Tonight was a true Sunday night dinner, we spent about 2 and half hours cooking and prepping! Since our trip to Italy last year we have been meaning to make homemade pasta again and break out the pasta maker we received. What would make a better night than a Sunday of a long weekend.
We started with a homemade tomato sauce:
Basic Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tbsp. fresh thyme
1/2 medium carrot shredded
2 28 oz ounce cans whole tomatoes
In a 3 quart medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and the carrot and cook 5 minutes more , until the carrot is soft.
Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until thick. Season with salt and serve.
Next step was making a the fresh dough. We used a basic egg pasta dough recipe to cut with our pasta machine
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
4 extra large eggs
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Making a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and olive oil. Using a fork beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well.
Expand the well by pushing the flour up form the base of the mound to retain the shape. This first part looks messy, but the dough will start to come together. Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any of the leftover crusty pieces. Lightly re-flour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a bit sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Roll out the dough in small enough pieces fit through the pasta machine. Start the machine on a 2 setting (if it goes up to 6) and roll through a few times, switch to a 4 and roll through once and do a final roll through at a 5 to get the dough sheet nice and thin.
Lay on a cookie sheet and cover with a damp paper towel until you a ready to cut the pasta. Attach the cutting roller and run each piece through. Fresh pasta takes only one minute to cook!
Place pasta in boiling water and cook for 1 minute, that is all! With so few ingredients it only needs to be heated through. We served the pasta with the homemade tomato sauce and a side salad of mixed greens, dried berries, marcona almonds, pepper, carrots, and a few strawberries for added sweetness.
I used my go to homemade salad dressing, a Balsamic Vinaigrette-
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of very good balsamic (I used Blueberry Balsamic)
1/2 cup of Olive Oil (I used blood orange infused)
1 tablespoon of Dijon
Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over salad
While tonight’s dinner was very labor intensive it was worth the effort, everything was homemade and flavor was amazing! Homemade noodles, sauce, a really great salad with a dressing with just a few ingredients in it! 2+ hours of cooking for the benefit of real food, worth it!
After all of the cooking a glass of a good Italian wine was in order, our pick tonight a 2006 Tenuta Albrizzi.
The kitchen is spotless, the dishwasher is loaded and I am off to enjoy a Sunday night knowing I get to sleep in!