CP Nosh: Hand-Rolled Pasta

Photo courtesy of Della Chen Photography

Welcome to CP Nosh – a delicious recipe inspired by this week’s show!

This week guest Giorgio Pompei took us to Rione XIII on Capitol Hill. Known for their house made pasta and homage to Roman cuisine, Rione XIII is a newer Seattle favorite. Inspired by their focus on simple Italian food, I’m hoping to get all of you in the kitchen this week, working on a handmade dinner!

Hand rolled pasta is far easier to make than you think, I PROMISE! Here is my favorite home recipe for hand rolling with a rolling pin (or wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin, which by the way . . . is weird!). Left to dry briefly before cooking, this is a great dinner for the weekend when you can start at 4pm and pour yourself a glass of wine while you work. In spring, I’d boil the pasta as instructed and then toss it into a pan with browned butter and chopped asparagus for a spectacularly seasonal meal that is light and satisfying. This recipe and more pantry basics can be found in my first book, Urban Pantry. Enjoy!

Hand-Rolled Pasta
[ MAKES 1 1/2 POUNDS PASTA, OR 4 TO 6 SERVINGS ]

Some people shy away from making homemade pasta, as it seems like an impossible chore. Most urban kitchens do not have room for a pasta machine, but if grannies in Italy can roll out their pasta by hand, I figure I can too. Rolling out the dough is a bit of a workout but shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, at most. This pasta dough uses a bare minimum of ingredients, doesn’t need much drying time, and cooks up easily. From start to finish, you’ll need 2 hours total.

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup semolina flour
5 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook on low speed for about 5 minutes, or until the dough comes together and is fairly smooth. Turn it out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead by hand about 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough is elastic and shiny. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into three equal pieces. Using one piece at a time (and keeping the others well wrapped in plastic wrap), shape the dough into a flattened rectangular disc. Lightly flour your workspace and roll out the dough, keeping its rectangular shape as much as possible (don’t worry too much if the dough takes on a different shape). Roll it out until quite thin—about 20 to 22 inches long and 8 to 10 inches wide (be sure to turn the dough over occasionally and roll the other side). Dust your workspace as needed so the dough does not stick. It should be thin, like a stick of gum, and should take about 8 minutes to roll out. Using a pastry brush, remove any excess flour.

To cut your noodles, fold the dough, lengthwise, into a 5-inch-wide rectangular roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the noodles thin (for fettuccine) or thick (for tagliatelle). Unfold the roll and hang the noodles to dry, for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. I hang my pasta on a string tied between the backs of two chairs, but any thin string-like option will work—a dowel rod, a hanger, a lampshade, and so on.

Just before serving, bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add a handful of pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente but not too toothsome. Drain and serve immediately, or use any leftover pasta in Herbal Minestrone (see recipe in chapter 4, “Beans & Peas”).

PANTRY NOTE: Fully dried hand-rolled pasta may be stored in an airtight container for up to two months. You can also freeze pasta by twirling freshly cut noodles into small rounds, placing them in a plastic bag, and sprinkling with semolina flour (to prevent sticking). Hand-rolled pasta will keep in the freezer indefinitely but is best used within four months.

Amy Pennington is the host of Check, Please! Northwest and a well-known ingredient in Seattle’s food and restaurant scene. She’s also the author of Urban Pantry, Apartment Gardening and Apples: From Harvest to Table, and the e-book series Fresh Pantry. Read more of Amy’s work at amy-pennington.com and connect on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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