March 13, 2013
…and it wasn’t a complete failure! Woohoo! Zach and I have yet to delve into buying a pasta machine. Sure we could go out and get the hand-cranked version. It’s cheaper, authentic, and looks pretty cool attached to the counter too. However, we have a great industrial strength stand mixer that has an attachment for pasta making. I’m sure many of you either have one of these, or have at least heard of one. It makes pasta making a heck of a lot easier. We could of course go out and buy this attachment, but once you start adding in all of the different blades and cutters it gets quite expensive. They actually sell them all in one, but it ends up costing just about as much as some of the cheaper stand mixers cost! Crazy right?! Well we want the whole kit and caboodle, so until we can splurge on this luxury item, we have decided to make pasta by hand, and no not with a hand crank: the crazy, old-fashioned way with a rolling pin, a pizza cutter, some flour and a hard surface. Hey at least we will be insanely muscular from the whole process!
You definitely don’t have to do it the way we do it. If you have something to make pasta with, please be my guest. You will probably be a lot happier in the end if you do, but if you are psychotic like we are, then just be patient. It takes a lot of manpower to roll this dough out to a paper thin consistency. I tell you what though, the pasta will taste a lot better to you after the whole process is over. We did not create our own recipe for pasta. Pasta is pretty general. We used Mario Batali’s recipe and it worked perfectly. Also, if you can not find semolina then you can definitely use all-purpose flour. It will certainly not be the end of the world.
You may find that our pesto is a little unconventional too. I like my pesto to be on the thinner side. I love my olive oil =) and get really really happy with it sometimes. This can be altered to fit your needs. I know most people like a thick pesto, so start with 1/4 cup and work your way up until you reach the consistency you want.
We went all out crazy for this beer pairing with Bison’s Organic Honey Basil Ale. I hope that most of you are smart enough to realize why we did this. It’s light and florally and super herby and the subtle hints of basil in the brew just elevate the basil in the dish to new heights. I would even suggest garnishing your pasta with some more basil if you plan on taking us up on our recommendation of trying out this brew. It will just make the flavors that much more delicious. The slight sweet notes in the brew that come from the honey also help with the acidity from the fresh tomatoes. It’s almost like tossing them in sugar! (but not quite…)
Tonight we are having breakfast for dinner. I am currently making some homemade english muffins and this is one recipe you don’t want to miss! See you all tomorrow!
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- ¾ cup pecorino cheese, finely grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup basil leaves
- ¾ cup arugula
- ¾ cup baby spinach leaves
- ¼ cup – 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb handmade pasta dough (We adapted Mario Batali’s recipe HERE), cut into ¾ inch wide strips
- 4 tomatoes, cut into ⅛ths
- pecorino for garnish, grated or shaved
- basil for garnish
- Prepare your pesto first. In your food processor, with the blade attached, crush the nuts by pulsing until it becomes slightly granulated. Add the pecorino, a dash of salt and pepper, basil, arugula and spinach. Pulse until all ingredients are completely incorporated. While you have the food processor running, start to drizzle in your extra-virgin olive oil until it reaches the consistency you desire (we used about a cup, but I like a thinner pesto). Transfer to a small saucepan, and simmer on low to heat until you are ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, prepare your pasta. Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil. While you wait for your water to come to a boil, roll out your pasta dough on a lightly flour-dusted surface (we did this by hand, we wanted a rustic feel…use any pasta making machine you have if you wish). Roll to about 1/16 inch thick. You want it very very thin. Cut into ¾ inch strips with a pizza cutter. Lightly drop your fresh pasta into your boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Strain and let cool for 1 minute or two.
- Toss with the pesto and then place the fresh tomatoes on top. Garnish with pecorino and serve!