It’s April! AHH! I think the weather is finally sticking around in the 50s and (dare I say) Spring has arrived! In all it’s soggy melty glory of course. It rained all last weekend. That meant a weekend indoors for Charlee and I. She’s a such a diva in the rain. Yet again, she wouldn’t pee until I held my umbrella over her. The things I do for this dog … but honestly, a low key couple of days was just what we needed. I relaxed and got some stuff done that I’d put on the back burner lately.
St. Patrick’s Day in New York City was ridiculous. Take every state college’s St. Patrick’s Day and take all those insane drunk people and their puke, dress them in ties, pencil skirts and loafers, and put them all in the most populous city in the United States. Lunch was like playing Frogger dipping and dodging the green beer stuffed swervers. Charlee loved it, of course. Drunk people always want to be her friend and she HAMS IT UP. We walked out at one point so Char could pee and the crowd outside our place was so thick with spillage from the surrounding bars that we could barely get through. Seeing us struggling, a homeless man with a shopping cart yelled at the top of his lungs, “Make way! MAKE WAY FOR THE LADY AND HER DOG!” Instantly, the crowd parted like the freaking Red Sea and Charlee and I walked through like royalty. It was glorious. I now expect that kind of service from my corner bum on a daily basis. If he could just clear the way to and from the train I’d call that A+ service.
New York City has thawed out. I can feel great things ahead in the coming weeks. My dad comes to visit next weekend and there are a few people in town this weekend. I’m going to be so happy to see some familiar faces soon.
Today though, I have a recipe for homemade pasta dough. It’s not as hard as you might think. Once you get your dough down, you are good to go with the noodles part.
So I have tried making homemade pasta on my own countless times. But, I feel like I only recently figured out the best way to do this. It’s a combination of trial and error really.
First, I tried following a Mario Batali recipe as perfectly as possible and failed miserably. The dough was dry and cracking. It wouldn’t stay together at all. My ratios were perfectly measured; I really didn’t get it. I tried again … and again … and again. I added oil and eggs and water to try and get the dough to get to that springy supple consistency it’s supposed to be … but nothing. Still cracked and dry and completely unacceptable. I can’t tell you how but at one point I finally got it to work and I made something mostly resembling noodles out of it. What I ultimately learned from this though was that due to factors like the type of flour and varying sizes of eggs, it’s very difficult to provide a recipe that will work 100% of the time exactly as is when hand kneading pasta dough.
So, at some point, Katie told me to try the food processor. I’d heard about people doing this before and I wasn’t too keen on it at first. Probably because I really just wanted to “win” at hand kneading it and the amateur home cook in me wanted to hang with the Top Chef contestants who hand knead this shit in what seems like two minutes or less on TV. But, I tried this food processor technique and holy freaking cow it works; oh does it ever work. This time, what I thought I needed, I actually needed; no subtractions or additions.
The food processor has the ability to mix everything evenly unlike your hands. The “well” or “volcano” method for hand kneading your dough is so much tougher to evenly distribute especially for those of us who haven’t the time (or patience) to practice this 1,000 times until we’re experts. But, I think the best part about this is that it makes pasta so much more do-able on a daily basis and much less of a “reserved for special occasions and an entire afternoon of prep” kind of deal. I might never buy dried pasta again. Really.
So here’s how you go about this …
Yield 4-6 servings
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups all purpose flour (King Arthur is my preferred brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- Crack your eggs in a small dish, check for shells. Add in your extra virgin olive oil and salt and beat into the eggs. Don't pulverize them though!
- Put all your flour into the food processor and pour egg mixture on top.
- BLEND. The dough will start to come together and will eventually become a ball. Once that happens, THAT. IS. IT.
- Take out the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and rest anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
- Roll out, drop your newly made pasta in salted boiling water for about 3-4 minutes, drain, dress up as you please, and enjoy!
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