Sunday. That one day of the week for me that is completely clear from work. It’s a day for spending time with friends and loved ones, normally around the table with a big plate of something delicious.
This particular Sunday had started with a walk. Another favourite past time of mine. I just adore being out in the fresh air come rain or shine. You can’t beat the feeling exercise gives you especially when you know something yummy will be coming your way at the end of it.
On this particular Sunday afternoon, I had decided to get out my pasta machine for the first time. It was a Christmas present from Steve. Not the Christmas that has just gone though… the one before! It’s been sitting under the stairs for over a year! Most people who love cooking like me have all the gadgets but how often do we use them? I wonder how many redundant pasta machines are lurking unloved at the back of cupboards? I urge you to get yours out, dust it off and make yourself proud with some delicious handmade pasta.
I have made pasta once before but under the watchful eye of Jim from Exeter Cookery School so this was my first solo attempt. I was definitely up for the long overdue challenge. To be honest, once I got started I remembered how easy it is. With only two ingredients you can’t really get it wrong. It’s just the time it takes that is the off-putting element for me. You have to let it rest for at least 30 minutes and I am not a very patient person when food is involved. The upside is that once rolled and cut it takes moments to cook so I guess that evens out the process.
My pasta started with 00 flour and three eggs – that’s it! Can you believe something so delicious is made with just two ingredients?
I brought it all together with a fork and then started the kneading process with my clean hands. Once together I wrapped it in cling film and placed it in the fridge to rest. Thirty minutes later, it’s time to roll out the dough with my neglected machine.
With my pasta machine clamped to the table, I started the process. Starting at its widest setting I rolled and re-rolled the dough until I got to the narrowest setting.
At this point, I experimented with the pasta cutter attachment. First spaghetti and then tagliatelle which seemed to work a little better for me. I even tried cutting by hand.
I hung my cut pasta over a hanger and left it to dry a little whilst I made a simple tomato sauce. Tomatoes, garlic and basil slow cooked until unctuous.
Once ready I placed the pasta in boiling water and cooked for a couple of minutes until al dente and then tossed it into the sauce. Served simply with grated Parmigiano Reggiano over the top and a little more basil… So good.
I was totally buzzing and proud when taking the first bite. It was absolutely delicious and I made it from scratch. I have even been thinking about ways I can pimp up my next batch. How about fresh herbs rolled into the dough so it resembles stained glass or even beetroot juice to make it a beautiful purple colour? I am excited at the possibilities so watch this space. Perhaps my pasta machine will get more outings during 2018?