Homemade Pasta

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First off, it’s cold. It’s still snowing, raining and windy here in Vancouver. I cannot believe it is March already. Isn’t it supposed to be spring-like and warm and sunny? I can only hope we will have a very warm summer to make up for this.

So last night my mom came over for dinner. You may have seen that I made Tiramisu for dessert, in keeping with the Italian dinner theme. One of the fondest memories I have of my father is his cooking. He would always make enough food to feed an army. He was home earlier than my mom on most days from work, and therefore he would make dinner. He was a really good cook. When he was younger he worked in the restaurant industry as a waiter, and later even owning and managing a few of his own in Vancouver. Pasta would be a dish that we would eat at least once or twice, if not three times a week. Of course being Italian its almost a standard. I think in those first years after he passed away my mom, brother and I lost weight from not eating those delicious foods. We most definitely missed him first and foremost, and missed his cooking secondly. I know I missed sitting around the table with the four of us for dinners during the week. As is in most Italian families the boy, or son, is considered the ‘king’ (HA) and It was always a joke that even if I were sitting at the table when dinner was ready, and my brother was still in his room my dad would set his plate down first. And then mine. This is just how it went. I even remember one night my dad hand peeled all of my brothers shrimp. Yup. He was spoiled. And I was younger!

I think great cooks run in the family. My Nonna is one of the best cooks { definitely bias, I know } she makes delicious homemade pasta, pizza and soups. We would always get together for large dinners for Easter and Christmas. Both would have large amounts of delicious foods including lamb and seafood. Anyone who has eaten Nonna’s food can attest that she is definitely a talented cook. Everything always tasted so fresh and authentically Italian. I hope I will get to keep enjoying her food and company for years to come.

For now, I’m trying to learn how to make and cook pasta myself so I can carry on the tradition when I have kids. I remember when my brother and I were young we would help our Nonna make pasta, each taking turns turning the hand-cranked pasta maker. Oh how things have changed. Thanks to Adam, I now have a KitchenAid pasta attachment that makes things so much easier. Homemade pasta is delicious. Simple as that. No store bought pasta can measure up to the soft supple noodles made from home. If you’re a pasta virgin try this recipe. It’s effortless with a stand mixer and the attachments.

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And, if you don’t have a pasta drying stand, you can use things like clothes hangers to dry the pasta. I call it drying pasta in an apartment 101.

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Bubbling away

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Homemade Pasta
recipe from KitchenAid Recipe Book

Basic Egg Noodles

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups AP or Whole Wheat flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tbs. water

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, combine eggs flour and water. Mix with paddle attachment for about 30 seconds.
  2. Switch to a dough hook, and continue on low for two minutes.
  3. Turn it out onto the counter top and knead slowly for another minute.
  4. cut into two large rounds and cover tightly with a tea-towel.
  5. let sit about 15 minutes before using it in your pasta maker.

Follow the instructions on your pasta machine / pasta attachment. Dry pasta on counter in a single layer, or using the ‘clothes hanger’ method.

Fresh pasta only needs to cook in boiling water for about 7 minutes, until tender. You can top it with whichever sauce you would like. I made a simple tomato sauce with seafood. recipe below.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 large can whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or more)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • basil leaves/flakes
  • small can of tomato paste

In a large pot over medium low heat pour in olive oil.

In a blender/food processor/slap chop (my fav) dice up the onion and garlic together. Add to the olive oil.

Allow to heat up for a minute or two.

Using a mixer/blender puree the tomatoes until no large pieces remain. Add to the pot. Stir in the tomato paste as well. Using a wooden spoon stir gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in a few teaspoons of basil flakes, or a couple whole leaves.

Allow to simmer for about an hour on low. You can add some pre-cooked salmon pieces to the sauce at this point.

If you like when it is almost finished, you can add prawns/shrimp as well. Using thawed or fresh prawns/shrimp add them into the sauce about 10-15 minutes before serving. Allow them to cook fully in the sauce on low/medium heat. They should be fully cooked, making sure they are not undercooked or still ‘squishy.’ They should feel firm and meaty.

Serve over fresh pasta~

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Enjoy! It’ll be gone fast. Trust me.

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5 Comments on Homemade Pasta

  1. Michelle
    March 6, 2011 at 5:58 AM (4 years ago)

    What wonderful memories you have of your dad and nonna. Lovely that you are carrying on traditions they gave you. Food is a wonderful way to bring back memories, isn’t it? :)
    The pasta looks awesome! I’m afraid my dog would eat it while it was drying and we’d be left hungry. LOL

    Reply
  2. Sharlene
    March 6, 2011 at 9:55 AM (4 years ago)

    I would love to make my own pasta one day. This was a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your family’s tradition!

    Reply
  3. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective
    March 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM (4 years ago)

    It looks fantastic. I used to make pasta all the time… wonder why it’s been so long!

    Reply
  4. Alicia
    March 13, 2011 at 3:51 PM (4 years ago)

    It is so simple! And definitely delicious, you’ve gotta make it again soon!

    Reply
  5. Alicia
    March 13, 2011 at 3:52 PM (4 years ago)

    Michelle – haha maybe you need a really really tall table to dry it on??

    Reply

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