Last week, I made pasta.
Turns out, it's pretty easy, though I'm not so patient with the thinning it out part. That takes longer than I care for, so M had to take over on about half of it.
A D.C. friend was visiting for the last week and I decided we'd have an Italian night.
I wanted to make Pasta Amatriciana again. It's a dish I discovered while visiting another friend in Rome 2.5 years ago and when I got back, I hosted an epic Italian dinner night with friends.
Even though I couldn't remember what recipe I had used in 2012, I decided we were making it again last week.
I still love it. And with homemade pasta, it's just that much better.
It's all pretty simple, though the pasta prep does require some planning.
Here's what to do:
For the pasta, we use an America's Test Kitchen recipe:
2 cups of flour
2 large eggs plus 6 large yolks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
Process all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a cohesive dough. If dough sticks to fingers, add up to 1/4 cup flour, one tablespoon at a time until barely tacky.
Turn dough ball onto dry surface and knead until warm smooth, for 1 to 2 minutes. Shape dough into 6-inch long cylinder. Wrap with plastic wrap and let it set for about 4 hours.
Cut dough into equal pieces. The recipe says 6, but we did 4, which might be why it took so long to flatten.
Dust both sides and roll it out, slowly, rotating and flipping as you go. When it's thin enough, you should be able to see your fingers through it. Repeat for each of the sections of dough.
The fold the dry pasta into about 2-inch pieces, folding over itself. Then cut into slices, depending on the thickness you want. I made mine fairly thin since the recipe calls for linguine.
Unfold the pasta and separate. Fresh pasta will cook much faster than boxed pasta, It only takes 3-5 minutes typically.
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I definitely used more than this. Probably 3-4 cloves, but I love garlic.)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
14.5 ounces cans stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (I got to use basil I'd grown. Possibly the best part.)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (Yeah we used more than that too. We just added it to the individual bowls so everyone had as much as they wanted.)
We also added in a splash of red wine.
Cook diced bacon in a large saucepan over medium high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan.
Add onions, and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes; cook 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes, undrained; simmer 10 minutes, breaking up tomatoes.
As that's going, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
Stir basil into the sauce, and then toss with cooked pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
This was maybe not the perfect dish for a hot summer day, since the pasta making took time in the hot kitchen, but, it's so delicious.
Do you have a favorite recipe? Any favorites from a trip abroad or a dinner party with friends?