I love project food. You might have noticed. I think that restaurants are GREAT, but I really also think that restaurants are annoying on any holiday, and especially a day dedicated to…love? making single people feel bad? I really don’t know.
How FUN, though to make something that you’d usually buy in a box totally from scratch and then eat it together in your pjs and uggs from the comfort of your home with no shitty service and overpriced 3-course specials to make you annoyed? Very fun, that’s what.
I’ve been dying to make pasta forever, and we decided that Valentine’s day was the perfect time to show you how it’s done. As a note, I did ALL of this by hand. No mixer, no food processor, no roller. Actually, not even a rolling PIN because I don’t own one, but that’s neither here nor there. Overall, I couldn’t be more thrilled with how this turned out, and it wasn’t hard at all! There’s definitely some manual labor involved, but none of the steps take a ton of time and you can switch off kneading and rolling the dough when your arms get tired. #teamwork
For the actual pasta, you need eggs, flour, and salt. That’s it! There are recipes that call for different types of flour for different textures, and feel free to experiment with those, but I wanted to go super simple for my first go at this.
Interestingly, this is where I had a hard time – my well walls weren’t high enough, so the egg ran around the cutting board. But just scoop some flour around the egg and keep mixing until the dough forms. Then switch to your hands.
Knead! We need to work the dough for 10 minutes, maybe more if you stop a lot to rest like I did. Weak arms from all the yoga? Who knows. Just mash the dough away from you, then fold it over itself, then keep repeating. Be rough! And also. Take your rings off. I’m still picking pasta dough out of mine.
Now, wrap the dough in plastic wrap really tightly and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Or, in my case, 3 hours while you go to a court hearing for a patient partially covered in flour. True story.
One at a time, roll out the dough as thinly as you can – use as much flour as you need to avoid the dough sticking on your board, and keep at it – it takes awhile! I use a drinking glass to roll things out. It’s fine.
BUT THE FLAVOR. I can’t tell you how good it is. So fresh, and really eggy and delicious. I’m still kind of in awe of how easy this is and how great it turned out. There is some patience and muscle involved, but the steps are really simple if you have an hour or two to play with your food.
What a fun home-date, right? Happy Valentine’s day!
- FOR THE PASTA
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 whole eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup reserved cooking water from pasta
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt, to taste
- fresh parmesan, for garnish
- For the pasta, mound the flour on a large board with the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour, and crack in the eggs. Use a fork to combine the eggs with the flour, switching to your hands when the dough becomes too stiff to stir with a fork. Form the dough into a ball, and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth, adding extra sprinkles of flour of the dough is very sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
- When the dough has chilled, cut it into 2 or 3 even pieces to make it easier to work with. On a floured board, roll the dough out as thin as you can get it - it'll puff up when it cooks! Using lots of flour to keep the dough from sticking, roll up the dough very loosely and slice it thinly crosswise to form long noodles. Cook the noodles in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes until they float to the top of the water.
- For the sauce, combine the butter, tomatoes, and garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and the garlic is tender, then add the noodles, cooking water, and parsley. Toss for 2 minutes and taste: add salt if needed. Serve with extra parsley and parmesan.