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Pasta La Vista, Baby!

Forget the salad diet, today is World Pasta Day! And we’re celebrating it with an almost-too-pretty-to-eat pasta dish by chef Angelique Rabie-Cornelison from Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Cape Town campus.

Stained glass Ravioli, with mozzarella crisps and a drizzle of chilli oil

Serves 4

You’ll need: For the pasta – 200g flour; 1 egg; salt; 35ml olive oil; 50ml water; assorted edible flower petals (roses, daisies, viola etc) and fine herbs (fennel, flat-leaf parsley, dill etc)

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For the filling – 100g frozen spinach; 30g cream cheese; 30g parmesan grated; 4g green peppercorns; salt and white pepper to taste if needed

For the chilli oil – 4 birds eye chillies; 50ml good olive oil

For the mozzarella crisps – 100g finely grated mozzarella; pinch of salt

How to:

For the pasta, sieve the flour and salt. Make a well. Add the liquid. Knead to a smooth dough. Rest for at least 30 minutes in a cool place. Roll out to a very thin rectangle – roughly 30cm x 45cm.

Cut in half and egg wash. Place flower petals and delicate herbs in a pattern on the egg-washed pasta. Carefully cover with the other half of the pasta and seal, taking care to avoid air pockets. Roll gently to seal the two sheets of pasta and to thin it out slightly. Cut into two strips of equal width and length and cover with a clean, damp tea towel till use.

For the chilli oil, finely chop the chillies with their seeds and cover with oil. Leave to infuse till use.

For the mozzarella crisps, spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, sprinkle the cheese in an even layer on the baking sheet and season with salt. Bake at 180 degrees for about 20min until cheese is golden and bubbling, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the filling, place frozen spinach, cream cheese, seasoning and parmesan in a food processor and mix till smooth. Place in a small piping bag and pipe out the filling in small pieces, each about the size of a cherry, approximately 4cm apart, onto one of the pasta strips.

Carefully cover with the other pasta strip and seal, taking care to avoid air pockets. Cut with a plain cutter leaving a 1cm border from the edge of the pasta to the edge of the filling. Separate on a well-floured tray.

Poach in gently boiling salted water for approximately 10 minutes. Drain well. Place in a baking sheet covered with a little oil to prevent sticking.

To assemble, ensure the pasta is hot and place in the middle of the plate, drizzle with the chilli oil. Break the cheese crisps into chards and arrange them on top.

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