Since I am terribly behind on my food blog, and since I’ve been getting vaguely threatening emails from family members about it, I’m cheating a little and making today’s photo challenge a double-blog. Bonus for those of you who were just here for the photo!
Tonight I made dinner. This alone is a huge accomplishment. I have been so overwhelmingly busy lately that most days I can manage to make a peanut butter jelly sandwich. Most days. The other days I visit my good friend Jimmy John.
However, I went beyond just making dinner today. I made dinner. Ever since last weekend when I was happily reminded of my favorite marinara sauce, I have been craving spaghetti. But a special sauce like this deserves a special noodle. So I bought some good semolina flour, pulled out the pasta cutter, and got to work.
Homemade pasta is so so so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Making fresh pasta means I know what goes into it. I control the type of flour (hold the bleached, enriched, all-purpose please) and the amount of salt. I also get to use farm-fresh eggs, straight from the ladies in the barn. It’s also ridiculously cheap to make. I’ve already listed all the ingredients, except water and a little olive oil. But perhaps the best part is that, with a pasta cutter, it is really easy! The hardest work is in the kneading, but it’s so much easier than kneading bread, so don’t let that scare you.
I’ve been playing around with different flours, but so far the most versatile and fail-proof flour for me is semolina. It’s easy to work with and yields a smooth, elastic dough. Someday I’ll come across the perfect combination of more unusual flours to share (chickpea and quinoa flours are my favorites to play with).
If you are considering making homemade pasta, I strongly recommend you pick up a good quality pasta cutter. This amazing machine rolls out the dough as thick or thin as you’d like, and it also cuts the dough into noodles. For $50 you get a hand-crank machine that packs up into a tidy little square-foot box. If you are currently buying whole wheat pasta, you’ll recoup the expense in no time!
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 T olive oil
Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add eggs, water, and oil and stir with a fork to combine. Using your hands, continue working the dough until all the flour is stuck together. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft and elastic. Add more water or oil if the dough is too dry, or more flour (by the teaspoon) if too sticky. Cover the kneaded dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough to desired thickness (about 1/4″) using either a pasta machine or flour-dusted rolling pin. For spaghetti noodles, cut with a machine, dough cutter, or pizza cutter.
Cook in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes.