Fresh Pasta, Pesto, and a Rich Tomato sauce: With a Couple of Simple, Sicilian Inspired Salads


If it were up to the kids, we’d eat pasta every night.

Fresh Pasta, Pesto and a rich Tomato sauce. With a couple of simple, Sicilian inspired salads.

A recent family holiday to Sicily coupled with my kids insatiable appetite for pasta led me to roll out the pasta machine…

The kids love making fresh pasta, we do it every few months and they’ve pretty much mastered the rolling out process. It takes a few times to get the hang of it, trial and error and perseverance is the key. It’s worth it!

On this occasion me and Kitty made the dough during the day. Then when Ralph came home from school, with a whole bunch of kids, we rolled out the pasta.

You need the dough not too wet that it’s sticky and not so dry that it cracks and crumbles. I sprinkle flour onto the work surface as I lay out the sheets, some on top of the sheets and into the machine as I’m rolling to create the perfect balance.

Pasta Feeds 6+

500g Pasta Flour (I use Doves)

Lg pinch of salt

4-5 Eggs depending on size

2 tbs Olive Oil


-Mix Flour, Salt and Thyme in a bowl

-Whisk eggs and oil in a bowl and add to dry mix

-Mix with hands or dough hooks to form a hard dough

-Add extra water/flour if needed

-Cover and stand for at least half an hour. Place in the fridge if you make it much earlier or the day before, but only roll out at room temperature.

To roll out dough

- Break off a fist sized lump of dough, shape in to ball and flatten by hand, feed through the thickest setting on your pasta machine.

- Fold in thirds lengthwise and put through the widest setting a few more times

- Repeat above process by rolling out and folding in thirds at each setting getting thinner bit-by-bit

- Once your dough is a nice smooth sheet pressed to the thinnest setting layout on a flat floured surface, sprinkled with flour. Repeat with the rest of your dough

-next feed each flat sheet through the spaghetti or tagliatelle setting. Space your pasta out to dry on trays or baking paper, sprinkle lightly with flour to make sure it doesn’t stick or tangle.

-to cook; drop your pasta carefully into a very large pan (or 2 if needed) of boiling water.

-strain after 3-4 mins but taste test as you’re cooking


Tomato Sauce

2 medium onions

6-8 Cloves garlic

dash olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari

1 tsp Mixed herbs

1 stalk rosemary

2 bay leaves

3 tins of whole tomatoes


-finely chop and fry the onions and garlic in a glug of pre-heated olive oil

-once the onions are translucent add the tamari, vinegar and herbs. Stir and cook for 3 mins

-chop the tomatoes with scissors whilst still in the tin. Add to the onion mix

-simmer slowly, with lid a-jar, for as long as possible


Ingredients and method

100g basil (roughy)

100g rocket (roughly) you can swap in spinach, sorrell, chard...

handful of sunflower seeds, pine or cashew nuts or a mix

juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove

large dash tamari

large glug olive oil

50g parmesan/half pack of firm tofu (both/either/neither optional)

Blitz all above ingredients until you have your desired texture


Simple Salad

Having always turned my nose up at Iceberg lettuce, I was surprised at how refreshing, simple and tasty the Sicilians made their green salads. The trick was in the generous seasoning and the flavoursome oregano

1 iceberg

½ cucumber

olive oil, salt pepper, fresh or dried oregano, balsamic vinegar

Wash and slice the lettuce and cucumber. Arrange in an open bowl, pour over a good helping of olive oil and vinegar, season well, add lots of oregano and the lemon juice.

Sicilian Greek Salad

1 Cucumber

1 med onion

100g green and or black olives

4-6 medium, great smelling tomatoes

1 pack feta

2 tsp fresh thyme (dried will do)

3 tbs olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper

Dice the cucumber, tomatoes and feta, finely slice the onion and olives. Mix in a bowl and add the thyme, oil, lime and seasoning.

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