Posts Tagged ‘homemade pasta’

How to Make Pasta from Scratch Even if You’re Half Irish.

Posted on April 17th, 2012 by Tonia 2 Comments

It has been a while since I have shared a recipe on the blog, so it’s very convenient that last night I had a dream that I was a rosy, round, jolly old Nonna {much like my own Nonna}, standing behind a kitchen island with a huge smile on my face, kneading a ball of perfectly smooth, yellow pasta dough.

This is hopefully exactly what will be happening in about 50 years when I am in fact a jolly old Nonna. It was a cute dream, but I woke up needing to eat pasta immediately. Only, the stupid pantry was void of store-bought pasta. NOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!

Ok, it’s fine, I can do this, right? The ability to make amazing homemade pasta from scratch is one of the perks of having Italian blood. It’s part of my genetic code. It’s the trade-off for having to share the race with Snooki. We have to put up with her, but we’re really awesome at cooking so it’s fair.

But…..I’m also half Irish, and everyone knows that Irish people think that cabbage and potatoes boiled in a pot of water is a delicious, flavorful soup that can be eaten every day forever without ever getting sick of it. Also they love capers on everything.

What ARE capers? Beans? Peas? Bugs? Tiny round green things that taste so awful that they need to be pickled and salted the hell out of in order to be edible? Bingo. {Don’t be mad, fellow Irishman. We have lots of great qualities that make everyone who’s not Irish envy us. But our food isn’t one of them. Besides Irish Creme. Good job there.}

So I get a little nervous every time I cook, because you never know which side of my genetic inheritance is going to surface that day. There’s a 50/50 chance this pasta is going to taste like the Blarney Stone.

I decided it would be wise to follow instructions instead of resting solely on my magical Italian powers unreliable cooking skillz.

Here are the steps:

Measure out 3/4 cup flour + 1 egg for each person that’s going to eat. I like to use 1/2 semolina flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour.

Spoon the flour on your work surface, form a well in the middle, and crack the eggs into the well. Add a drop of olive oil.

Use a fork to break the yolks and gently pull in the flour until the eggs are mixed in.

Scrape your work surface clean or move your ball of dough to a new surface that is lightly sprinkled with flour. Start kneading the dough with your hands, adding water if it’s too dry, or more flour if it’s too sticky. Knead until soft and pliable {about 7-10 min.}

If the dough springs right back after you poke it, it’s ready. It should look smooth and pillowy. Pat the dough into a ball and place a bowl over it. Let the dough rest under the bowl for 30 min {a good time to prepare a sauce to go with the pasta!}

Roll out or shape your pasta however you want, either using a pasta-maker or by hand. I went the easy route and rolled my pasta into a half-inch thick snake, sliced it like a banana, and pressed my thumb into each slice to form little “ear” shapes.

Toss the pasta with flour as soon as you shape it. Otherwise, the pasta will start drying and stick together, and will cook in a big yucky clump. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer pasta for 3 minutes. Test. Cook more if needed.

Drain and toss with whatever sauce you cooked up {fellow Irishmen: do NOT put capers on this pasta! Back away from the capers!}