Saffron malloreddus with peas, fennel and cherry tomatoes

1
60 minutes

Ingredients

Pasta dough

  • 300g of semolina flour, plus extra for storing the pasta
  • 100ml of warm water
  • 1 pinch of saffron

Pea sauce

  • 200g of frozen peas, defrosted in a bowl of water
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • salt
  • lemon juice, (fresh)

To serve

  • 1 fennel
  • 100g of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 50g of peas, defrosted in warm water
  • 1 sprig of basil, leaves picked
  • 20g of pine nuts, toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

1
Begin by making the pasta dough. Put the saffron in the warm water and leave to infuse for a couple of minutes. Place the semolina flour in a bowl and then add the water bit by bit, whisking with a fork to combine. Once the dough has come together, tip out onto a clean surface and knead the dough for 8 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge
2
After the dough has rested, it’s time to shape the pasta. Prepare a tray with semolina flour scattered in the bottom for the pasta to sit in
3
Pinch off a 1 gram piece of dough (about the size of a small broad bean) then using your thumb, drag over the gnocchi board to create a ridged little curl of pasta. Store in the tray, not touching so they don’t stick to each other and repeat until all the dough is used up. Leave the pasta out uncovered while you prepare the sauce, this allows it to dry out a bit (you could also make the pasta the day before and leave uncovered in the fridge)
4
To make the sauce place the drained peas, garlic and basil in a blender and blend. Add water to help it form a smooth, loose puree. Taste and season with fresh lemon juice and salt
5
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
6
Remove the fennel fronds from the bulb and place in a bowl of water to keep fresh and crisp up a little
7
Slice the fennel finely then toss in a little oil, sprinkle with salt and roast on a baking tray for 15–20 minutes or until soft and just starting to caramelise
8
With ten minutes to go, add the halved cherry tomatoes to the tray to roast for a bit
9
Tip the tray of pasta and semolina into a sieve set over a bowl to get rid of the excess semolina flour (the flour can be re-used)
10
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain
11
Add the pea sauce to the pasta with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and toss to combine. Fold through the fennel, peas, tomatoes and basil leaves
12
Divide into bowls and garnish with the fennel fronds, toasted pine nuts and some freshly ground black pepper