Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fresh Pasta Recipe

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”  Julia Child

Whether you are missing Italy, wishing you could be there or just really hungry, do not despair, a  dish of fresh pasta will have you instantly feeling happy or like Italians say: Felice.  This post started with my dissatisfaction with the the local spaghetti found at my grocery story.  After living in Italy for three years and coming back to America, it was hard to even have the courage to try Italian food here and be disappointed.  So, after the all-Italian U.S. Open final (tennis, for those who don't follow the sport) I was ready to celebrate with an Italian dinner, simple but good.

As in many other times, where I wasn't able to find the food I craved in a strange country (read bagels in Sri Lanka or pizza in China), I decided to try to make fresh pasta at home.  If you are interested in eating clean or un-procesing your food give making home-made pasta a try, it's not that difficult.  Here is how to do it:

You can make as much or as little as you want.  For each egg, use 100 grams of flour.

1. Start by pouring the flour on a clean surface and making a volcano.
2. Crack your eggs in the hole of the volcano you just made.  Add the pinch of salt.
3. Take a look at your volcano and strengthen the sides that are too thin.
4. With a fork, start by gently whisking the eggs incorporating the sides of the flour volcano, bit by bit.  There are tons of videos on how to do this.
5.  Once the wet egg/flour mixture starts getting harder to move, drop the fork and start mixing the ingredients with your hands.  Make a ball of the dough and start kneading for 15 mins.

6. Let your ball rest for 30 minutes covered in plastic wrap.
7.  Take you dough and in a floured surface use a rolling pin to start flattening it until you reach a 1/2  millimeter thickness.  Or use a pasta machine to roll your pasta out to the desired thickness (use small chunks of dough, not the whole ball).  Let your final pasta dry for around 20 minutes after sprinkling a little bit of flour on top and covering it with a plastic wrap.

With the sheets of pasta, depending on what you do with them, you can get, lasagna sheets, tagliatelle, fettuccine, ravioli, even bow ties (make a small rectangle and pinch it in the middle).

That day I made baked lasagna and it was over before I could take a picture of it.  I hope you give this recipe a try.  I messed up the first batch letting my eggs escape the volcano too soon, the second time I did better.  Don't give up, the results are super yummy!

Arrivederci for now,

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