I’ve had some extremely good luck in the kitchen lately, i.e. no kitchen disasters (and I hope I don’t jinx myself saying that because I have a very big canning day full of new recipes ahead of me this weekend). I even felt invincible enough this week to try making my own pasta again (third time’s a charm and all that crap). I don’t know if it’s because the recipe itself is so very simple or because I have had the aforementioned good kitchen luck sprinkled liberally upon me, but this time it worked. It really, really worked. I’ve wasted many cups of flour, eggs, and expensive semolina on my quest for fresh pasta and in the end all it took was a few simple ingredients and some patience. Okay a lot of patience. I will admit though that until I get a pasta roller, I will probably save this project for a “once in awhile on a weekend” where I have time and energy to because, while pasta can certainly be rolled out by hand, it takes a lot of effort to make it the right thickness. It truly beats out dried grocery store pasta though – the sauce made it silky and rich and wonderful. If you’re up to a kitchen project, I highly suggest this one.
Basic Pasta Dough
recipe from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon
3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour (I used 3 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. Pour the mixture into the flour. Use a fork to moisten everything until it makes a sticky dough. (You can add more flour if it’s too sticky, but I didn’t need anymore). Knead everything until it comes together and keep kneading until the dough is elastic and sort of shiny. This literally took me a full 10 minutes to do. Wrap the dough in a damp towel (not a paper towel because that will stick, use an actual kitchen towel) and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Scatter some flour onto a counter. After the dough has rested, cut it into quarters. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten the ball on the floured surface, then roll into a large square about 1/8 inch thick. I rolled mine with my heavy ceramic rolling pin and rolled it until I could practically see through it. Scatter some flour onto things as necessary to keep your dough from sticking too much to the counter. Repeat the rolling step with all the balls. Cut the rolled pasta sheets into the shape you want – I stuck with wide, flat noodles (like tagliatelle) but I think this would be awesome as ravioli too. To cook the pasta, add water and salt to a large pot, bring to a boil, then cook the noodles about 5-7 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce. And breadsticks. Gotta have garlicky, buttery carbs, yes?