if you’ve got a few hours to kill on a sunday afternoon, why not whip up some pasta? hold on, you’ve never made fresh pasta? it’s easy – here, i’ll show you. now you have no excuse.
take 2 cups flour and pour it out on a work surface. form it into a little volcano. add 1 tsp salt in the middle. now things are about to get messy (and fun).
crack 3 eggs into the middle (or crack 1, mix, crack another, mix, etc). carefully mix the flour with the egg, being sure not to break the edge of the flour volcano. you can use a fork to start, but after a few minutes, get your hands in there and really work the dough.
after a bit of mixing and kneading, you’ll end up with this. if the dough is too wet, add a touch of flour. if it’s too dry, sprinkle in some drops of cold water.
divide the dough into a few pieces and run them through a pasta maker. if you’re without a pasta maker, use a rolling pin to get it as thin as possible. it will take some time and elbow grease, but eventually you can get it to about 1/16-inch thick (or thinner). the dough will be springy, so it’s best to work on one piece for a while, let it rest while you work on the next, and just move through each one until little by little until it’s thin.
loosely roll the dough up jelly-roll style and cut them into small rolls. sprinkle some dust on the pasta rolls and unroll them into long strands. don’t worry about tearing it – the dough is surprisingly resilient. from here, you can cook this up immediately or hang it on a rack of some kind (a laundry rack will do) to dry. when you’re ready to cook, only boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes at most. i suggest serving it with creamy caramelized leeks and crispy bacon. that’s what i made, but, true story, i couldn’t get a good picture of it before i ate it all. yes, it was awesome.
quick reminder – there’s still time to sponsor my upcoming 5k for the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation. to everyone who has already donated, i can’t thank you enough. to those who would like to donate, please click here and then click on the “donate to pete” button.
fresh pasta with creamy caramelized leeks and bacon
you can make the pasta ahead of time and let it dry while you start the leeks and bacon. serves 2-3. pasta recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 leeks, diced
3 Tbsp butter
4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1/3 cup heavy cream
1. form a small volcano with the flour and put the salt in the middle. crack the eggs into the flour and mix. work the dough with your hands until you have a firm ball of dough. add more flour if too sticky, or a sprinkle of water if too dry.
2. roll the dough through a pasta maker or with a rolling pin until very thin (less than 1/16-inch thick). roll up jelly roll style and cut into tiny rolls. sprinkle with flour and unravel rolls into long pasta strands. hang on a rack to dry or cook right away.
3. put on a large pot of water to boil. dice the bacon into small chunks and cook in a large saucepan on medium-low. dice the leeks into small pieces and cook in a smaller saucepan with the butter on low heat. when the leeks become limp and transluscent, transfer them to the saucepan with the bacon.
4. when the water boils, cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes. meanwhile, add the cream to the bacon-leek mixture and stir around. once the pasta is cooked, spoon some directly into the creamy bacon and leeks. ladle some pasta water into the saucepan as well (contrary to popular belief, pasta water is great!). toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. serve immediately with crusty bread on the side.