Fresh and Easy Homemade Pasta

Have you ever had or made homemade pasta?  It is light and less filling than store bought and really not as hard as you think to make.  I do have a pasta roller which helps to thin to the right consistency but it is just as easy to use a rolling pin and cut by hand.  I have started cutting my tagliatelle by hand and the joy that I get (and you can too) from making your own pasta and then watching your family and friends enjoy the fruits of your labor, well nothing better than that!  I have been making homemade pasta since I was around 16 when I received my first pasta machine as a gift.   Fast forward to 2018 while traveling in Tuscany, I had a lesson at Agriturismo I1 Rigo in Siena, Italy.  If you are ever in the Tuscany Region look them up, it is a beautiful restaurant and farm to table venue.  The grounds are spectacular with rolling hills and views for miles.  Http://www.ilrigo.com.

20180607_234633.jpg Lorenza’s rule for cooks she says are not written on the recipe… “that is something we have to learn to read through awareness”.  To use your senses – eyes, nose and hands. In this case touching the dough, working it with your hands and feeling the textures you create.  I recently made a 5 course dinner for 14 friends and made this pasta as one of the courses.  They loved it!

Tagliatelle

  • 3 eggs
  • 300 gr. white flour “00” (or 200 white flour and 100 gr durum wheat flour)
  • salt

 

20180808_171118.jpgPlace the flour on a wooden surface, making a well and placing the eggs and salt in the center.

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Mix the eggs carefully with the salt. Work the flour with your hands moving it into the well to incorporate the flour with the eggs; working the flour in until it forms a ball.  Work the dough with your hands. To knead it start by pushing out with your right palm of your hand and folding back over with your left hand moving against you and back into you for around 10 minutes.  The dough will get smooth and elastic. Test it by pushing down on the middle of the dough, if it pops back up it is done.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 40 minutes in the refrigerator.

DSC_1167.JPGIf you are going to use it right away, the dough can stay out on the counter but no longer than 2 hours.  Take out ball and cut in quarters to roll out each piece. Press dough down on floured surface to flatten out. Using a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out dough to desired thinness.  I use the pasta machine working the dough through each thickness, turning the knob each time, starting at the highest opening (7) and working the dough down each number until down to 1 or 2 on the knob.

DSC_1174.JPGOnce you have a nice thin sheet, place on floured surface, flour both sides and roll each end of the rectangle towards the center.  Then cut the pasta down in 1/4 to 1/2″ thickness or to desired thickness.

From here you can put the pasta in well salted boiling water.  It only takes a few minutes for the fresh pasta to rise to the top and then it is done, al dente.  Please do not over cook your pasta, it will get mushy.  This recipe can be used for any pasta; ravioli, tortellini etc.  I cut up vegetables and grilled them prior to making the pasta.  Once out of the water I added extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, (and a little of the pasta water if needed), the vegetables and some fresh Parmesano Reggiano on top.  A great summer time light meal.

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Enjoy!

Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene

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Adventures in the Pugliese Kitchen

Day 15:

Last full day of this absolutely incredible vacation. Today we venture even further south, to Gallipoli. Gallipoli is a coastal town in Apulia, southern Italy. The historic center, on an island off the mainland, shelters churches like St. Agatha’s Cathedral, with its ornate facade. Nearby, the Church of St. Mary of Purity has a maiolica tiled floor. Gallipoli Castle includes the Rivellino tower, standing apart from the main building. Across the bridge, on the mainland, is the Greek Fountain, dating from the Renaissance.

We meet for a day of cooking with Anna Maria.

We go to the market to select the ingredients for our class and then proceed straight to the kitchen for a hands-on cooking lesson. I’m in heaven. Here our new friend shares the secrets for preparing some of Puglia’s most beloved dishes.

We prepare a dessert with custard which is a traditional salento cake. This has to sit and chill before going into the oven.

We cut up zucchini and cherry tomatoes for our antipasto. The zucchini sautes in a pan of garlic and olive oil.

Natalie loves fresh zucchini.

The calamari and tomatoes for our appetizer.

We mix semolina flour and water together and roll our dough into a ball where it will rest

Once rested we roll and cut into orecchiette.

Dessert out of the oven.

Now that the meal is prepared it is time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Fresh pasta with cherry tomatoes and olive oil.

We sit together to enjoy our beautiful meal and some outstanding local wines to accompany our lunch. Buon Appetito!!!

Love and light,

Jeanine on the Scene

National Wine Day

Today is National Wine Day!  A favorite for me, is it yours?  Put together a quick charcuterie platter and take out that special bottle tonight and cheer with your family, friends or neighbors.  So whether you enjoy a sparkling white wine, a rose, or a bold Cabernet Sauvignon, lift up your glass and cheer to the start of this Memorial Weekend.

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This is simply apples, rainier cherries, Marcona almonds (Trader Joes rosemary are a favorite), port salut cheese, (which has a little tang but the consistency of a thicker brie), grapes and Simple Mills almond crackers (for those wanting gluten free, whole30 approved) and they are really good.  Add some meats like salami, chorizo, prosciutto to this dish and you have an easy appetizer ready to pair with a great wine. CHEERS!!

Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene

Wine Night

Do you have that special bottle of wine that you have been holding onto and let age and age and age and never quite know when the time will be “special” enough to open it?  I came across an article on doing just that.  I found Open That Bottle Night, where at the last Saturday in February (February 24th this year) you can open that special bottle of wine or champagne and enjoy the contents as it was meant to be enjoyed.  Open That Bottle Night  was created by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher in the year 2000, and it has been celebrated every year since then. So grab your friends, family, whoever you want to share that special bottle with. Pop the cork, swirl, inhale the fine aromas, savor that first precious sip of heaven and salute life . Cheers!

Love and Light,

J9