Happy Monday, everybody! Yea, we’re not thrilled either. But how was your weekend? Did you make anything special? Well, what a coincidence… so did we!
In fact, we spent all of Sunday afternoon preparing Papa’s basic pasta sauce, Papa’s famous meatballs, and fresh homemade pasta. It was quite the authentic Italian Sunday dinner, as the aforementioned ingredients were turned into spaghetti and meatballs and a very cheesy meatball lasagne.
We would whole-heartedly recommend making your own pasta, if the mood strikes. It’s easier than you might think and tastes infinitely better than the kind you buy at the store. Fresh homemade pasta is incredibly light yet filling with a silky texture.
What You’ll Need (4-6 servings):
- 3 cups white all purpose flour (plus more for handling the dough)
- 4 large eggs
- sprinkle of salt
- water at room temperature
- standing mixer (optional)
- pasta maker (optional)
- large cutting board
- flat towels
If you’re fortunate enough to have a standing mixer from KitchenAid, we would recommend getting ol’ reliable out to play. It will only make your lives easier. While we are not this fortunate, we were spending the weekend at the Santini residence, and Mrs. S was kind enough to lend us hers for this venture.
Use the dough hook, put the mixer on low speed, and slowly drop in the eggs 1 by 1. If you’re using elbow grease instead of a machine, make a well by banking the flour up against the sides of the bowl, drop the eggs in the middle 1 by 1, and incorporate everything using your hands and/or a spatula.
Salt to taste- once ’round the bowl seems to do the trick. If the dough seems too dry, slowly add water until it reaches the desired consistency. If it’s too wet, add some flour. Hint: Adding water or flour should be done very slowly. We’re talking a sprinkle of flour or a drop of water. This is very important, so pay attention!
You’ll know the dough is the right consistency when the hook makes the pasta dough form a nice ball at the bottom of your bowl (or the dough is well incorporated.) At this point, toss it onto a floured cutting board, and knead it until the texture is smooth. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before putting it through the machine.
Here comes the fun part: get out your pasta machine! If you have one. If you don’t, we’re very happy with our choice in the Atlas Marcato Pasta Machine from Sur la Table. Jess bought it for Phil’s birthday last year:
If you’re not interested in investing in a machine, simply roll out the pasta with a rolling pin until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Then cut it into strips. They’ll probably be uneven, but just tell everyone you’re going for “rustic” pasta. It will still taste great. Scouts Honor.
Anyway, back to the recipe: Cut the dough into workable-sized balls: about 3-4″ in diameter is good. Roll it out a little (we just used our hands to pat it down) and sprinkle both sides with flour. Set the lasagne sheet setting on #1 (the widest setting) and feed the dough through the machine. Continuously feed the dough through the machine while decreasing the setting, until you’ve reached your desired thickness We stopped at 6 for lasagne sheets and 8 for angel hair pasta.
- Hint #1: Try to feed the dough into the center of the machine and use your hands to gently pull it through so it doesn’t skew off to one side.
- Hint #2:If the dough is too long to work with, simply cut it in half and do it in sections.
- Hint #3: If the dough is sticky to the touch, you may need to sprinkle flour on the dough each time you feed it into the machine. Otherwise, it may stick.
Once you’ve achieved the desired thickness, feed the dough through the spaghetti side. Flour if necessary, and let it sit for 30 minutes before boiling.
When it’s ready to go into the pot, you’ll only need to cook it for a few minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to float in the water.