With all of this added time at home now with all of the social distancing measures around COVID-19, I decided to take advantage of a free pasta making class that One Table was offering with Meryl from Pasta Social Club (she has amazing recipes and pasta making tips on her site, check it out!)
It was incredible all the pasta knowledge Meryl from Pasta Social club shared, including the following:
- 00 flour is the best flour to use (you can buy it at any specialty/gourmet food store, and whole foods), but all purpose is fine if you can’t easily get 00 flour.
- Kneading pasta dough is important, and it’s really hard to over knead! Aim to knead around 10 minutes, and push down with your whole body weight when kneading to not hurt your arms
- Pasta is like humans, it needs to rest after a workout! Pasta needs AT LEAST 15 minutes to rest after kneading and before shaping.
- You need to roll out pasta dough in small portions, otherwise it will dry quickly and crack. This is why we brush both sides of the dough with olive oil.
- it’s important to coat your pasta with semolina after shaping, but if you use all purpose flour (you don’t have semolina at home) that’s fine too.
- Don’t strain pasta! Add directly to the sauce and mix it directly in.
Here is the recipe for handrolled pici pasta with a homemade red sauce (make sure to have the sauce ready before cooking the pasta!)
handrolled pici pasta
- 1 lb ’00’ flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for shaping
- Semolina flour, for dusting
You can find the instructions here.
Cook in water a pot filled 3/4 of the way through with boiling water around 2-3 minutes and a heap of salt. Don’t strain pasta, add directly to sauce (if not mixing with sauce well, add some of pasta liquid).
homemade pasta sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
- 1½ cups tomato puree/passata (if not using fresh tomatoes, increase to 2 cups)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper
put cherry tomatoes in a small bowl with a heaping amount of salt, to concentrate the tomato flavor. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp of the 6 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat
- Once all of butter is melted and starting to bubble, add minced garlic cloves. And tomato puree and cherry tomatoes to the sauce.
- Once sauce is starting to bubble, finish off sauce with the remaining butter (should be 4 tbsp) to taste. According to Meryl from Pasta Social Club, you can use less butter, but it tastes better with this amount. She also said traditional italian pasta sauces don’t generally have a lot of seasonings, but if you like seasonings, you can add italian seasoning, or chili powder.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add pasta to sauce.
- Some topping ideas: toasted panko breadcrumbs (toast on skillet), thyme leaves, Pecorino romano, sliced fresh basil.
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