Mangiamo’s fresh pasta with tomato, anchovy and chilli sauce

Our guest chef in today’s video is Joel Malkinson, who has opened a cosy Italian trattoria-style eatery on the same premises as his highly popular flagship restaurant, Wicker Woods, in Walmer, Port Elizabeth.  Joel shows us how to make fresh pasta with a deliciously light tomato, anchovy and chilli sauce.

Fresh pasta with tomato, anchovy and chilli sauce – The Recipe

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Joel’s tomato, anchovy and chilli sauce goes perfectly with freshly-made pasta. It really is a delicious combination and the best part is that it’ll only take you 10 to 15 minutes to do the entire dish – including make the pasta from scratch!  You will of course need a pasta machine – we bought ours from @Home a few months ago and have practically been living off fresh pasta ever since! Fresh pasta is a breeze to make and, as Joel says, you’ll never want to eat dried ‘packet’ pasta again. The basic rule is 100g of flour for every egg, which is enough for two single servings of pasta – this can also be used for lasagne. Do not add salt to the dough as this will corrode your pasta machine which, by the way, is never supposed to be washed. Instead, add salt to the water in which you’re going to boil the pasta.

Serves 2

Ingredients

For the pasta:
1 extra large egg, preferably free-range or organic; 100g flour (Joel uses the famous Italian ‘Tipo 00’ flour, but any good bread flour will do).

For the sauce:

1 onion, chopped; 1 garlic clove, chopped; 3 to 4 tbsp good olive oil; 3 anchovy fillets, chopped; 12 (or more) cherry tomatoes, halved; 1 tbsp good tomato paste; fresh, chopped chilli to taste; salt and freshly-ground black pepper; 2 tsp brown sugar; fresh rocket for serving.

Method

For the pasta: Beat the egg, then add it to the flour and work it thoroughly. Shape into a ball of dough.  Split the dough into two balls and feed each through the pasta machine, starting with the widest setting and working your way down to the progressively thinner settings, till you are happy with the thickness of each sheet. Keep dusting with flour as needed so the dough doesn’t stick to the rollers. Then use the linguine or spaghetti setting and feed through the pasta sheet, again dusting the strips with flour so they don’t clump together. Once the sauce is just about done, boil the pasta in salted water for about two minutes.

For the sauce: Heat the olive oil, then fry the onion and garlic until soft but not discoloured. Add the chilli, anchovies, cherry tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar, as well as the salt and pepper to taste, and cook for three to four minutes till done. Toss the cooked, drained pasta into the pan with the sauce and mix to coat. If the sauce is too little, add a bit of the water the pasta had cooked in. Serve immediately with fresh rocket piled on top.

10 Questions: Joel Malkinson

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Joel started Wicker Woods more than 10 years ago purely because he had a passion for cooking and wanted to share the experience of good food with others – “and I’ve loved it ever since”, he beams.

For the first couple of years he was juggling a day job while running the Cape Road restaurant at night, but Wicker Woods eventually became so popular that he was finally able to realise his dream of becoming a full-time restaurant owner and chef.

“Cooking has always been a big part  of my life and it seems natural to have made it my career,” says Joel, who has had no formal training and is entirely self-taught. “I’m very fortunate as not many people get the opportunity to earn a living from their passion.”

Wicker Woods moved from Cape Road to its stately Sixth Avenue premises in 2008. Mangiamo is Joel’s newest baby and is already proving very popular, especially among patrons from the leafy streets of Walmer.

1) When and how did your love of cooking begin?
I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and as a child I used to love watching her in the kitchen.
2) How did Mangiamo get started?
It started out as a little pizza take-away in January and has now grown into a full-on seated restaurant.
3) Wicker Woods has been very successful since its inception and Mangiamo is likely to follow suit. What was is the concept behind Mangiamo?
Mangiamo fills a gap in the market where we offer five-star dining in a more casual environment. The fact that you are in a less formal restaurant should not detract from the quality of the food.
4) What is is about Italian food that you find so inspiring?
I love the Italians’ passion for their food. If you use the best possible ingredients at all times, you’re generally guaranteed a fantastic result.
5) Which dishes from the Mangiamo menu are your current favourites, and why?
I love all the dishes on my menu, or they would not be on it, but if I had to choose I’d go with our minestrone soup with freshly-grated parmesan, our ‘Cinque’ pizza (with springbok carpaccio, green figs, brie and mozzarella) and the creamy smoked salmon linguine.
6) Wicker Woods has always had a reputation for its innovative dishes. Where does your culinary inspiration come from?
I love reading through cookery books and we make an annual trip to Cape Town and Franschoek to see what’s new on the restaurant front there.
7) Who cooks at home and what type of food do you typically prepare for your own family?
My wife has started doing some of the cooking at home as I am not there as often as I would like. I cook at every opportunity available, but we do tend to braai quite a lot!
8- Which ingredients can’t you live without?
The things I can’t live without at home are good extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Italian tomatoes, pasta, lamb, chillies and fresh herbs from the garden.
9) What kitchen tool/ gadgets are your current favourites?
Good pans and my hand-held blender.
10) If you could choose a starter, main course and dessert for your last meal on earth, what would they be?
Smoked salmon latke for starters, rib-eye steak and chips with pepper sauce for main and warm chocolate pudding with fresh cream to end off the meal!
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