Perfect plates of pasta await!
There are cult London dishes, and then there are Padella dishes. Pasta stans, veteran foodies, and hype-followers alike can be seen in the famed Padella queue during more settled times, but with the lockdown putting a halt to eating out, the restaurant has done the fine work of bringing it to you. Owner of Padella (and sister restaurant Trullo) Tim Siadatan has been on Instagram Live recently, whipping up the restaurant’s infamous pici cacio e pepe whilst aided and abetted by his daughters (which is honestly adorable!). Ready to learn the secrets of a cult classic? (Featured image: @padella_pasta)
Course you are. The cooking demonstration took place last week, but the results are now available on Padella’s Instagram page. It’s split across two videos, with the first (above) showing you how to make and shape the pasta dough, and the second (below) moving on to cooking the pasta and bringing the dish together.
If you can somehow ignore the downright adorable antics of his reluctant helpers, Tim’s video will teach you the tricks of the trade, and result in a damn fine plate of pasta. We’ve also laid out the recipe below, so really there’s no excuse not to turn yourself into a pasta pro during lockdown!
Padella’s pici cacio e pepe
For the pasta:
375g white bread flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
Stick the flour in a mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Mix your water, oil, and salt, and then pour it into the well – you should start incorporating the flour until a dough begins to form. Once you’ve got a dough, put it on a clean surface and knead until it becomes smooth, then roll it to a 2cm thickness using a rolling pin. Wrap it in cling film and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once rested, cut the dough into strips of around 15g each, and cover them with a damp tea towel. Roll the strips on a clean surface (e.g. a chopping board) using the palms of your hands, until the noodles are about the thickness of a pen. Once you’ve used all your dough, you can either start cooking, or leave the pasta in the fridge for up to 24 hours – make sure to put them in a well-floured tray though, or the strands will start to stick together.
For the dish:
Pici dough, ready to cook
160g unsalted, cubed cold butter
100g finely grated parmesan
A tablespoon of ground black pepper
Get a pan of water to a rolling boil, and then season liberally with salt. Add the pici and cook them for around five minutes. At the same time, drop your butter, black pepper, lemon juice, and a splash of the pasta water in a saucepan, leaving it on a low heat until the ingredients combine. Remove the pici from the water (keep hold of the pasta water though!) and add it to the butter sauce. Sprinkle most of the parmesan on top, leaving it to melt in the residual heat before stirring. You can add a little extra pasta water on top to help it melt into that perfect smooth texture. Then, stick it on a plate, sprinkle with any remaining parmesan and sea salt, and dig in!
Once you’ve mastered the pasta, why not try your hand at recreating more top-notch London dishes – or tackle your favourite Greggs items!
Also published on Medium.