We spent New Year’s Eve this year with our good friends Steve and Debby Vis. Deb, a fantastic cook herself, had never made pasta or ice cream so we decided to add both to our New Year’s Eve dinner. There are endless variations of pasta recipes using anywhere from 1 egg to 6 eggs; different amounts of flour; oil or not to add oil; salt or no salt. I really like this very basic, simple recipe, but next time I think I’d like to try adding some flavoring to the pasta. I’m thinking finely diced basil and red pepper flakes.
SIMPLE 4-EGG PASTA
|Deb, excited to begin, mounds her pasta on the counter.
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (more or less) water-You most likely will not use it all, but keep it handy.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Mound 3 cups of flour on a clean surface. Add 1 tsp. of salt to the flour evenly. Make a large well and drop eggs into the well. With your hands start to slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs.
Add 1 Tbsp. of water at a time to help bring dough together until it starts to form a ball. The dough should be stiffer than bread dough, but still pliable. Continue adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time until you have the desired consistency. If the dough is too loose, add more flour. If it is too stiff, add more water. This is not an exact science. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over the dough and mix that into the dough continuing to bring it all together.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. If you think you have kneaded enough, press your finger into the dough. If the indentation comes back quickly you have kneaded enough. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.
After the dough has rested, cut into 4 sections. This allows it to fit into the pasta roller and makes it easier to roll.
Start rolling out the pasta on your widest setting. When you have rolled through once, fold pasta in half and roll again at that setting, then lower to the next setting. Once rolled, fold pasta in thirds the long way and roll twice at that setting. Continue in this fashion switching back and forth between folding in half and folding in thirds until you are at either the lowest setting or the pasta is very thin.
|I use a Roma. Deb has a Marcato. My Mom used Weston Brand.
All excellent machines and cutters are interchangeable.
|I love the simplicity of this machine.
And here it is with cutter attached.
Once you have reached the desired thickness cut the pasta either by hand with a knife or run through the pasta cutter at desired style: spaghetti, fettucine, tagliatelle or whatever you choose. We chose fettucine and because the cutting got a little hectic neglected to get any photos, but this process is very simple. Feed your thinly rolled pasta into the pasta cutter and crank it through catching on a large tray as it is cut. Sprinkle liberally with flour once it is cut. You cannot add too much flour as any excess will fall off in the boiling process. If you don’t add enough flour the newly cut pasta sticks very quickly and you will have a tangled mess.
Drop pasta into boiling salted water. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly so check for doneness after 3-4 minutes. Drain and serve. We topped our pasta with a rich seafood bisque that I had made the previous day. The bisque was made by starting with a shrimp and lobster shell broth, cooked down for hours. I added cod, shrimp, scallops, lobster, mussels and clams, a little cream, white wine, seasoning. It was good, but what made this meal really good was the fresh pasta. Deb did a beautiful job. You would not have known it was her first time making it.
Before the main feast Steve made
one of my favorites: Steak Tartare!
And I made the same Shrimp Louis we had at Christmas.
It was a fabulous night filled with lots of
laughs, love, feasting and good cheer!
Next time I will share the Butter Pecan Ice Cream we made
along with some of my other favorite ice cream recipes.
|6 inches of snow greeted us right after New Years!
Very unusual for the sunny, southwestern desert!