One of my most favorite things in the entire world is pasta. I could literally eat an entire box on its own and not think twice. I’ve never made my own fresh pasta so I set it as a goal to do that this month. As if she could read my mind, my mom actually had boxed up her old pasta maker for me once I got back from D.C. and I finally got the chance to use it this weekend! For years I’ve been making a crazy delicious sauce that I’ll share in this post as well.
After scouring the internet for a tips and recipes for pasta dough I found it’s really quite simple. For my first pasta making attempt I combined a few methods I found. For this dough I used: Flour, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil and Eggs. A good rule of thumb is to use one egg per serving.
Of course if you’re making fresh pasta you can mix the dough by hand the way you see chefs do in movies. For this method, I used a food processor to mix the dough ingredients which freed up my hands for other important things, like sipping wine.
First step: put the eggs, salt, pepper, and a little bit of olive oil in the food processor and give it a little mix.
Then I put nine LARGE rounded tablespoons in the processor and used the pulse setting to intermittently mix the dough.
If the dough is still too wet (which mine was) just add more flour and pulse some more. Once it becomes a more solid blob it’s good to take out!
Next, sprinkle some flour on smooth surface or a cutting board and knead the dough for about five minutes. Then put it in a bowl to rest for 30 minutes.
At this point things got a little difficult for me, so now this is the part of blog where you get to learn from my mistakes! If you can tell from this photo, the middle of my dough was still ‘gummy.’ That is non buono when the machine is trying to cut it into noodles, they’ll all stick together. You’ll want your dough to be pretty dry, so if this happens to you even after you let it sit you can let it sit longer or do what we did. After cutting it into four pieces we rolled each piece so they were thin, added flour and let the pieces dry out for a few minutes and then everything else worked like a charm!
The reason why you want to cut your dough into pieces is because once you roll them out in the pasta maker, they become wider and quite a bit longer, so smaller pieces are easier to manage. After that, it’s time to start rolling out your pasta! Turn the pasta maker setting to the widest opening (Setting 1). I dusted some flour on the machine to help make sure the dough didn’t stick. Work the dough through a few times and then switch the setting up one notch, which will make the opening of the roller a little smaller and will roll the pasta out a little thinner. Continue that process until your pasta dough is very thin.
Then it’s time for the fun part! We decided to make fettuccine so when we were rolling out the dough we stopped when it was on Setting 6, which on my machine was the second to last setting you could use. This step is pretty self-explanatory and just super fun to watch as all the noodles take shape and fall into a pile!
There you have it! Fresh pasta! You can treat this as you would to cook boxed pasta, although it won’t need as much time in boiling water. Ours cooked for just under 5 minutes and it was perfect! Now for, in my opinion, the best pasta sauce in the world to top your homemade pasta..
I promise you something magical happens in the pot when I make this sauce. You only need three ingredients (plus salt and pepper for taste). When I first made this from a recipe my little sister found online it was so insane how flavorful and full this sauce tastes even without garlic/herbs etc. You’ll need: 28oz of Whole Peeled Tomatoes, One medium yellow onion and 5 tablespoons of butter. This is literally so easy to make and you don’t need to be too hands on with it, so I started making this a little before we started rolling out our dough and both the pasta and the sauce were ready around the same time.
Peel and halve your onion and put everything in a medium pot over medium heat. (I told you this would be easy). Then bring the sauce to a simmer and let it make your kitchen smell like an Italian dream for about 45 minutes.
You’ll want to stir the sauce occasionally and mash the whole tomatoes into the sauce. I typically use a fork, but this time I used a potato masher which, not only felt oddly satisfying, but actually worked really well.
When the sauce is done you can discard the onion. Or, if you love onions like my boyfriend and I, you can snack on it while your pasta cooks. Now you can add salt and pepper to taste and I promise you, after whatever magic happens between the butter and the flavor the onion adds while it soaks and simmers with the tomatoes, you will not be disappointed.
Not a bad first attempt if you ask me. There’s just something really satisfying about sitting down to a pasta dinner that you made yourself. I’m definitely looking forward to honing my pasta making skills over the summer!