Lately I have been teaching myself how to make pasta from scratch. We listened to Michael Ruhlmans book Ratios as we traveled through Europe. The ideas and recipes he wrote about set my mind whirling about all the fun food experiments I could try when I got home. Since I have flour eggs and salt and oil in my kitchen I figured why not start with pasta.
Make no mistake those Italian ladies in their little villages make it look easy but there is definitely and art to it. There is a technique to implement and a big learning curve. What those ladies know and I have yet to learn is the way the dough is supposed to feel and behave as you work with it. They know the precise moment when the dough achieves its optimum texture and give. I believe that to be after about ten to fifteen minutes of kneading I am improving and have increased my repertoire to include linguine and ravioli. Today I tackle Pappardelle, which as I read on Wikipedia is derived from the Italian word “pappare,” meaning to gobble up. In Italy they serve it often with wild boar and I’d love to make that sometime but today I’m fresh out of wild boar.
I generally use whatever pasta I have on hand, from the boxed kind to gourmet shop designer variety,it all works for this dinner.I will say that making pasta is fun. Sometime you might want to grab your husband, boyfriend, kids, and or parents and try to make pasta together. At the very least you’ll make memories.
I’m roasting the tomatoes with a bit of oil and salt at 350 till they are tender. On the same baking sheet I’ll put several garlic bulbs slit but unpeeled, wrapped in foil with a touch of olive oil and a bit of salt. When cooled I the remove the seeds and skin from the tomatoes and squeeze the garlic out of the clove into a fry pan. Often I add some canned tomato and herbs. Depends on what I have on hand. I buy low salt varieties because I like to control our salt intake.
After boiling the pasta I add it to the fry pan and finish it with the sauce. I add fresh basil because I grow it in my garden but dried can be just fine too, today I’m adding a sauteed zucchini but peppers work well too. I top it with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. I always like to grate fresh cheese on our pasta.
*1 cup AP Flour 4.25 OZ $ .16
*¾ cup WW flour 3.18 OZ $ .12
3 eggs $.65
1 tea salt $.05
1 tea olive oil $.15
for the flour costs-My 5lb bag of flour was $2.98 containing 80 ounces of flour
Making pasta costs pennies but dry pasta is quite reasonable as well
3 roma tomatoes $ .99
1/ can of low salt tomatoes $ .60
1 zucchini $ .88
½ onion $ .30
2-4 fat garlic cloves smashed $ .10
total cost $5.40
TIP OF THE DAY: I try to buy the very best cheese I can for our pasta dishes. It is another product that tends to keep well in the freezer. The one I’m using today is weighs 10oz cost me $7.00. I’m using about 2oz grated (and probably not even that much) so net cost is $1.40 well worth it.