Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pasta! REAL homemade pasta!!!

Today is my first full day home since Thanksgiving, and I have a lot of housework to catch up on, as well as errands to run and general stuff to do around the house and yard.  So, instead of doing any of that, I decided to take advantage of my mother's generous spirit and make homemade pasta using the pasta roller and chitarra I borrowed from her while I was home for Thanksgiving.
Of course, I totally spaced on asking my mother for her pasta recipe, so I found one online and decided to try a half-batch of it to start:
Fresh Semolina and Egg Pasta
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semolina flour
pinch of salt
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
To start, sift together the semolina flour, white flour and salt onto a clean surface in your kitchen.  Make a mountain out of the flour mixture, then make a deep well in the center.  
Break the eggs into the well and add the olive oil.  
Whisk eggs gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well.  When the mixture becomes too thick to work with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.  (I had to drizzle a little bit of water in at this point, because things were not looking so hot.)
 Knead dough for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and supple.  (It will still be VERY firm.)  
 Dust dough as needed with either flour to keep it from becoming too sticky. 
Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic.  Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
After the rest period, roll out dough with a pasta machine or a rolling pin to desired thickness.  
This will require a few trips through your pasta roller, making the dough thinner with each pass.
Now here is where I got sooooo very lucky!  My mother loaned me her pasta chitarra, which is a beautiful instrument for making pasta like spaghetti and linguini.  You simply lay the rolled pasta dough on the top of the strings and use a rolling pin to press it through the wire strings.  

We had to do a little coaxing to get the pasta to release, but we ended up with this lovely pile of pasta in the chitarra!
If your mouth isn't watering, it should be!  Isn't this beautiful?!?!?
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.  Add several teaspoons salt.  Cook pasta until tender but not mushy, 2 to 8 minutes in boiling water, depending on how thick your pasta is.
Drain immediately and serve with your favorite sauce. DO NOT USE A JAR OF SAUCE or I will be forced to hunt you down and punish you.  

I tossed it with some garlic- and herb- infused olive oil (that I made during the rest period) and freshly-grated Parmagiano Reggiano:

I chose to use the chitarra, but you can cut this into your favorite shape or fill it and make some ravioli, which is our next project!  Whatever you do, let me assure you:  Keep EVERYTHING dusted with flour from the rolling to the cutting and setting aside, or you'll have a big stuck-together mess instead of lovely pasta.
And it is lovely.  YUM.


    1. OMG, El, you have no idea: These noodles were simple and delicious. Uff. I wish I could mass-produce them! LOL

    2. Way to prioritize: Beeeyooteeful pasta is far more important than housework. Lovely--thanks for sharing!