Yesterday was one of those days – those lazy Saturdays where you’re not quite tired enough to nap, not quite energized enough to go do something.
With the past two weekends spent out of town, and the next two or three weekends working, I have no problem admitting that I spent my Saturday in sweats and watching Netflix!
What I did accomplish, however, includes:
Making plans for dinner tonight with a friend and her awesome kids. But only after declining dinner last night, with the honest excuse of wanting to be lazy (I’m only a little ashamed of myself…).
Cheering on Boyfriend while he ran a half marathon! He registered for the Habitat for Humanity Diamond Valley Lake Marathon three days ago as a way to fill his Saturday. No half marathon training, just his regular workouts – and he sets a personal record! Finishing with a sub two hour time of 1:54.05; I’m so proud, and so impressed.
Watched THE basketball game. The Carolina vs Duke game. “The rivalry that other rivalries set their DVR for” as the commentators said. Carolina took the first game, at home in the Dean Dome. Duke, unfortunately and painfully, took this second game at Cameron Indoor.
AND I MADE PASTA.
Like.. from scratch.
And it was pretty dang good, if I do say so myself.
I was watching a documentary on Netflix called Chef’s Table (which I highly recommend) and feeling inspired. Before I knew it, I was on Pinterest looking up homemade pasta recipes. It’s something I’ve wanted to try my hand at for a while but haven’t ever gotten around to.
But we’re chasing stars here, right?
Remembering my latest cookbook purchase was for Italian food, I grabbed it and found the pasta section. [Full recipe at the bottom of this post.]
This cookbook is amazing. Fun Fact about Sarah: I read cookbooks. Whenever I get a new one, I read it cover to cover before I ever use it. If you’re in the market for an Italian cookbook, I recommend this one. It reads like poetry; the love of food exudes from it’s pages.
(See what I mean? If that doesn’t make you want to dive head first into a bowl of pasta I don’t know what would.)
I knew making pasta would be simple – I was unsure if it would be easy. But it was! If you’re intimidated to try it, don’t be. Or just invite me over! We can do it together.
There’s something to say about getting your hands in your food and dirtying up your counters.
You could mix this in a bowl but that just doesn’t sound like nearly as much fun. Onto my (freshly and thoroughly cleaned) counter goes the flour. I sifted mine, since I wasn’t using the super-fine flour as suggested. Make a well, and plop in the eggs.
Beat the eggs, and start incorporating flour from the edges of the well.
(Why yes, I did beat with one hand, and take a picture with the other. Multitasking!)
As the recipe states, once the eggs are no longer runny you can use your hands to incorporate the flour to form a dough. Begin kneading, and incorporate as much flour as you need. (Knead, need!) After kneading for about ten minutes, per instructions, I had a nice ball of dough that I wrapped up and let sit for about half an hour.
I spent the time vacuuming, instead of standing around impatiently.
Once my carpet was cleaned and the dough had time to rest, I rolled it out – as thin as I could get it. (In hindsight, I could have gone even thinner; nothing wrong with what I had, but it was thicker pasta than you would normally buy.) I folded it over four times, and cut it into thin strips.
They say to salt your boiling water prior to putting in your pasta – “it should taste like the sea”. I usually skip this step in the name of healthy blood pressure. But since this was my inaugural pasta making experience, I decided to keep it authentic. (Sorry, Dad!)
In goes the salt.
In goes the pasta.
In the three minutes it took for the pasta to cook, I defrosted the homemade pesto that I keep in the freezer. Pesto made fresh this past summer with basil from the garden at home, planted and tended to by Dad. Weekend excursions home during the summer to make pesto have become a tradition over the past few years. If you’ve never made or had fresh, homemade pesto – you don’t know what you’re missing.
The pesto goes into the bowl, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss gently, watching the pasta turn that gorgeous pesto green.
And there it is!
(Yes, I DID wipe the edges of the bowl for no reason other than to make it look pretty!)
Homemade pasta, with homemade pesto.
I meant to throw some chicken in too, but I got so excited to eat it that I totally forgot. I didn’t even miss it. The pasta came out perfectly al dente, the way it should be. And I have to admit, there is a pleasant difference to having salted the water!
I absolutely went back for seconds. And still have leftovers for later today!
I was unsure if the recipe was going to make as much as it said – three servings for a main course. Depending on who you’re serving, it would indeed make three medium sized servings. For a hungry crowd, probably just two. I did have a lot of flour left on the counter that didn’t get incorporated, though.
This is 100% a repeat experience. A bit time consuming, but worth the effort. This would be a great kid-friendly recipe to make, too, for the mommas out there. Tiny hands would be perfect for mixing egg and flour. Messy! But fun for sure.
If anyone tries this recipe themselves, or has made homemade pasta before, let me know how it goes/went!