Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homemade Fettuccine - Pasta from Scratch!

What began as a heap of flour, eggs, and oil soon became a wonderful homemade fettuccine dish! Pasta entirely from scratch! Don't be scared now, it was so easy! And much tastier than that boxed pasta we all know (and love perhaps a little too much).

It's been a couple of days since I made this for dinner, and my parents are still raving about it! I can already tell I'm going to be making it again very soon.. it was that good! Unlike dried pasta, this fresh dough had so much more flavor, each noodle had great texture, and after 2 minutes in boiling water, it was perfect! (But we'll get to that part.)

"Making Homemade Pasta" This can be a scary, almost intimidating phrase to anyone. Immediately, you may be thinking "I don't have time for that," "I need some sort of machine," or "Why not just buy it?" To that I say... no excuses!! I've wanted to make homemade pasta for so long and while reading through my latest Taste of Home magazine, I found the perfect recipe for fettuccine. No fancy machines required! So here, I'd like to walk you through making this homemade pasta step by step, with help from the Taste of Home recipe. It is totally worth each and every (simple) step!
First, we need to make the dough. There's only 8 ingredients! We start by whisking together 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper (number 1, above). Next, I put my 1-1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of semolina flour on the counter. (I found semolina flour at Hannaford in the baking aisle. The package was completely vacuum-sealed - wicked cool!) I mixed together the flour right on the counter, made a well in the center, and poured in the egg mixture. This is where things got messy... so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND adding a little egg mixture at a time to the flour, and mixing it with your fingers until it is all incorporated. This will ensure the egg does not ooze beyond the flour and across the counter as you frantically try to catch it with your arms and keep it from diving off the edge.. (not that this happened to me, of course.. I just want to make you aware of what could happen.)

Once the dough is formed, shape it into a ball and place it on a lightly floured surface, seen in number 3. *To keep the counters clean and the dough from sticking as much, I recommend using a towel dusted with flour when working with any breads or dough. It makes forming them into a ball (and cleaning up later) a breeze! Next, cut the dough into 6 wedges, and roll each into a cute little ball. Then, cover with plastic wrap (I hate plastic wrap by the way.. I made this on the same day as my strawberry lemon cake batter frozen yogurt and my plastic wrap mishap, which is a whole different story!) After letting these rest for about 30 minutes, it's time to form the pasta!

Using a well floured rolling pin, form each ball into an 8" x 10" 'shape', and roll into a tube (jelly-roll style). Cut into 1/4" strips and unroll the spirals for fettuccine! *This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. It took me (and my mom) forever to unroll each piece! So, in a moment of genius, I decided to skip these last two steps, and cut the strips out of the flattened 8" x 10" shape. Of course, this "aha!" moment only came when rolling out the second to last ball of dough.. Just have patience when cutting the long strips to ensure they are even. Now, the final step is to cook the pasta. (Then, we smother it in sauce!)
I added about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water and boiled the pasta for 2 minutes, drained it, and stirred it into the sauce. That's all there is to it! Now, for the sauce... it wasn't anything too fancy. Since the star of this dish was the pasta, I had no objections to using prepared alfredo sauce - jazzed up with some personal posh, of course! With no precise measurements (let the smell and taste be your guide), I added some Parmesan cheese, milk, and spices to a jar of 3 cheese sauce. I also added some veggies, as seen below. 

Simmer the asparagus in the sauce for about 5 minutes, or until it's fork tender. Then, add the squash and zucchini, (when you julienne them, keep the skins, and don't include the seeds) and keep the mixture hot on the stove until the pasta is cooked and drained. Stir, plate, posh it up (I used some fresh basil from my newly planted herb garden), and enjoy your homemade pasta dish!

It's INCREDIBLE! The pasta has great flavor and texture, it soaks up the sauce, and makes a wonderful, hearty dinner! You have to try it! Don't be afraid to try something new, and get a little messy in the kitchen! This pasta has endless possibilities! What kind of sauce would you pair with it? How would you cut it to make fettuccine? Spaghetti, perhaps? And what kind of posh would you add?! 

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--