Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Make Your Own Week day three: Pasta

Breakfast: A blueberry and oats smoothie

Lunch: Vegetable and barley soup

Dinner: Home-made wholewheat pasta with tomato and zucchini sauce and wilted spinach

Ah, pasta: the mainstay of the lazy. Countless times I've come in hungry with no desire to cook anything fancy, and thrown together some pasta and pesto dish in about ten minutes. It is joyous, and we always have it in the kitchen.

But why do we never make our own? Two reasons: it's cheap, and it's supposedly difficult - don't you need a pasta machine? No, no you do not. The reasons TO make it, however, are manyfold: it's quite easy, it's fun, fresh pasta is better than dried pasta, you can make it in any shape you fancy and you can make it with whatever flour suits you. Plus, telling people "Oh yeah, we just had some pasta I made" makes you sound like some kind of kitchen god, with the spirit of an old Italian woman in you.

You can make any shape pasta you like, but this is to make fat linguine.

You'll need
(Serves 2 hungry ones)
2 1/2 cups white or wholewheat flour (I prefer wholewheat)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl
Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggs
Beat the eggs lightly then stir into the flour
Form a moist but not sticky dough (add some water if necessary) and knead for 5 minutes
Cover with cling film and let rest for 30-60 minutes
Roll out onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin
Flatten out to as thin and long as you can manage
Cut into 1-2 cm wide strips
Hang to dry if you're storing them OR boil water to cook them straight away
They should cook in 10 minutes or less

This is definitely more effort than opening a packet and boiling them, but look at them - they look so tasty! The consistency of the pasta is great, and sitting there with both pasta and sauce that you've made from scratch is ultimately very rewarding. Plus, the wow factor: it's definitely there!

You can find inventive places to hang dry in your house!

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