I really enjoy trying new recipes and I enjoy them most when they are pasta! I love making fresh pasta, it is something I do when I have something big on my mind or for special occasions. The work is repetitive and satisfying and it results in an amazing dinner to share with loved ones.
I started making my own pasta when we were living in Cape Town, I had gotten a lovely red pasta roller for my birthday and was determined to use it as often as I could. The first couple of times I tried it was absolutely horrible. The pasta would be gluey or it would stick together and still be raw in some places. Worst of all was when I would forget to add salt and the noodles just tasted like cooked play-dough.
Every time I took out the pasta roller I learnt a little from my mistakes. I now know that it is important to use good salt, you don’t need a lot but you notice when it is not there. You also really need to use fresh eggs, if you have ever read a recipe for fresh pasta before you will have heard this before but it needs saying again. The fresher the eggs the lighter your noodles will be. My last thing to remember when making your own pasta is to really pay attention to kneading times on the recipe, the kneading helps the gluten in your dough develop.
I found this recipe in “Two Greedy Italians” by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, which I got as a birthday present from my wonderful mom this year. In the book they say it is a noodle but it really reminds me of gnocchi. The little pillows are soft and make an excellent appetiser.
I veered off from the original recipe by using a fresh tomato sauce instead of canned. This is my mother’s tomato sauce and it is really amazing on any kind of pasta topped with a dash of cream. If you are feeling daring you could even add a little (or a lot) of parmesan cheese. These little dumplings are rich enough to hold their own without added parmesan though. I served four dumplings per person and the left over noodles I spread on to a baking sheet in an even layer and left them in the freezer until they were frozen through (about an hour). Once frozen you can transfer them to a Ziploc bag and use within four weeks of freezing.
If you try out this recipe feel free to share a picture with me. I would love to see what you make of it!
200g Italian ‘00’ flour plus extra for flouring
3 egg yolks
1 half egg shell of water
A dash of salt and pepper
1. In a large bowl mix the flour, eggs, water and salt and pepper into a moist dough.
2. Place dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 3-5 minutes.
3. Roll dough into a long sausage shape between your hand and slice into thumb sized pieces.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the dumplings. Once all the dumplings rise to the top, turn down the heat and let simmer for two minutes.
5. Strain water and serve with tomato sauce and cream .
2 tablespoons butter
1 and a half tomatoes per person
1 finely chopped red chilli pepper
1 salt to taste
1. Heat butter in a saucepan and add chopped chilli pepper once the butter has melted.
2. Roughly chop tomatoes, add to butter and season to taste.
3. Turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Serve hot.
Let me know what you think below and please feel free to share this post if you enjoyed it!