No matter what shape you prefer your pasta, enjoy it today – Spaghetti Day!
How do I celebrate Spaghetti Day at my house? Well, it began Saturday afternoon – preparation that is. It was raining (as it always does this time of year) so I needed a good task that would keep me interested, proactive and up off the sofa. Hey – I’m still trying to keep that New Years resolution. So this past Saturday afternoon I made homemade pasta. Don’t frown or fret! Making your own pasta doesn’t require any special ingredients or even a special machine, though they are handy.
Making Fresh Pasta
To kick off your Spaghetti adventure you’re going to need some pasta dough. Pasta dough takes around 15 minutes to prepare and requires time in the fridge to rest.
- 35g coarse Semolina
- 65g plain flour (sifted)
- Pinch of Salt
- (1) Large Egg
- (1) Tbsp of high quality olive oil
On your worktop measure out the correct amount of dry ingredients and combine them together by hand. Yes, I said pour it right there on the countertop, just make sure it’s clean. If you’re a neat freak you can use a bowl for this.
Once your dry ingredients are combined, make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients. Pour your olive oil and crack your egg into the well you’ve made. Using a fork, break up the egg and start mixing it into the surrounding dry ingredients until the flour is too hard to stir. Using your hands combine with the rest of the flour and continue to knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic when poked.
Wrap your dough in cling film and place in the refrigerator for an hour, to give your dough time to rest. Now you can leave your dough in the fridge for 24 hours, I wouldn’t suggest any longer than that because it starts to go off. If you need it to keep longer, I’d suggest freezing it.
You have dough! But how do you get it into those lovely thin noodles for tagliatelle or fettuccini? It’s actually quite simple.
Take your dough and cut it into small pieces.
Flour your surface and roll your first piece of dough out into a square – flour both sides. Now fold your dough square into thirds, folding it over onto itself. The key to keep it from sticking is making sure that the dough is floured properly. Roll your dough out again but this time (it’s folded) and you want to make the square twice as big as it was before you folded it. Now use your dough cutter to cut into thin strips, unfold and voila you have beautiful tagliatelle.
Now either you can dry your pasta for future use or your can eat it straight away.
To eat it straight away, bring a pot of water with a dash of salt to a rolling boil. Drop in your pasta and boil for two minutes. Drain and serve with your desired toppings / gravies / sauces.
To eat it later in the future you’ll need to dry the pasta. I use an old Italian mama trick by hanging my pasta over hangers and then hanging them in the basement. If you aren’t much for the authentic feel – then simply let it dry out by airing it, turning it over as you go. You can also use a food dehydrator for a speedier result. Once dry cook as required when you buy it normally in the box.
Now that you have beautiful homemade pasta you need some warm, winter dishes to serve it up it. We may not have had the coldest of winter’s so far but taking this morning in point the temperature is definitely dropping. You’ll love whipping up one of these fine dishes to warm your family through tonight.
This beautiful lasagna variation from Rock Recipes seriously rocks my world! Made using their own version of fresh pasta, the smoky chorizo is a fine addition to an old favourite. Top with a bit of shaved locatelli and off you go on a lasagna adventure – all homemade – apart from the chorizo of course!
We haven’t forgotten about everyone who made New Years resolutions to start those diets, trim those waist lines and eat healthier overall. Eating healthy doesn’t mean not partaking in Pasta Day! There are a few ways that you can ‘fake’ pasta using vegetables and this recipe from Closet Cooking is one of my favourite ways. Using a shredder / peeler shave your courgette into pasta like shapes. It makes for a very close texture to pasta without all the carbs and calories. Alternatively, you could also use something called ‘Spaghetti Squash’. When spaghetti squash is cooked and prepared correctly it looks exactly like its name states – spaghetti!
This is one of my favourite recipes to make any time of the year. Whilst I do go out for Italian, I much prefer to eat it at home like my grandmother taught me. 99% of the time it comes out tasting better than anything I order in a restaurant anyway and cost 70% less. So take whatever you have in your pantry – put it all together and make this creamy, delicious, garlicky, mushroomy goodness! Then eat all the pasta (whether you’re using the real stuff or not) because yes….all the pasta.