The best pasta isn’t worried over or measured to death. Did you know that? I didn’t. I have shied away from making pasta since the unforgettable time that I had friends over and didn’t make enough pasta – so cooked regular pasta with my fresh pasta. Yeah. That didn’t work too well.
Recently, I learned a lot from this book, right here.
So avert your eyes from that gummy mess from my past, and look on this…fresh, beautiful pasta. No measuring needed. And believe it or not, but that amount below fed my family of four. No leftovers!
You need flour, an egg or two, and some water. Mix together until it holds; then put dough on a flour-covered board and knead for about five minutes. Let it rest under a bowl on your counter (the same bowl you first mixed it in) for about an hour or so – more or less won’t kill you. (And yes, this is the recipe in the book, more or less. But not verbatim!)
Then roll it out with a rolling pin (or a pasta maker, if you have one), cut with a sharp knife or pizza cutter (I prefer the pizza cutter), and you can either let it hang like I did until the sauce is made and the water boiling, or you can pile it gently on your cutting board until ready to cook.
Use a big pot, add a generous handful of salt to to the boiling water, and put your pasta in. Once it boils again, watch it – you shouldn’t need more than 3 to 5 minutes depending on how thick your pasta is. Cook until al dente, and top with your favorite sauce.
Delish! And no measuring needed. My oldest son watched me make this batch – he’s going to make it next week, since it is so easy to do. And so tasty.
The sauce, however, was something else entirely. Took way too long (though it was tasty). This pasta works great with a simple (store bought) pesto sauce, or your favorite jarred sauce, as well as any fresh sauce recipes you may have. Or you can indulge with the following.
My favorite pasta sauce recipe is a garlic-cream-cheese sauce. Ready? Here’s the recipe – 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup butter, 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan or asiago cheese. Chopped fresh basil if you wish.
Melt butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic, stir briefly. Add cream and heat until it thickens and reduces a bit, maybe 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t scorch! When thickened, add mozzarella cheese – stir until melted. Add final cheese, and fresh basil if desired. Can be made up to an hour in advance – merely reheat gently over low heat in pan, then pour over pasta. (Now, if you know me, you’ll know I always add more cheese than is called for in the recipe. Always. Just saying.)
I made this for friends, and added in fresh-steamed broccoli. I will also at times cut down the butter to 1/4 cup – there isn’t a noticeable difference in flavor (but yes in calories!). A little of this sauce over pasta goes a long way. (Put a good red wine behind this meal – either a blend that you like, or a Zinfandel or Pinot Noir – and you’ll have a dinner to remember!)
Sorry, no picture of this sauce – I didn’t think to take it. But consider making pasta from scratch – it isn’t as difficult as all the recipe mavens would have you believe. Nor do you need a pasta machine of any kind – though it does roll the dough thinner than you or I can roll it.
Experiment, and get the family involved. You won’t regret it!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope to get back to regular posts next week. Stay tuned…and remember to Drink Responsibly!