Weekending: Pasta Presto

Endlessly tired of heavy cookery where winey tomato sauces and long preparations abound, I suddenly remembered about pasta. Not the typical boxed stuff, but the handmade stuff. The kind your (grand)mother, Italian or otherwise, would make when you were little. Truth be told pasta, and the realization that I could sate hungry bellies of my cheery cohabitants with a few turns of my cherry-red pasta machine, was just the excuse I needed to continue procrastinating. Procrastinate against what? The much overdue cleaning out my closet. Despite procrastination, perfection is how I would describe its current state. I went in with surgical precision and nothing that doesn’t fit or I don’t quite love survived the cuts. An extremely satisfying process for someone who doesn’t like clutter and isn’t a hoarder.

This post, however is about pasta. I distinctly remember my mom making home-made egg noodle when I was little. Sometimes, the noodles graced a hearty bowl of chicken soup and other times, they were dressed with rich farmer’s cheese and sprinkled with sugar which is, to me, the ultimate comfort food. She rolled out and cut the dough by hand. It is then that I realized that homemade pasta is unlike anything you can buy at the store and many, many years had passed before I dared to make my own. My mom recalled her grandmother making homemade noodles, cutting, drying and storing them in a linen bag. Her story took me back to my grandparents home where my mom grew up. I could suddenly remember ever nook and cranny of the house and was determined to rekindle those memories for my mom.

In fact, my homemade pasta was so nice, I happened to make it twice in as many days. The first batch of pasta was destined to become delicate spaghetti for a carbonara sauce. The result was so successful that the kids fought for every last strand. I mean how can guanciale, eggs, cream, and parmesan laced across delicate handmade spaghetti be bad?

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Feeling guilty about repeating the rich meal, I made linguini and Evan dressed it with a much lighter sautéed onion, mushrooms and spinach sauce. There may have been cream and parmesan, too. The mushrooms and parmesan provided such a meaty, umami flavor while the onions and spinach stand up quite well to the savoriness.

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It would be very unfair to keep my full-proof pasta recipe to myself.

Serves 4:

Ingredients:

10 oz flour

3 large eggs (not jumbo, not extra large, just large)

2 tbs olive oil

Preparation:

Pulse the eggs and flour in the food processor until combined. Turn the food processor on and drizzle in olive oil. If you find the dough sticking to the walls of the bowl, add flour a teaspoon at a time until the dough looks like wet sand. Turn out onto the counter and knead lightly into a rectangle. Wrap in seran wrap and leave to rest at room temperature for an hour. Use your machine/attachment to roll/cut into spaghetti/linguini. Cook in boiling water until al-dente (2 minutes in our case) and dress in your favorite sauce. Enjoy!

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