This is a fiddly dish of homemade pasta wrapped into a Swiss roll shape, stuffed with pork and fennel, but it’s well worth the effort once you try it with creamy chicory on the side.
Equipment and preparation: you will need a pasta machine and a food processor.
500g/1lb 2oz cooked pork shoulder, cut into cubes
1 fennel bulb, root and top diced, fronds reserved, head finely sliced and placed in iced water for the garnish
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 medium carrot, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves only
pinch of chilli flakes
150ml/5fl oz olive oil, plus extra for frying
50g/1¾oz dried breadcrumbs
2 lemons, zest of 2, juice of ½
sea salt, to taste
For the pasta, place the flour in a food processor and pulse it. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks and keep whizzing until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (it shouldn't be dusty, nor should it be a big, gooey ball). This takes 2-3 minutes.
Tip out the dough and knead to form into a ball shape. Knead it briskly for one minute - it should be quite stiff and hard to knead. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.
Divide the dough into two and keep one of the pieces wrapped in cling film. Fold over the dough and pass it through the pasta machine at its widest setting, refolding and rolling seven times (not changing the setting) until you have a rectangular shape. It is important to work the dough until it is nice and shiny, as this gives it the "al dente" texture.
Continue putting the pasta through the pasta machine, decreasing the roller setting down grade by grade with each pass. Roll out each half into a sheet as wide as the pasta machine will allow on the number one thickness setting. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for one minute, drain and then refresh in ice-cold water. Drain and dry on a tea towel.
Lay several lengths of cling film (vertically) overlapping on a work surface and place the first sheet of pasta on horizontally towards the bottom of the cling film and then overlap the second sheet of pasta over the first by approximately 3cm/1¼in to create a large sheet of pasta.
Place a damp tea towel over the pasta to prevent it drying out while you make the filling.
For the filling, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
Heat a dash of the olive oil in a pan and fry the diced pork until golden-brown. Add the sliced fennel tops and root, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley and chilli flakes and cook for two minutes, or until soft.
Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest and season with salt to taste.
Take off the heat, transfer to a food processor and blend to a smoothish paste.
Spread the pork mixture over the pasta sheet leaving a 3-4cm/1¼-1½in gap free at the top and bottom. To get the filling evenly spread out, lay cling film over the top of it and use a rolling pin to spread.
When evenly spread out, roll it up like a Swiss roll, using the cling film to help you, keeping it nice and tight. Wrap the excess cling film around the rotolo and, if you have time, refrigerate until firm.
Cut into 2-3cm/¾-1¼in slices, flour lightly each side of the rotolo and fry in more of the olive oil until lightly golden-brown on each side. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for two minutes.
For the creamed chicory, cut the chicory in half. Trim off the root and cut finely lengthways.
Fry for one minute in a splash of olive oil. Add the stock and cook until the liquid has reduced until it’s nearly gone, then add the cream and reduce the liquid by three-quarters.
Add a few drops of lemon juice to cut the richness of the cream and add salt, to taste.
To serve, drain the now-crisp shaved fennel from the iced water and dry using a salad spinner or tea towel.
Dress with finely crushed sea salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, finely chopped fennel fronds and extra virgin olive oil. Serve the rotolo with the creamed chicory and fennel.
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