For me, the most versatile pan than you can buy is a Le Creuset cast iron shallow casserole; it’s a great stir fry pan, baking and serving dish, perfect for many different dishes from risottos to chicken alla cacciatora, fish pie, tarts, focaccia or even dessert like tarte tatin or clafoutis!
The Le Creuset is not only beautiful, but handy as a serving dish, as cast iron keeps food warm for longer and the impermeable enamel coating is perfectly safe for raw or cooked food storage and great for marinating, even with acidic ingredients such lemon and wine. You can use your casserole on all hob types, including induction. Le Creuset cast iron casseroles have been hand crafted in France since 1925 and are the lightest on the market.
The following recipe is an Italian main dish using seasonal products and you can use this dish for making the sauce and serving at the table, perfect for a dinner party or buffet .
Ingredients (Serves 4)
for the fresh pasta:
400 gr plain flour
for the sauce :
350g of asparagus
250g of peas
100g of feta cheese
1 clove of garlic
50g of parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta, put the flour and eggs into a stand mixer with the ‘k’ attachment and mix until well combined and the mixture comes together as a dough or if you don’t have a mixer put the flour on a wooden board and in the centre crack the eggs, slowly mixing the eggs with the flour with a fork and work the dough with your hands for at least 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover with clining film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Flour the pasta machine. Cut the pasta dough and pass it through the pasta machine at its widest setting. Repeat this process, decreasing the roller setting down grade by grade with each pass until the dough is thin enough.
Flour the worktop & roll out the pasta sheet cutting it into irregular diamonds shapes ( maltagliati ).
Heat the oil with the garlic inside the shallow casserole, when the oil is hot put the chopped asparagus and cook them for about 2 mins. In the meanwhile boil the peas for 2 mins then drain them and add a 1/3 of the peas to the asparagus, adjust with salt & pepper.
Blend the peas, parmesan, mint, basil, salt and olive oil with an hand blender until smooth and add the pea pesto to the asparagus/peas.
Cook the fresh pasta in salted water, drain it and mix it with the sauce, add the crumbled feta cheese on top, a good pinch of freshly ground pepper on top and a generous amount of good extra virgin oilve oil.
You can serve it straight away inside the shallow casserole.
(I used the 30 cm shallow casserole)