[This blog post features a casually genius recipe by The Messy Cooker’s friend, John. Also, be on the lookout for TMC’s favorite Italian words sprinkled throughout this post….]
Got a hot date? Impress your amore (love) by making pasta with your bare hands.
This super easy recipe comes from my good friend, John. He’s always making dinner from scratch, whether it’s sliders, ramen, or in this case, linguini. I was fortunate enough to visit John’s home and learn some of his techniques. (Below) are my field notes and instructions after mediocrely making some pasta myself.
NOTES FROM THE FIELD:
- This recipe is incredibly fun since you literally make it on your counter. Grab a friend/hot date/significant other to be your sous chef. This recipe requires more than one person!
- You only need one piece of equipment—a pasta maker—which you can buy from Amazon for about $20. If your date is in 2 hours, definitely use that Prime Now feature, if it’s available in your città (city).
- Prego, prego (which means “next” in this context), do yourself a favor. Buy pre-made pasta sauce the first time you use this recipe. Once you get a whiff of that freshly made, hot-out-of-the-pot pasta, you’re not going to want to slave over sauce for another hour. Then, you can eat so much pasta you’ll have to say BASTA! (enough!)
- Here’s a sneaky pasta trick para tutti (for you all). How do you know when the pasta is done? Throw it against a wall! If it sticks, it’s done. If it falls, it needs more time. (This only works for longer strings of pasta). When I lived in Milano (Milan), I threw way too much pasta on the walls. È bellissima (it’s beautiful) to me!
- John let me borrow his extremely nice camera, so I have extremely nice (non-iPhone) pictures for you! Here’s one of a cute pup, who watched us make pasta.
John’s Recipe for Homemade Pasta!
Servings: 4 bowls
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: A little harder than Pasta Roni but worth it! You’re making pasta with your own two hands, here.
- 1 1/2 cups Semolina flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or 2-3 cracks)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- A tad bit of all-purpose flour for sprinkling
- Pasta maker
- Large pot
- Counter this! You’re going to put food directly on your counter. So clean it right now. RIGHT. NOW.
- Flour power. Dump the semolina flour onto your nicely cleaned counter. Add the salt and mix with your fingers.
- L’eggo my egg, yo. In a small bowl, add the eggs and beat until it’s consistent-looking. Then, mix in the water and olive oil.
- Create a crater. Spread out the flour so you create a giant crater on your counter, big enough for the egg mixture to fill. Start pulling the flour from the sides of the crater into the middle and mix with the liquid mixture. It should start to resemble dough. When all the flour is mixed in, it feels like play-do, then you’re done! Put the ball of dough in a plastic bag and let rest for 20 minutes.
*Note 1: it’s easier to make the crater too big than too small. John warned me that trying to expand a small crater would certainly spring a leak.
*Note 2: fun fact, Aziz Ansari used this technique in his show Master of None.
- Use The Machine. Now you can use your pasta machine! Split up your dough ball into thirds. (Follow these instructions for each chunk). Flatten the chunk of dough a bit and sprinkle flower on each side. Set your pasta machine to setting 1, then crank that dough through. Now flattened, sprinkle more flour on both sides of the dough. Set the machine to setting 2. Continue this process until the dough has gone through setting 5.
- Grab your sous chef. While you do the cranking, have your sous chef feed the dough into the farthest gears of the machine and catch the pasta when it comes out. Make sure to sprinkle flour onto the pasta so the pieces don’t stick together!
- Boil your spoils. Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and boil 5-10 minutes (5 minutes for spaghetti, 10 for fettuccini).
*Note: while the pasta is boiling, start heating up your sauce.
- Throw your food. Throw a piece of pasta at a wall. Did it stick? It’s done. Did it fall? Keep boiling for a few more minutes.
- Buon Appetito! (Enjoy your meal)
You honestly don’t need sauce with homemade pasta. Pepper flakes, cracked black pepper, and a few shreds of parmesan cheese can make for a great meal.
Quick Clean Up
As John’s girlfriend said to me, you should wash your counter immediately. Otherwise your girlfriend or significant other will be angry with you in 3 days…
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Need some more romantic Italian words to say? Clicko.
Challenge: make chocolate pasta! Recipe here.
Need a song to play while making this pasta? That’s amore!
BONUS PICTURE: John also made tortellini. They turned out super well!