I apologize if the Italian-sounding name of this blog threw you off, but aside from my most favorite thing ever, I don’t really eat that much pasta. I certainly don’t hate pasta, I just think it has a few strikes against it: it’s nutritionally lacking, it’s generally so over-cooked that it’s merely a soggy vehicle for whatever delicious sauce has compelled me to give it a go, and I truly find things like bulgar, polenta, and farro to be far more flavorful beds for sausage, pesto, and ratatouille, to name a few. But that’s just me and my crazy biases talking again, so fear not, friends: tonight, I give you pasta.
I’ve been dying to try making my own pasta for quite some time. Maybe it’s the hours of Iron Chef I watch, where Ann Borell is, perpetually it seems, cracking eggs into a concave of flour and feeding the finished dough seamlessly through her handy dandy pasta machine. She makes it look so damn easy. And the judges make it look so damn delicious.
But alas, I lack one key element of that equation: the pasta machine. Which is, really, the part that makes homemade pasta “easy.” So when I saw a recipe for homemade pasta dough without the magic machine, I went for it.
1 – When you think you’ve rolled it thin enough, roll it thinner. Seriously. Walk away, let it rest, it will get thinner.
2 – When you boil it, against all odds, it will puff up slightly. Making your pasta resemble those crunchy, dry Chinese noodles is not the goal of this exercise, so again: roll them really, really thin.
3 – I guess it’s not fair to say I “learned” this because I already knew it, but they take literally three minutes to cook. Don’t walk away – they’ll be done before you get back.
4 – Whatever cluster or jumble you put them into the boiling water in is the shape they’re going to hang onto for dear life, regardless of your best efforts to make them more flexible. Perhaps this was just because mine were so much thicker than regular noodles. I can’t be sure.
5 – They are delicious. More flavorful and heartier than any whole-wheat pasta I’ve ever gotten from a box, and really, not a whole lot more work. Please don’t cover them in some cream-based, heavy sauce. Garlic, olive oil and a little parmesan is really all these babies need to shine.
Adapted from Sugarlaws
2 cups whole-wheat flour
Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, flour, and salt. Add water, little by little, until a dough forms. Dump dough, and its floury bits, onto a lightly flour surface, and knead to form a cohesive ball. Roll the ball as thin as you possibly can with a rolling pin, then cut dough into strips. If the dough springs back while you’re rolling, let it rest a few minutes, then try again.
Once you have cut all your dough into noodles, cook in boiling, salted water (in batches if necessary) for 3 – 4 minutes (the noodles will float to the top). Top with something light and fresh, so you can really taste your hardwork.