Home-made pasta with tomatoes and pine nuts

Many thanks to Carmela from Carmela's Kitchen for this recipe. Carmela uses our Universal Pot to cook the pasta.

Serves: 4 

Time taken: 60 minutes (including 30 minutes resting of pasta)

Ingredients for the pasta

  • 400 g Semolina flour (semola di grano duro)
  • 200 ml freshly boiled hot water
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 5 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, finely sliced
  • 600 g fresh baby plum tomatoes (on the vine), quartered
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded, sliced finely (optional)
  • Parmesan rind for flavour (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 80 g Pine-nuts
  • Small handful fresh basil, torn
  • 80 g Parmesan, grated, plus a little extra for the table
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to finish

Method - for the pasta 

  • Tip the flour onto a wooden board and sprinkle over the marjoram. Incorporate and make a volcano into the centre of the flour.
  • Slowly add the hot water and form a pliable dough. Work and knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with cling film or place a bowl upside down over the dough and allow the pasta to rest at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes. Covering the dough will ensure it doesn’t dry out and form a skin.
  • Once rested take the dough and cut it in half. Cover one half again until needed. Take the remaining dough and cut it into 8 equal sections.
  • Roll each section into long sausages, thickness being a little thicker than a standard pencil. I always aim for the thickness of my little finger. 
  • Feed the pasta sausages (one at a time) through a cavatelli machine or cut small hazelnut size pieces of dough and roll them down a gnocchi board or butter pat with the side of your thumb to form ridges. Always remembering it’s the ridges in a piece of pasta that holds the delicious sauce.
  • Repeat with the remaining covered dough. Allow the pasta to dry on air-drying trays or standard trays that have been dusted with semolina flour. Leave to dry for at least 1 hour.
Method - for the sauce
  • Into a large frying pan pour in the olive oil followed by the sliced shallots and garlic. Fry off gently for 5 minutes until translucent in colour. I always start frying in cold oil, as this will eliminate any chance of burning the garlic.
  • Add the quartered tomatoes and chilli followed by the seasoning, marjoram and Parmesan rind. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Fill the pasta pot ¾ with water. Once boiling salt well. For every litre of water you should use a tbsp. of salt.
  • Add the pine-nuts to the tomatoes and stir. Taste for additional seasoning. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta for 5 minutes until al-dente, with a bite. Lift the basket and tumble the pasta into the frying pan. Add a small ladle of pasta water to emulsify the sauce, stir.
  • Stir again, check for seasoning. Add the remaining basil and grated Parmesan. 
  • Serve in warm bowls with an extra drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil and whoever ends up with the Parmesan rind will have an extra special treat.


Out of season this sauce can be made with tinned plum or cherry tomatoes. 

Take a closer look at Carmela's Kitchen for some great advice and recipes about pasta and Italian cooking, as well as news of her classes, supper club and cookery books.