What do you get from these ingredients (besides the name of where we usually shop)? Theoretically, it should be pasta.
Do you have a cookbook – or two – that you never use from but don’t want to get rid of because the recipes sound so fabulous? I have this kind of relationship with Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food. Well, the other day I finally cracked it open with the intention of making one of the staples of most Italian food – pasta. I feel I owe it to my own Italian heritage – and my great-grandmother Assunta’s cooking skills – to master basics like this.
Scarily, you don’t have to use a bowl, because you keep the eggs and olive oil in the center of a mound of flour while you start to blend everything together. Something like this…
I had high hopes after seeing that this stuff stayed together long enough for me to take a picture. But then, I started to mix it. See, the problem with adding in flour with the beaten eggs and oil is that it takes away from the “well” walls. I was soon in a messy battle between falling flour and runny dough, but then gave up and just smooshed everything together so the dough would become firmer more quickly.
Once I actually had the dough, I thought that was the hard part done. I rolled it out with my trusty wooden pin to the absolute thinnest I could go, cut it into uneven tagliatelle strips and put it in the fridge until dinner – a big mistake.
While in the fridge, the pasta meshed into a firm, cold mound that did not easily separate when dropped into a big pot of boiling water. The pasta was also very thick as I didn’t roll it out as thinly as I thought, so I added a little extra cooking time to compensate. Even so, the pile of tire-quality, congealed rubber was hardly the rustic homemade pasta I’d envisioned.
So, this is one to try again when I have done these two things:
- bought a pasta rolling machine
- read about the proper techniques that are supposed to be followed when mixing and then storing pasta