Becoming A Pasta Maestro

ONE thing I was determined to do was learn to make fresh pasta so I can show off to friends and family that I am actually a serious foodie.

As a home cook, I believe this is an essential skill to have, even with all the available pasta options available in supermarkets. Nothing beats the taste of fresh pasta over the dried stuff. Once you taste it, you won’t want it any other way. It also allows you to explore different shapes and combinations and, as in this article, you get to blend your favourites together in a way that perhaps no one else has done before, making you a pasta maestro.

Besides, how many people do you know who can say they can make pasta from scratch?

The process, though time-consuming, is a labour of love that is only reserved for special people and even then, special moments. From the texture to the flavour, every element of homemade pasta is all about care and attention.

Fresh pasta is a celebration of simplicity and tradition. Made with just flour, eggs and a touch of salt, the magic begins with the dough, kneaded to perfection until it achieves a silky, elastic consistency.

Fresh pasta allows you to explore making your own dishes such as ravioli, or your own shapes, which can be fun if made into a kiddies cooking activity. It’s something I’d imagine Italian grandmas (nonnas) would do with their grandchildren to pass on their traditions.

We need to document more of our own dishes to pass on this knowledge. Thinking about it, there are not a lot of traditional Namibian cuisine cookbooks on the shelves of bookstores. This is rather sad.

One of the joys of fresh pasta lies in its versatility. It absorbs the flavours of accompanying sauces easily, creating a combination of taste and texture.

I will be spending Easter weekend alone and have decided to try out a recipe I ‘re-invented’ some time back. I got a bunch of tomatoes out of the garden and froze a few, left some in the refrigerator and the rest I left out to dry in the sun. This recipe for sun-dried stuffed pasta shows off how easily you can make something magical from simple ingredients.

Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Pasta


  • 200 grams flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (soak them in a bit of water to lightly rehydrate them, before measuring them out)
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chili flakes


  1. On a clean surface, mound the flour and create a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and add a pinch of salt. Using a fork, gradually mix the flour into the eggs until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough for about eight to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, feta, garlic and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roll out dough into thin sheets using a rolling pin. Cut the dough into squares, about 5 cm wide. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each pasta square. Fold the dough over the filling to create a triangle, pressing the edges firmly.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the stuffed pasta in batches for two to three minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove the pasta with a slotted spoon and place to the side. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and spring onions. You could also add grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
  5. Alternatively, you could also make a simple white sauce to which you add chili flakes, a vegetable stock cube, black pepper, Parmesan and a spoon of tomato puree. Place pasta in the sauce and stir gently for two minutes, then serve with crumbled blue cheese and spring onions.

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