Home made pasta (or, how a girl was converted).
I don’t like pasta.
I know, that sounds awfully cold– like I just hit pasta with a fly-swatter. That’s not what I meant at all. Let me explain:
In 2001, while in Rome with my sister, Nikki, and my friend, Adrienne, we found ourselves hungry and tired and lost. We stumbled under a railroad track, and out the other side, and came across a tiny little restaurant called “Antica Posta”. It looked like a nothing place, with a dirty facade, with a plastic covered outdoor seating area, with rickety tables, and the owner waiting tables. We ordered our food unenthusiastically. But when I tasted Adrienne’s spaghetti pomodoro, it was like a light bulb went off somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind. I had no idea that pasta could taste like that. It wasn’t just something that you ate when you were a starving student. It was a revelation. I ate spaghetti pomodoro for every meal, every day of our trip. And I gained 10 lbs in ten days.
And a few weeks ago, Jam mentioned something to me about me not liking pasta. And I had to explain that I don’t DISlike pasta, but that it’s not my first choice of foods. That there are a few places that do a really good pasta– my favourite Italian restaurant in the world (that’s a five minute walk from my house) is one of them– but that they make their own, and that store-bought pasta just doesn’t do it for me.
And then he came home with a pasta maker.
I am the luckiest woman.
So we had a cooking party– in which I made the pasta, and he made pomodoro (from scratch!) and meatballs, and we threw together a peach tart, and it was so satisfyingly stodgy and filling that we sat on the couch for a couple of hours, groaning in fullness, but with big fat smiles on our faces. Because one cannot make a meal that good and not be very very proud of oneself.
We’re making a whole bunch of pomodoro sauce today (since it turned out so well), so I’ll be sure to take notes and pictures and post that later in the week!
Home Made Pasta
400g semolina flour
Pour the semolina flour into a large bowl, and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, and then pour, slowly, into the well in the centre of the flour. Then, taking a chopstick or a fork, start stirring the eggs rapidly, allowing the liquid to pull in the flour. The eggs will get thicker and thicker, until it’s a big dough-y mess, at which point you just start mixing it all together as best you can. After a while, you can use your hands. You’re trying to get all of the flour into the eggs. And it will go.
Separate into about 4 big lumps, and roll each one out a little. Then feed it through your pasta machine and make whatever size and shapes you want.
If you’re adventurous, and you don’t have a pasta machine, then roll each one out as thin as you can possibly make it. And then make it thinner. I love papardelle, so I cut it into long thick strips. But you can make whatever shapes you want.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, then add about quarter of a cup of salt, and a bit of olive oil. For machine-made pasta, boil for 3 1/2 minutes. For hand-rolled pasta, boil for 5.
Remove, strain, and dress with whatever sauce you want– with pasta this good, basil and butter works for me.
This post is shared at Monday Mania.