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This fresh, green pasta is cheesy, filled with sausages, super tasty and a fantastic dish to feed mouths on St Patrick’s Day. Give it a go!
For the pasta dough:
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Put ice in a large bowl, then fill with cold water. Add spinach to the boiling water and steep for about half a minute. Transfer spinach to the ice cold water. Lay out some kitchen paper, squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible, then drain on kitchen paper.
Get a food processor with blade attachment ready. Add blanched spinach, then crack in eggs. Blitz for 1–2 minutes until well combined.
Put flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the middle with your hands. Add spinach and egg to the well. Slowly incorporate flour in green mixture as you stir it through. Once the mixture starts to come together, pour rough dough out onto a flat surface.
Firmly bring dough together then knead for 5–10 minutes. Whenever dough starts getting sticky, add a dusting of flour. You want to end up with a smooth, pliable dough. Cut dough into quarters, then wrap each quarter in cling film. Let rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Set up a pasta machine, with plenty of flour for dusting. Get one of the quarters of pasta dough out of the fridge. Unwrap dough, dust with flour, then dust rollers in the machine. Roll dough through the thickest setting of the pasta machine a couple of times, then dust the dough and the rollers again. Roll dough through the second thickest setting a couple of times. Repeat this cycle until pasta dough is thin but not too thin. My pasta roller’s thickest setting is 1 and the thinnest is 9. I stopped rolling my dough at about 5-6. Make sure you keep dusting with flour so nothing sticks and when the dough gets too long to handle, cut it in half.
Once you have finished the first quarter of your dough, move on to the next one, and keep going until all of the dough is rolled out.
Once all of your dough is rolled, cut so they are about 12 inches long. You can then either cut the pasta into fettuccine by rolling it through the pasta cutter attachment on the pasta machine, or you can just roll the pasta up on a board, then cut the pasta into long strips with your knife.
Dust all the fresh fettuccine pasta with plenty of flour so that none of it sticks together.
For the cheesy sauce:
Get a large frying pan on medium heat, then add butter. Once butter has melted, add flour and stir through until you get a paste. Cook paste for a minute to cook out the flour.
From there, turn heat down nice and low, then add milk about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring through until nice and smooth on each occasion (if it looks really really lumpy like it won’t go smooth, don’t worry, keep stirring and it will).
Once all the milk is incorporated, bring sauce up to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Let sauce bubble away for a few minutes.
Add cheese and stir through until melted. Turn heat off, then season to taste with salt and pepper. If you ever feel like the sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of milk.
For the sausages:
Drizzle sausages with just enough olive oil to coat them. Season with salt and pepper then rub the seasoning and oil all over.
Preheat a griddle pan on high heat. Once pan is nice and hot, add sausages, turning them every couple of minutes. Cook for about 11–15 minutes depending on how thick the sausages are. Once cooked, turn heat off, transfer sausages to a board and cut into thick slices.
Get 5 litres of water in a pot with 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, get pasta ready and start reheating cheese sauce. Pick up pasta, shake off some the excess flour and then add to the water. Once all of the pasta is added, cook for about 1½ minutes.
Use a pair of tongs to transfer pasta to sauce (do not discard the pasta water). Stir pasta through sauce, then add sausages, chopped parsley and chopped basil. If you feel that you need to loosen the pasta slightly, ladle in a bit of the starchy pasta water. Serve immediately.
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