Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I love pasta. I love it so much. Being the pasta lover that I am, I finally realized - why have I never made my own?! I've always heard that homemade pasta is approximately 23059872938472x better and more of a PITA than store-bought varieties, so I waited until I was feeling extra-committed before embarking on this adventure. But a few weeks ago the urge to cook struck me, and I invited the wonderful Sarah over for dinner before hitting the town for a girls' night. Sarah was so eager to help that she ended up doing all the hard work for me! She mixed the dough, kneaded it, rolled it out (with a tapered pin nonetheless, what a trooper), and cut it into nearly-perfect fettucini-shaped pieces. All the while I threw together a rustic tomato sauce (paled in comparison to the pasta) and kept Sarah's wine glass very full. It took a long time, but it was well worth the effort I didn't exert. It is hard to describe why it tastes so good; I suppose the best way is just really extra pasta-y and far from bland. After I move, I will surely keep my eyes peeled for any cheap manual pasta-rolling machines - until then, I need to keep my crap to a minimum even though I have so much semolina flour left over.
This recipe is deceptively short (and taken directly from the side of the Bob's Red Mill semolina flour bag). It is much easier to write than it is to execute, so I would recommend only trying this if you have an extraordinarily adept partner like Sarah, or you are ready to slave over a meal for well over an hour. I can absolutely guarantee it is soooo worth it. And the leftovers might be better than serving immediately. Or maybe it was because we ate it after lots of margaritas and champagne. I'm going to go with the leftovers are pretty effing tasty no matter your BAC.
(aka... I have a whole new respect for Italian grandmothers)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 Cups semolina flour
Combine flour and salt in medium mixing bowl. Beat eggs in separate bowl with water and oil. Add to flour and mix to make a stiff dough. Knead 10 minutes or until dough feels elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. On a lightly floured surface (all purpose is fine for this), roll out to desired thickness and cut into desired shape. (You'll probably want to roll it out even thinner than in the above picture, and it might even be a little transparent. The gluten in the semolina flour is really stretchy, so don't be afraid of the dough falling apart too easily.) Bring large pot of water with 1/2 tsp oil floated on top to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. When making lasagna, no need to boil noodles.