Pockets of fresh pasta stuffed with mushrooms, truffle and ricotta
We all know that pasta made from scratch is far superior to the bog standard stuff that’s churned out en masse by industrial machinery—it’s why eating it at a proper Italian is such a treat. But while we’re usually all for encouraging cooking from scratch as much and as often as possible, sometimes you just want someone to do the hard work for you. Enter La Tua Pasta, whose chilled pasta stand (and, indeed, hot food stand in the Borough Market Kitchen) is on hand to provide all that handmade fresh pasta goodness, without any of the faff.
“To be honest I have tried, and I cannot do it like the guys who work in our kitchen—they are very good,” laughs Matteo from behind the stall. “It is very fiddly.” Made with 00 flour and free-range eggs a mere nine miles from the Market, it is produced every night ready to be sold fresh on the stall the following morning. Each little pocket of flavour is “hand folded, one by one, which takes a lot of time to do”. The tortelloni (a slightly larger version of the small, scrunched tortellini you might be more familiar with) comes with various fillings—both “traditional regional Italian recipes and British-inspired”—but our favourite at this time of year has got to be the mushroom with truffle: just ‘good’ enough to be eaten on a weeknight (mushroom counts as one of your five a day, don’t you know) but with the feeling of a treat thanks to the luxury addition of the truffle.
A simple recipe
“The filling is a mix of mushrooms, but mainly Italian porcini, which we get direct from a producer over there,” Matteo continues. “We cook the mushrooms in a pan with some garlic and olive oil, then stir in the ricotta cheese and a little bit of parsley. Then we add the truffle, which is black summer truffle preserved in oil from Umbria, a region of central Italy which is famous for its truffles”—and that’s it. “This is our simple recipe; we don’t add any additional flavourings or preservatives.”
Once you’ve picked up your packet and got it home, simply boil the pasta in salted water until the parcels float to the top. “If you really want to taste the flavour inside, I would suggest serving it with some butter or olive oil and maybe fresh parsley on top,” Matteo advises. “The flavour of truffle is quite hard to pair with anything and there are big chunks of it, which you can see inside—truffle lovers will adore it. There is already so much flavour, you don’t want to kill it with a sauce,” he implores. “We always say the simpler it is, the better it is.”