The Greene Thumb - Homemade Pasta with the Family
Now that the Holidays are behind us and a new year is upon us- my family likes to spend some quality time with each other. For us, this means gathering at my aunt’s house to make PASTA and sip wine, lots and lots of wine.
I come from a moderately sized family but it seems we have all had a part in the hospitality industry at some point, which of course gives us all bragging rights (NOT). We usually start this gathering out by a friendly argument of who has the best pasta recipe. The conversation is based around how many eggs you incorporate, what kind of flour you use, is this the right time to use the expensive olive oil, and so on and so on. I am a firm believer in a basic pasta dough recipe- it has never let me down and it’s easy to remember...no funny business. Note: Many internet recipes call for you to add water to the dough. I DO NOT add water to my dough, as I’ve noticed it makes the pasta taste gummy. If your dough feels dry, don’t panic and add water, you just need to knead it a little to incorporate the oil and egg moisture.
Basic Pasta Dough
4C All Purpose Flour
4 Large Eggs
½ teaspoon evoo
Mound 4 cups flour in the center of your work space. Make a well in the middle and add the beaten eggs and olive oil. Slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid mixture until you start forming a pasta dough ball. At this point pick the ball up and scrape your work area clean. Dust a new layer of flour on your work space and begin to knead the dough for 6 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl covered with a cloth. Set aside for 30 minutes. Then you are ready to shape your pasta as desired.
We take the “ravioli route” mostly during these get-togethers. Pictured is a filling of ground veal, herbs and spinach combined with egg and a small amount of bread crumbs. Taking a vegetarian route is fun too- think butternut squash or pumpkin! Boil these plump squares of pasta in salted water until they rise to the top approx. 3 minutes. To make sure we have 100% yield we cut the trimming into fettuccine and hang from a hanger as a pasta chandelier. Allow these to dry overnight and make them into a weekend seafood pasta with a quick blistered tomato sauce and Parmesan.
Once you’ve mastered the feeling of rolling out homemade pasta dough you will be unstoppable & the possibilities of creating your own comfort food at home is endless. It is sure to do the trick in these cold weather months!