Everyone loves a good pasta. To make the pasta-experience even better I recommend you do it all from the scratch. Or like in my case, with a minor help from the Executive Head Chef of the house. This time we made sage and butter pasta with parmesan.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need (this should serve 4 persons but in our case that’s perfect portion for two):
150g Italian ‘00’ flour
50g durum wheat flour
2 free range happy chicken eggs
1 table spoon of freshly grounded pepper
1 pot of sage
1 whole lemon
lots of parmesan
1 tea spoon of sea salt
If you just want skip all the mumbo jumbo and get the recipe, I made a short one at the end of this post.
First you need to weigh the flour. 150g of fine Italian ‘00’ flour and 50g of durum wheat flour. Mix the flour together and make a little crater in the middle of that miniature flour mountain. Then break the eggs and pour them into that crater.
True Italian Giovanni will break the eggs straight on the flour, but I’ll break them first into a bowl and check that I’m not mixing any egg shells to my perfect pasta dough. I prefer using a wooden plate for mixing the flour and eggs, but you can use a bowl or what ever you find handy.
Then comes the part where you need some patience, strength and Italian passion (love of pasta as they call it).
Wash your hands and remove rings from your fingers. Start mixing the flour and eggs together with your bare hands. First it seems that the flour isn’t sucking the eggs at all and it just spreads all around the surface. Just keep going and after few minutes you’ll start feeling the Great Pasta Dough coming up.
When you feel like you’re ready, you’re not. Continue at least for five more minutes. The whole kneading should last at least for 10 minutes, preferably longer. This is the most important part of the whole pasta making process so put some Italian songs playing (you can start with Dean Martin’s That’s Amore) and enjoy the moment.
After you’ve done kneading and the dough starts to be quite “tight”. Roll it into a ball shape, admire your beautiful achievement. Then wrap it into a cling film and let it hang around for 1/2 hour.
Then comes the fun part. Unwrap the dough ball. By this time it should’ve changed the colour to a bit more yellow.
Split the ball into 4 equal sized pieces. Pick one and press it into a flat shape with your hands.
Set your pasta rolling machine to biggest gap. In our case the machine had 8 gap sizes.
Roll the flattened dough through the machine. Then turn the dough 90 degrees clockwise and fold it over. Repeat the rolling and turning few times. Then set the machine one step tighter and roll again.
Continue doing this until you reach the tightest gap and your dough ball has transformed into a long and flexible tape.
After you’ve done rolling the dough you’ll need to cut into a preferred pasta shape. You can do this with your fancy rolling machine or with just folding it and cutting it to slices.
Tip: If you’re using your pasta machine’s cutting roller, pick the sliced ends of pasta and raise them with your hand while rolling. This way you can stop them sticking into each other and become a big blob of pasta hair.
Then it’s time to make the pasta sauce.
You’ll need fresh sage, pluck all leaves from the bush and put them into a bowl. The more you have the better the sauce will be. You can never over-sage your sauce.
Then take your pepper mill and grind one table spoon worth of pepper to a bowl.
Take one lemon and grate the surface. Avoid grating the white stuff under the yellow layer.
Then squeeze the juice out of that grated poor lemon. Put the juice into a cup, you’ll need that later.
Get your favourite parmesan cheese and grate it all into a bowl. Just like the sage, you can never over-parmesan your pasta.
Then take your frying pan and melt 80 grams of butter. Add sage leaves, let them fry a bit. Then add the grated lemon and juice. Fry a bit more.
While frying your sauce you can quickly prepare your pasta.
Boil a big pot of water and add sea salt. Throw the pasta in, stir and try to keep it loose.
Boil the pasta for a few minutes. Fresh homemade pasta cooks incredibly fast. Taste one piece and when done pour it all through a sieve. Save one cup of boiled pasta water into a cup.
When your pasta is boiled you can mix it with the sauce. Just throw it in and stir a bit. Add pasta boiling water (just enough to keep sauce moist) and stir more. Cook your almost ready pasta for few more minutes.
At this stage it’s time to prepare the ultimate pasta-experience supplies.
Open a bottle of red wine (recommendation: 2013 Beringer Merlot), pour it into glasses and let it breathe a bit.
And finally comes the last and The Best part. Eating.
Place the freshly cooked pasta on a plate, throw a giant hill of parmesan over it and enjoy.
Mix the flour and break the eggs, mix it all together
Knead for 10-15 minutes or until it’s becomes a really firm ball
Wrap the dough ball into a clean wrap, let it stay for 1/2 hour
Unwrap the ball, split it into 4 pieces
Roll each piece through past machine until you have long and thin pasta tapes
Cut the tapes to a shape you like, with your machine or knife
Pluck sage leaves
Grate lemon and squeeze juice
Grate parmesan cheese
Melt butter on a frying pan and add sage, pepper, grated lemon and juice
Bring water to a boil, add sea salt and add pasta
Boil for couple of minutes
Taste a bit and pour through a sieve when ready, save one cup of pasta water
Add boiled pasta and some pasta water (just enough to keep it moist) to frying sauce
Fry and stir for couple of minutes
Place the pasta on a plate and cover with grated parmesan cheese