Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pasta made easy!

Getting down to the basics here.......and that fantastic pasta machine! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could do this, making pasta from scratch, but I had some great instruction and fresh range eggs!
This cooking experience took place a few years ago outside of Florence. The person pictured has much more gray hair now.....
Tonight for dinner we had Tagliatelle with walnut sauce. A light went off that somewhere in my collection of photos, there was a picture of me squeezing and re-squeezing the pasta through the machine trying to get the correct thickness. It was just a process of folding and refolding and making the setting smaller. The thickness I was attempting to achieve was thin enough to read a newspaper through. That never happened. Continuing on, it was a delight to be working on this marble surface and not in a bowl, something I don't do very often. I felt very professional as I broke the eggs in the flour well and then was able to whisk away, incorporating the flour as needed. Chilled water was added, a quarter of a teaspoon at a time to make a loosely massed dough ball.Then on a lightly floured surface, I was able to knead the dough until it was slightly glossy in appearance. We covered the dough with a tea towel while we drank wine for thirty minutes. Now, that's how you make pasta........

Tagliatelle with Walnut Sauce
1 3/4 lb. of butter
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of heavy cream-use whipping cream
2 cups of finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 extra large garlic, chopped very fine
1/3 cup of freshly chopped parsley
14-16 oz. of pasta, such as tagliatelle

Use a small frying pan and lightly brown the walnuts, about three minutes, moderate heat. Let the walnuts cool. Process the walnuts and parsley together until finely chopped and blended and then add the butter. Mix. Gradually add the oil in a steady stream while processing. Add the garlic, cream and then Parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook pasta according to directions, al dente, drain and toss with sauce. Serves four.