, place a nest of pasta on top and garnish with a few sprigs of basil cress.

Andrea Berton recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs. Click here for more information.

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