PAT’S PERFECT PASTA (plus bonus recipe for Mushroom and Sage Pasta Dish)
Have you ever tried to make your own pasta? Friends have told me it’s super easy. Recent guests to our humble seaside home said they make pasta for lobster filled ravioli….oh, be still my seafood loving beating heart! And recently someone from social media posted a picture of his outdoor pasta making. So, I thought to myself, if he can easily make it in a camping environment, I can certainly make it in my teeny tiny galley. Then low and behold one of my readers sent me her recipe to try. Such great timing! Well!…let me tell you, it really is as easy as all that.
Simple in ingredient list. Simple in method. So satisfying to be able to reproduce what was in the past purchased at the market. I did buy a very small inexpensive pasta machine but it’s not necessary.
The dough can be rolled out by hand…in Pat’s recipe she says it should be thin enough to be able to read a love letter through it. What a lovely sentiment!
With my first batch of dough I made fettuccine. Half the dough made more than enough for a delicious dish using reconstituted dried mushrooms, brown butter and fresh sage leaves. More than enough for 2-3 generous servings.
The rest of the dough I formed into fettuccine again, air dried it then stashed away for another quick week night meal. Well dried, it keeps for several weeks in a cool dry environment or frozen for three to four months. Drying can simply be setting your flour dusted pasta in a tea towel for a couple of hours, on a parchment lined baking sheet in a warmed oven, simply hung over a broom stick, or use a dehydrator if available. A couple of minutes swimming in salted simmering water and you have a bowl full of tasty noodles.
I was encouraged not only by the ease of making but also by the ingredients used. All pantry staples. You could get fancy and use 00 flour (which I keep on hand for making pizza dough) but all purpose flour works just as well. The two whole eggs and five yolks add a good deal of protein which is an encouraging addition to our frequent meatless meals. A touch of olive oil and some salt rounds out the ingredients list.
Below, I’ve given you my favourite mushroom pasta recipe and added an extra recipe card in case you want to try your hand at making fresh pasta. There is also a very useful video I discovered on pasta making found here if you are interested: https://youtu.be/YNHqjFyk5gU. I keep a large jar of dried mushrooms in my pantry that I routinely purchase at Costco. The resulting stock from reconstituting them produces a dark flavourful broth. Use fresh mushrooms instead if you wish but have some vegetable, chicken or beef stock on hand to add richness to the sauce. The fresh sage leaves in this recipe have given me a whole new respect for this herb. First crisped in the brown butter they add a heavenly garnish not to be missed.
Fresh Pasta with Simple Brown Butter, Sage and Mushroom Sauce
- 8 oz Pasta of choice Fettuccine or broad egg noodles are a perfect choice
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 20 Fresh sage leaves
- 2 Cups Dehydrated mushrooms
- 1 Cup reserved mushroom water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 Cup Grated parmesan Extra for garnish
- Place dried mushrooms in a bowl,cover with hot water and set aside for about 30 minutes
- Drain rehydrated mushrooms, reserving about 1 cup of liquid for making the sauce
- Heat butter in a large saute pan
- Saute sage leaves until a golden and lightly crisped.
- Remove sage leaves to a piece of paper towel and set aside
- Chop mushrooms into smaller pieces and lightly saute in same pan and butter that you cooked the sage leaves in, for 4-5 minutes, until softened.
- Season with salt and pepper and add reserved liquid, simmering until slightly reduce.
- Cook pasta according to directions then drain. If using homemade pasta it should take just 2-3 minutes.
- Add pasta and parmesan to mushroom sauce and stir till combined.
- Divided into two pasta bowls, top with sage leaves and garnish with extra parmesan.
Pat’s Perfect Pasta
- 2 Cups All-purpose flour Extra flour for working, dusting and rolling
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Whole eggs
- 6 Eggs yolks
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk together the eggs and oil in a separate bowl. Pour the flour mixture onto a clean dry work surface and form a small well in the center. Pour half of the egg mixture into the well and, using a fork, begin to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture. Once absorbed, incorporate the remaining egg mixture and knead by hand until all of the liquid is absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes, flouring your work surface as needed to ensure the dough doesn't stick. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 30 minutes.
- On a well floured work surface, roll out your dough as thinly as possible. I halved the dough to make it a more manageable amount then repeated with the other half.
- Cut into whatever shapes of pasta you are making...so far I’ve made little rectangles pinched in the centre for bow tie...long thin strips for fettuccine.
- If using a pasta maker, roll portions of dough through the largest setting 4-5 times, then once through each of the smaller settings. I found that for fettuccine, setting 6 worked best for a final manageable thickness.
- Dust pasta pieces with flour to keep from sticking together and let dry before storing.
- Use right away, store in a cool dry environment for several weeks or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
Thanks very much Pat for teaching me that pasta can be so easy to make in minimal surroundings. Keep those recipes coming, my Peeps! I have yet to meet an unconquerable culinary challenge…so far that is. In the meantime I’m on a roll with this pasta making…and lobster season is about to begin in our neck of the woods…so how does Lobster Ravioli sound? Stay tuned…..\