Scott Williams: Capunti with Lamb Shoulder and Fresh Peas Recipe

Capunti With Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder and Fresh Peas
Scott Williams
Serves 4

Capunti is a great little short pasta that comes from Puglia. It’s simply made by hand and with its super chewy texture it goes beautifully with tender, slow-roast lamb and sweet fresh peas.

For Pasta: 
250g semolina 
250g “00” flour
225mL water

For Lamb: 
1 small lamb shoulderbone in – Farmer George  
2 brown onions, diced into large chunks – Block 11 
1 carrot, diced into large chunks – Block 11 
5 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed – Birriwa Homestead 
1 bunch thyme, chopped – Darling Mills Farm 
2 bay leaves – Darling Mills Farm 
500mL Shiaoxing wine 
200mL olive oil – Alto Olives 
Sea salt to taste – Olsson’s Sea Salt 
Black pepper to taste

180g fresh peas, podded – Zavaglia’s Gourmet Produce 
1 tbsp butter – Pepe Saya 
1tsp sherry vinegar 
1 handful roughly chopped flat leaf parsley – Kurrawong Organics


  1. Place lamb in a tub or a bowl to marinate along with the onions, carrot, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Give it a little toss around. Add wine and olive oil. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  3. Pop the lamb shoulder with all the veg and liquid into a snug fitting deep baking tray. Season liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add 100mL of water and pop into the oven for around 2.5 hours. Be sure to keep basting the meat as it’s roasting (every half hour ideally).
  4. Whilst the meat is cooking, make your pasta dough. Start by mixing the two flours together in a large bowl, make a little well in the middle and slowly pour the water in, gently mixing it together. Once you’ve formed a rough dough, pour it out onto the bench. If mixing in a stand mixer with dough hook, work on low speed adding water slowly to the dough and continue to knead on low speed for five minutes until very smooth and elastic. Wrap and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. If making by hand, because this dough won’t be going through a pasta machine and getting laminated, you have to knead it really well. Work the heels of your hands into the dough back and forth. If you find the dough is a little crumbly or shaggy, add a spritz of water to the dough. Keep kneading for about ten minutes. Your arms will be tired! Unlike bread dough, you can’t over knead pasta dough, but it can dry out, so don’t be afraid to wet your hands a little if you need. Your dough will be ready when it feels strong and bouncy. Wrap it up and put it aside to rest for at least half an hour – this will allow the gluten to rest as well as letting the dough hydrate properly.
  6. After the dough has rested cut it in half, leaving one piece wrapped. Chop the half into about 10 pieces, take one and start rolling it into a long sausage, about 15mm thick. Chop the sausage into roughly 50mm lengths. You want to try and work as fast as possible, so the dough doesn’t dry out. If you need, place a tea towel over the dough piecesTake one little sausage and using three fingers, push down into the dough and drag it back towards yourself. It should look like a little empty pea pod. Take time to get the shape right, you can try with two or even four fingers if you prefer. Dust the finished shapes with a little semolina so they don’t stick together. Once you’ve finished with the dough, cover the pasta with a tea towel and set aside. If you’re making it ahead of time, allow them to sit for 20 minutes and then pop them in an airtight container and in the fridge to keep fresh.
  7. The meat will be ready when it’s tender and almost falling off the bone. Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Gently shred it off the bone. Keep all the veg and cooking liquor with it.
  8. Boil a large pot of water.
  9. In a large pan, gently warm up your lamb with sauce on a low heat. Add a splash of water. Depending on the size of the lamb shoulder, you might only need some of the meat. You can keep remaining in the fridge or frozen for another delicious meal!
  10. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes before adding your peas and cooking for a further minute. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the pasta and peas from the water and add to the lamb.
  11. Increase the heat a little. Add butter and melt it into the sauce. The sauce should become glossy and coat the pasta without looking too soupy. Add parsley and a splash of sherry vinegar, toss again. Taste for seasoning and add a little salt if needed. Add a good amount of fresh cracked black pepper and serve.

This recipe is presented in partnership with Smeg Australia.