School bells ring and fall arrives this month with promises of cooler temperatures. With visions of delicious Sunday suppers, we’re ready to roll – pasta, that is, a favorite homemade treat in the diva household.
Some of our sweetest family memories are rolling out pasta dough on a lazy afternoon. Skinny strands of angel hair; flat, hand-cut pappardelle; hearty fettuccine, and classic strands of spaghetti, all ready to cook with a little kneading and just three ingredients.
Ideally, you invest in a pasta machine for cutting the noodles – but in a pinch we’ve rolled the dough super flat with a wine bottle or rolling pin, and hand cut tender noodles.
You can use an electric mixer, but there’s something therapeutic and satisfying about mixing by hand. Start to finish, you’ll have noodles ready to cook in less than an hour. Open a jar of good red sauce, toss a fresh salad and a hand-crafted dinner is done.
Use Your Noodle Easy Pasta
Serve 3 as a main course
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Mix flour and salt and place on a countertop. Make a well in the center of the mound and break eggs into the well.
Beat the eggs with a fork, slowly mixing in flour from the sides. (As you beat eggs, use other had to shore up flour.) As it thickens into a dough, press it into a ball an set aside to rest.
Knead the dough by pushing down with the heel of your hand, stretching the dough away from you. (The kneading will continue to distribute moisture.) Knead for 10 minutes, pushing, folding and turning until the dough is smooth.
Pat into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
To roll, place dough on a floured surface and pat into a flat disk. Start to roll, making sure dough doesn’t stick to the board (if it is, dust with a little flour). Roll it as thin as you can, until you can see through it.
Cut noodles by hand with a sharp knife, or with a rolling pastry cutter. You can cook immediately, or let it dry a bit by hanging on a cookie rack, or pasta rack (or even a clothesline).
To cook, drop in a large pot of boiling water with a splash of olive oil. Taste as soon as it comes to a boil, it cooks quickly! Drain in a colander and mix with favorite sauce.
Diva confession: No need to add salt to water for cooking fresh pasta. And have everything ready to go – it cooks in a matter of minutes and you want to eat it hot. The easiest way to roll pasta is with a pasta-rolling machine that squeezes the dough between two rollers until it’s paper thin, then has various cutting rollers for making different noodles.