Saffron malloreddus with peas, fennel and cherry tomatoes

This vibrant vegan dish is summer in a bowl. Creamy pea sauce is jewelled with roasted cherry tomatoes and coats handmade malloreddus– a Sardinian pasta with a pleasant chewy texture. It takes a little time to make, but well worth the effort. This is one of our favourite summer vegan recipes – click the link for more.

First published in 2019
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This simple Southern Italian pasta dough contains just semolina flour and water, an easy pasta for a beginner to try out. Malloreddus (also known as gnocchetti sardi) is a Sardinian pasta and the small ridged shape of the pasta is perfect for holding sauce. As you are shaping each piece of pasta by hand, it can take a bit of time, we like to crowd round a big table and make a bit of a group activity out of it!

The blended pea sauce gives not only a brilliant vibrant green but is a light creamy sauce without actually using any cream– making this dish completely vegan. Finished off with some fresh basil, toasted pine nuts and roasted cherry tomatoes, this is a perfect summer vegan dish.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Pasta dough

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

Pea sauce

To serve

Equipment

  • Gnocchi board

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
First published in 2019
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GBC Kitchen is where you'll find accessible, inspiring recipes with a twist, from our in-house team of recipe developers. Perfect for mid-week meals or special occasions alike, GBC Kitchen recipes will help you become a more confident cook, and impress those around you in the meantime! Don't forget to check out our brand new How to Cook guide every month, which focuses on a specific ingredient and ways to use it, alongside four brand new recipes.

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