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Pasta by hand

January 12, 2010

One bite of homemade pasta will make you never want dried, bought & boiled again.  Even if you upper arms are sore from rolling out or your noodles are shaped funny because you forgot to borrow the pasta machine from your neighbor.

Homemade pasta & sauce

Homemade pasta--or, dinner!

I attempted a half recipe of Mario Batali’s basic pasta dough and made what I’m now considering the mistake of adding cold water and more oil so that I could actual form a dough instead of sticking with the stiff and slow-to-respond crumbs as is.

The ingredients assembled

The ingredients assembled

The pasta seemed to cry out for something more, at least when I started, since I was thinking I’d toss it in butter and garlic.  So I added dried & chopped tomato and finely ground basil (both from this past summer’s garden!) to the dough, too.

Flour + egg + oil = pasta

Mixing the egg & oil into the flour

My delightful additions didn’t add much.  The tomato wasn’t cut into small enough piece, so it snagged my knife as I cut my ribbons of pasta and tore the long, luscious and (to be honest) often lumpy strands.  It also held me up when it came to super-thin rolling.  I could go no thinner than the thickness of my tomato, which, to be sure, was not terribly thick.  But after an hour of attempting to strive for thinner thin pasta, I had no desire to see my massacred ribbons in all the glory of garlic and butter, so I threw together a five-minute tomato sauce.

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed or minced as desired
  • 1/2 Italian frying pepper, sliced
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • a few drops of white wine vinegar (or fresh squeezed lemon juice)
  • a sprinkling of sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Saute the onion until translucent.  Add garlic and pepper; fry until soft.   Pour crushed tomatoes in & add vinegar and sugar.  Season to taste. Cook on medium-high heat until desired consistency.  Toss with freshly cooked pasta.   Serve with small medallions of fresh mozzarella.

Homemade pasta & sauce with cheese

Pasta & cheese

Next time, I’ll borrow James’ pasta machine.  But there will be a next time.  Fresh pasta is definitely worth it.

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