super yum! jEN makes pasta and you can too…

I’ve had my pasta press for years. I typically use it a few times a year and everytime I do, I’m reminded of how superior fresh pasta really is. I just made two batches of the stuff, one of cracked pepper fettuccine the other of tagliatelli. We’re having a friend over for dinner tomorrow night so I decided it would be a special treat for us all to have home-made Italian. I plan on making my devilishly delicious alfredo sauce and garlic butter grilled prawns and broccoli to accompany the pasta bliss.
If you want to make your own pasta dough, it’s stupidly easy. It takes a couple of hours to do, but the middle chunk of time is just waiting the hour your dough needs to sit. Making fresh pasta is also a bit of an arm workout between kneading and either cranking it through a pasta press or rolling it out and cutting it. But, hot damn- it’s worth it.

The dough I make is 2/3 white flour 1/3 wheat, because I like to add a bit of healthy stuff to my dough. When available, I like to mix semolina flour in place of some of the white, but I didn’t this time. Here’s the basic dough recipe:

2.5 Cups of Flour
3 Eggs
1 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp of Salt
(For Cracked Pepper variety, add 2 Tbsp of coarsely ground black pepper)

Freshpasta3Freshpasta2Sift your flour into a pile on a clean, smooth surface. Make a deep crater in the middle and fill it with the other ingredients. Start mixing flour from the pile into the goo in the middle, eventually working it all in. Add sprinkles of water sparingly if the dough is really dry as you’re kneading it. Knead that thing until it nearly hurts you- then knead it some more…(15 mins is usual…) Let the ball of dough sit under a bowl for an hour. Marvel at your domestic handiness with a glass of wine and wait out that hour. Then take out your dough and follow the directions for your pasta press, or roll chunks of dough to desired thickness, (you want it as thin as possible because it’ll chub up in the boiling water), and cut by hand. To do that, roll your thin, (and maybe dusted with flour to prevent sticking), dough loosely like a rug so you can cut through lots of layers at once- making super sexy pasta with each slice.
Boil for around 2-3 minutes in salted water. Your noodles will float. Don’t over cook it. Drain them, toss with olive oil, dress with your favourite sauce and eat up! You can refrigerate the fresh pasta for up to two days or freeze it for later use.

Have friends over for dinner. They’ll think you’ve gone all Martha on ’em. I won’t tell that you got your kitchen cleverness from regularjen… your secret safe with me.

smooches with parsley~

(see- there’s more to me than tattoos and geekiness! 😉 )