I think this might be one of the most anticipated Stems and Savories posts! The pressure to write a perfect first sentence was too great, so I reached out to my housemates for some ideas to lessen the intimidation. The reply? In a stereotypical Italian accent, though said by an actual Italian, "What's the first thing an Italian family does when they all get together? They make the food. Well they pour the wine. Then they make the food." So if Italian families make food and we all made food last night, does that make us family? Or does it make us Italian? :) Either way, it's been in the works for a month: homemade pasta night. And did we have a crew! I think there were 13 of us total?! Luckily our hosts had a huge, beautiful kitchen island that we could all crowd around to get our hands sticky with dough. In addition to the wine, cheese plates, music, and good company (of course!), we enjoyed 36 eggs and 9 cups of flour. Yep, 36 eggs and 9 cups of flour. It was quite the adventure! We did have a few "eggsplosions" when our retention wall of flour gave way (pictures to come) and an unfortunate clogged sink/dishwasher disaster (no pictures to come haha), but overall it was a fantastic night spent with wonderful people:) And my housemate was exactly right (even though we couldn't take him completely seriously at the time with his Italian accent): cooking brings people together! Get ready for a very long but fun-filled post with too many to count step-by-step pasta making pictures! I'm going to do you a favor and third the recipe for you so you don't need to buy 3 dozen eggs or cram 13 people around your kitchen table. Though if you're looking for a a fun evening, I'd highly recommend multiplying the ingredient list by 3 and finding 12 friends to start making this pasta with:)

homemade pasta!!!

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
8 egg yolks

Clean off a large surface for mixing and kneading your dough. Measure your flour out onto the clean surface and use your hands to make a large well in the middle of the pile.

And get ready to separate some eggs!

You'll need 4 whole eggs and 8 egg yolks! You can add the whole eggs straight to the pile, but separate the egg yolks into a bowl first!

It's a bit tedious, but not if you have 26 hands to help:)

You won't have this many eggs in your well, but I couldn't resist showing how many we used:)

Make sure you've got someone on flour-retention wall duty. You have to keep building it up so that the eggs don't leak over the top.

 Unless you want an "eggsplosion" like we had!

Once you've added all of the eggs, start to swirl the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour.

Once all of the flour has been incorporated (or as much as you can get!), begin to knead the dough. And knead. And knead. Maybe switch off with your sous chef so your arms don't tire? This is when our large chef numbers came in handy:) 

When you think you might be getting close to a dough that is smooth in texture and has no inner layers or bubbles, slice the dough through the center with a knife.

If you can still see layers and bubbles like in the picture above, keep kneading:) 

After kneading for what seems like eternity, try the slicing trick again!

If it looks like the picture above, you're finally good! There are a few pockets, but relatively few, and the dough is almost leathery. Now cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit for about an hour. Then you're ready to roll the dough! Separate the dough into smaller balls and slightly flatten out with your hand so that it will fit through the pasta roller.

Roll the pasta through on the lowest setting, then fold in thirds and roll it through again.

Roll all of your dough on the lowest setting twice before decreasing the width of the roller. Roll all dough through this setting twice as well. 

Now you're ready to cut it! We made pappardelle, so we rolled each of these sets of rolled dough onto themselves, sliced the log with a knife so that each piece would be about 1" thick, and then unraveled the slices of pappardelle. 

Isn't it beautiful?!

It was like a factory in that kitchen with all the people working on the different stages of the dough!

Try to keep the sliced pasta spread out as much as possible. We made the mistake of piling too much on top of itself that it became hard to separate the strands when we wanted to start boiling the pasta. So, I'd line them up on a cookie sheet rather than dump them into a bowl! You can also sprinkle a little bit of flour over them to make sure they don't stick to each other.

Once you're ready to cook the pasta, bring a generously-salted, large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta in batches so as not to crowd the pot and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Strain and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.

 If you make pappardelle, serve with a thick, robust ragu (I'll try to post the recipe soon!) since the sauce will nicely cling to the long, wide ribbons.

Oh man. It was AMAZING. So incredibly delicious. And so much fun! It's going to be hard for me to not make this all again this next weekend!

A huge thanks to everyone for their help and great company!!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like we need to plan another cooking night... Fuggetaboutit!!!!