Alright guys, here we go again. New Years Eve…what to do? Does the thought of fighting the crowds out n about in the pubs and restaurants make you want to pull your fingernails out? (A little dramatic maybe, but you get the drift.) I definitely agree with you so (all in the name of research) I gathered some good friends to test out my theory of how much fun a dinner party can be. Believe you me, with the right people, some great home cooking and (lots of) great wine–great craic to be (and was) had! If you’re lucky enough to know someone with a wood burning pizza oven (obviously I’m just bragging ’cause I do, sorry) you can’t go wrong but if not, a great way to spend the evening is making fresh homemade pasta. Everyone can get involved and then come chow time the meal has special meaning, not to mention the taste of homemade pasta is superb.
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 extra-large organic eggs
Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. If you don’t have one use a clean work surface. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough comes together, remove it from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.
NOTE: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.
The easiest way to roll out pasta dough is to get yourself the attachment with your electric mixer. You can, however buy a pasta roller that attaches to your work surface and will defo result in some good Popeye-arms!
The instructions that come with your pasta machine/attachment are very clear but briefly, you’ll roll the dough through the machine a few different times making the pasta thinner each time it passes through. Once you’ve reached the final thickness you have an option of making whatever type of pasta you want i.e,, Fettuccine, Linguine, Spaghetti, whatever.
Try tossing it with fresh homemade pesto, bellisimo!
If you haven’t ever made or, more importantly eaten homemade pasta (and I don’t mean the stuff that comes in the plastic container you find in the store) give this a go. There’s no comparison. Trust me, I’m Irish!
Recipe adapted from the great Mario Batali
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.