Friday, March 15, 2013
There is nothing in this world like fresh pasta.
Okay, maybe baked brie straight out of the oven, drizzled with honey. Or fresh burrata in a puddle of the most green olive oil you've ever seen. BUT THAT'S IT.
Fresh pasta is a super fun food to make with a significant other, friend, or family member. I first learned how to make fresh pasta while visiting an old neighbor of my friend, Ashley, in Italy. She was from the states but had married an Italian man and had been living in Italy. It was amazing because she actually taught us how to make the pasta without a pasta maker; we used an old broomstick, (broom removed) and a knife to cut the pasta.
The second time I made fresh pasta was during a wine tasting/cooking class at a villa in the hills of Tuscany. Sounds amazing? It was. I'll tell you about the second best day (after my wedding day) of my life some other time.
Brett and I rarely ever make fresh pasta, I'm not sure why, probably because it can be time consuming, but we really should more often. Brett's grandma actually gave us our pasta maker as a wedding gift. It's the same pasta maker that she and her late husband used to make pasta with, so it always feels extra special using it.
This is a very basic pasta recipe that I feel works best. In this recipe I used organic whole wheat flour, but you can use whichever flour you please. Finely ground pastry flour would probably work best.
Ingredients: (serves 4-6 people)
2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
Place the two cups of flour in a mound on a workable surface. Make a hole in the center of the flour, big enough for 3 eggs to fit without spilling over the flour. Add the eggs, salt, and olive oil to the whole. Gently break the yolks and incorporate the flour into the liquids, adding a bit of flour at a time from the sides. Gradually the dough will take shape. Once it's all incorporated, knead the dough for roughly 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and pliable. If the dough is too sticky you can add more flour, if it's too dry you can add a tiny bit of water at a time. You do not want it to be sticky, however.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
After that, unwrap the dough and split it into four pieces. Using one piece at a time, gently pull it through your pasta machine until desired thickness, and put it through either the thick or thin noodle setting. You might want to cut the noodles so they're not too long. Place noodles on a floured surface and top with more flour. Repeat this until all the dough is done.
Boil water and gently add noodles, allow to boil for 3-4 minutes and drain. Serve immediately with your sauce of choice.