years ago, while on workman’s compensation for bi-lateral tendonitis, i found myself watching a lot of martha stewarts daytime talk show. probably too much if you ask me, but whatever, jail thawed her frosty exterior in a way that made her charming; and i loved watching smoke spew from her eardrums whenever conan o’brien got to be a guest. any-hoo, one guest made these big, beautiful raviolos, filled with spinach ricotta, and a single egg. i know, i know, i don’t eat eggs/cheese, but that’s besides the point. what captivated me, was watching her effortlessly roll out these big, smooth sheets of yellow pasta, and delicately fill and crimp them. after that i knew, i wanted a pasta roller. i did eventually get my wish this past january, when my parents gifted me the attachment for my kitchen aid mixer. i never again need to search a bajillion cub foods locations for the one singular brand of egg free wonton wrappers, i can simply make my own. and once i can pony up for the cutter, and a drying rack, i can make pounds of pasta and dry it! wonderful! granted, all of those fun shapes like radiatore, and cavatappi, will still be purchased at the store, but any flat/wide noodle can be done in 20 minutes! and its fun!
this recipe should make about a half a pound of pasta, or enough for 4 people. if not using right away, lay out on some parchment paper with a bit of flour, and let dry completely before storing. if whole wheat isnt your thing, swap it out for more semolina.
Homemade Papardelle with Grape Tomatoes and Spinach
1 c durum semolina flour
1 c whole wheat flour
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 lukewarm water, plus extra, divided
2 pints grape tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 small red onion, quartered and sliced
4 handfulls fresh spinach
handful fresh basil
bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and turn off the heat. this way, when you’re ready, it should take less than 5 minutes to bring it back to a boil.
whisk the two flours in a bowl until combined. dump onto a clean countertop, and make a well in the center. add the oil to the half cup of water. pour a fourth of the water into the well, and draw some of the flour from the outsides over the center. continue doing this until all of the water has been added. using a fork will help turn the flour over. once all the water had been added, ditch the fork and use your fingers to “pinch and turn” the flour, working the dry into the wet. continue to do so until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers, almost like cookie dough. gather the dough together and knead until smooth and stiff. about 8-10 minutes. if needed, lightly moisten hands with water to control the dry/grainy spots. when done, the dough will barely feel tacky, and will be heavy for its size.
make a well in your flour
"pinch and roll"
cut the dough into 6 equal pieces, and flatten slightly. turn your pasta roller to the number 1 setting. take one piece of dough, and feed it through the machine, fold it in half, turn once, and feed it again. keep doing this until you have a smooth rectangle as wide as the roller. when achieved, roll without folding or turning, until the sheet can get no thinner. now change the setting to 2. keep feeding the pasta in the same direction until it can get no thinner. do this with the 3 setting as well. once done, lay the sheet out on your counter (dusted in flour) and use a pizza cutter to make 1/3″ sized strips. dust with flour, and lay out on some parchment. my instructions say that when pasta gets kneaded through the machine, it should become very smooth/leathery, and pliable without dry or crumbly edges. it sounds daunting on paper, but once you start to work the dough, it becomes very easy to feel it out and know when its ready to use. once you’ve rolled out all of your dough, make sure the raw pieces aren’t over-lapping. i made that mistake and ripped quite a few of them. oops!
strips of papardelle
bad idea! just lay the pieces out in a single layer!
place 2 tbs of olive oil into a heavy bottomed skillet, add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant. add the tomatoes, raise the heat to medium high and cover. bring your pasta water back to a boil. cook your pasta in 2 batches, using tongs or a pasta fork to remove the noodles when they float, and then toss with some olive oil. by now the tomatoes will have burst. remove the lid and add about a quarter cup of wine and cook until thickened slightly. add the spinach and basil and toss until wilted. now add the pasta and toss until coated-being gentle since fresh pasta isnt as sturdy. now you can eat and enjoy your hard work!