Grana Padano and wild garlic pesto Pappardelle

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Grana Padano and wild garlic pesto Pappardelle
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Details

. Difficulty: Medium . Serves: 4 people . Preparation time: 35 minutes . Variety: Pasta
We all know a good pesto recipe nowadays and probably lots of you have encountered already Pappardelle, the larger cousins of tagliatelle, but what’s special about this recipe is the use of wild garlic in the pesto that definitely kicks things up a notch. 
Extremely seasonal and also known as ramsons, wild garlic is a must have in my kitchen from March till June every year. Subtle garlicy taste, not as strong or pungent as you would think, is a burst of flavor and when I first found out that is so commonly spread around green areas all over the UK I couldn’t be happier and so I put it to the best use I know, extra virgin olive oil and Grana Padano cheese pesto. Pesto the quintessential Italian dressing for pastas, salads, meats, fishes and basically whatever else you want!  

Chef tip: The recipe can be easily adapted with rocket salad if wild garlic is out of season.

Ingredients

For the yellow pappardelle:
2 fresh rich yolk eggs
200 g of 00 flour

For the green pappardelle:
2 fresh rich yolk eggs
200 g of 00 flour
25 g of wild garlic leaves (or parsley, spinach)

For the pesto:
25 g of basil leaves, washed
25 g of wild garlic leaves, washed
40 g of grated Grana Padano cheese
90 ml of extra virgin olive oil
12g of walnuts 
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Start by making the pastas in advance. For the yellow pasta: knead the egg with the flour until it creates a smooth and elastic dough. You only reach the right consistency if the pasta has been worked hard enough to allows the gluten molecules to break down, the dough’s elasticity is very important for the final result. Wrap in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
For the green pasta blanche the wild garlic leaves in salted boiling water. Cool in iced water to retain colour. Now squeeze and blend the cooked leaves with the eggs. Knead the egg mixture with the flour until smooth and elastic. It should have the same consistency as the yellow pasta so you might need a touch more flour than expected depending on how watery the leaves were. Wrap in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes. 
For the pesto. This is very easy as what you have to do is simply put all the ingredients into a blender or a jug in case you want to use a hand blender and blitz them all together until you have a grainy paste – keep aside in a jar. You can store the pesto in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and it can be used in a variety of other dishes if there is any left. 
To make the pappardelle, roll both pasta into thin sheets, about 2/3 mm thick and let them dry on your work surface dusted with flour. For this process is very useful a pasta machine so that you can slice flat pieces of pasta from the dough and gradually work your way until the thinner settings. If a pasta machine is not available fear not, a rolling pin is just as useful but a lot more effort is required as you have to apply pressure uniformly on the pasta.
Once the sheet has dried out a little (usually 5 minutes) you can proceed and cut pappardelle out of it (stripes about 3cm large and 20cm long).
Now cook the pasta in abundant salted boiling water for 2/3 minutes. Drain it al dente and toss it in a bowl with the pesto. Remember to have the pesto out of the fridge and if necessary add a bit of cooking water to it to give it creaminess. Never heat up the pesto on a pan as it will became dark quickly. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve in pasta bowls. Sprinkle over some extra Grana Padano and chopped walnuts and enjoy.
Danilo Cortellini
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