Every now and then, go down a different path
Finally, I made my own pasta!! I’m not the kind of person who makes stuff. I’m the kind who makes all sorts of excuses to spend less time in the kitchen..But then my work friend, Pia, brought pasta for lunch the other day and she said she makes it fresh all the time.. try it, she said, and you will never buy it again :-). I did and liked it very much. So here’s my first attempt at fresh home-made pesto pasta salad:
For the fresh pasta:
1 cup flour (220 grams)
1/2 cup blanched spinach
On the worktop, make a heap of flour with a hole in the middle (just like a volcano). Pour the eggs and add blanched spinach in the hole. Gently stir and mix with your finger. Use one hand to mix the dough and the other hand to keep the eggs from breaking through and running all over the table.
Now knead the dough with both hands for at least ten minutes. Fold, knead and twist the dough until you get a supple, slightly elastic ball. Pack the dough in plastic foil and let it rest for thirty minutes. I don’t have a pasta machine so I rolled out pasta by hand on the marble counter, with a large rolling pin. Roll out pasta as thin as you can manage (think fettucine). Allow to dry for approximately 1/2 hour. cut the pasta with a sharp knife to the width you want.
Fresh pasta only needs a few seconds in boiling water! Bring plenty of water to the boil, add some salt. Add the pasta. As soon as the water is boiling again, count till ten, then drain the pasta immediately and viola!
For the pesto:
1 tablespoon walnuts
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Toast the nuts in a small skillet over low heat until fragrant and golden, 5 minutes, taking care not to burn. In a food processor, combine the toasted nuts with the basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
For the salad:
In a large bowl, stir the cooled pasta with the pesto. Toss gently until everything is combined. Top it with some more finely grated parmesan cheese. It is ready to serve!!
One baby step at a time :-) Next, I plan to buy a pasta machine and make some stuffed pasta like tortellini. Do you have any tips to share!!