So check it out everyone - I made pasta from scratch.
As I mentioned here I received a pasta maker for Christmas from my lovely sister-in-law.
Here is what went through my head on Christmas day when I opened my gift:
- Ooh a pasta maker!
- This is going to be hard.
- I am not supposed to be eating pasta after the 1st of January…
- I can make ravioli!
- I think this might be a little out of my skill range…
- I like pasta.
- Squid ink linguine!
- Ooh it's so shiny!
- Maybe I can have pasta only on the weekends and on public holidays and my birthday and birthdays of friends and family…
- It would be simply rude not to use it!
It turns out that I was wrong about three and six – it’s easy as pie. All you need is flour and eggs. Bonus: it’s actually quite fun. If you needed to find a rainy day activity with kids, I think that pasta making would be a great idea.
I don’t think you need a pasta maker to enjoy home made pasta, but you would need a rolling pin, patience and a lot of elbow grease. Italian Nonnas for centuries can probably attest to this.
I made my pasta the Jamie Oliver way. He gives incredibly comprehensive instructions, which I followed to the letter. Read all about it here.
The dish that resulted from my efforts comes from the winner of a giveaway that I held a couple of weeks ago, where I asked my readers to suggest a dish incorporating a jar of truffled anchovies kindly given to me by Tania from My Kitchen Stories via Lario International as the prize. Bel from ”Ooh Look!” suggested a simple dish of pasta with anchovies and bread crumbs. I sincerely wanted to make every suggestion from the giveaway, but I felt that Bel’s dish would be the perfect way to highlight the anchovies and give the new pasta maker a whirl - win-win.
Cripes, this is good - so unabashedly simple and packed with amazing flavours. I made the breadcrumbs from scratch with day old sourdough and herbs from the garden – I felt this dish deserved home made bread crumbs, just as I felt that the truffled anchovies deserved fresh pasta. I think that you owe it to yourself to use the best of what you can find (or afford) when making a dish like this.
I am looking forward to trying out different types and flavours of pasta such as gluten free, buckwheat, squid ink or spinach. And it’s all good, as long as I only make it on the weekends and on public holidays and my birthday and birthdays of friends and family…
That’s not cheating…right?Pasta with Bread Crumbs and Anchovies
adapted from The New York Times
For The Pasta
200g 00 Grade Flour
2 large free range eggs
A good rule of thumb: 100g of flour to 1 egg per person.
As previously mentioned, I used Jamie Oliver's method in creating the raw, home made pasta. Here is the link.
I cut my pasta sheets into fettuccine because that is what I love the most.
For The Bread Crumbs(approximate measurements)
About half a loaf of day-old sour dough bread - which will make about 1.5 cups of crumbs.
1/4 cup olive oil
sprig of rosemary
sprig of thyme
Blend the bread(crust and all)along with all the other ingredients in a food processor until you have a fine, yet rustic crumb.
Heat a fry-pan over a medium heat and add the crumbs. Continuously stir until crispy and golden. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel until needed.
And The Rest
3 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 8 Anchovies (truffled or otherwise), chopped
A bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boil a large pot of salted water and add the pasta. For home made, it will take about 4 minutes until al dente. For dried paste, cook according to the packet instructions.
While this is happening:
Heat the oil in a fry-pan and cook the garlic over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add the anchovies and mash with the back of a spoon. Turn the heat off and rest until your pasta has cooked.
Scoop out about 1/4 of a cup of pasta water and add it to the pan with the garlic and anchovies. Turn the heat on low to reheat.
Drain your pasta and toss it through the anchovy/garlic oil. Toss through the chopped parsley and 1 cup of the breadcrumbs.
Serve topped with rest of breadcrumbs divided between the bowls and a little extra chopped parsley.