As promised we are back to share some insights and recipes from our very first cooking class, Pasta 101. In this class Chef Dan Pancake took participant through a hands on journey in making fresh pasta, cutting noodles, filling a ravioli style pasta and making a few simple summer sauces. After the students were finished with their time in the kitchen, they moved to the dining room to enjoy the fruits of their labor as cooked for them by Dan. Paired with Med wines selected by owner and wine director John Aranza it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. As we are in the height of tomato season, we thought we would share with you a basic pasta dough recipe and a toasted garlic, tomato sauce that showcases the height of Italian simplicity and yields a delicious dish. We have been making this all summer with tomatoes from the Greenhouse, Cakeridge Farms and the local farmers market. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Making Pasta from Scratch
Making pasta dough from scratch is quick and produces excellent results. There are several variables that affect the final product:
? Flour type and grind
? Eggs (whole, yolks)
? Ambient conditions in the kitchen
? Additives to the pasta dough (spinach, beet, etc…)
The most critical variable is flour. At Autre Monde, we use only Farina “00”, which is a hard, Winter durham type wheat flour. The “00” refers to the size of the grind, and is the finest flour available. Ours is imported from Italy, and can be found at Italian specialty shops in the area.
Basic Fresh Pasta Dough Recipe:
1 kg 00 Flour
8 ea Whole large eggs
4 ea Egg yolks
2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
This dough can be made easily in a stand mixer with a dough hook, by starting with the eggs and olive oil in the bowl. Mix until combined, then add the flour and watch for the dough to come together in a smooth ball. Wet or dry dough can be corrected by adding a small amount of flour, or another egg yolk. Ambient conditions (mostly humidity) can have a significant impact on how much moisture the dough will require.
Remove the dough from the mixer and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to use.
RECIPES FOR TODAY
Napolitano Style Fresh Tomato Sauce Serves 4
1 lb Fresh Pasta dough
1 pt Ripe cherry tomatoes (e.g., Sun Golds, Juliets, Sweet 100s)
1 tsp Minced fresh garlic
2 Tbl Fresh basil, chiffonade
1 TT EVOO
½ Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Grana Padano or Pecorino will work)
1 TT Sea salt/Kosher salt and Cracked Black Pepper (can sub Pepperoncino)
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and crush each with your fingers, into a large bowl. Add the garlic, basil, EVOO, cheese, salt & pepper. Reserve at room temperature.
Roll out the pasta into desired shape (Tagliatelle, chitarra, stracci). Bring 5-6 qts of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Strain the pasta, and reserve the pasta water.
Toss the hot pasta into the bowl with the fresh sauce and cheese. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce coats the pasta.
Divide the pasta between 4 plates, and add additional cheese is desired. Drizzle with EVOO.