Lunch was hearty and fun: bacon, corn and potato chowder, apple and brie panini, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
For supper we made Pasta alla Carbonara with homemade pappardelle. If you've been reading here for awhile, you may recall that Pasta alla Carbonara with Kale is Nick's very favorite supper. This year, we made a fresh pasta rich with egg yolks, and served crunchy kale chips on the side. It is heartwarming to see a bunch of ravenous boys tucking into a plate of kale chips.
A pumpkin cake with chocolate ganache completed the birthday boy's favorite foods, and a busy weekend of cooking for me.
I am especially excited to share this recipe for homemade pasta. You see, I have been making pasta by hand for a long time, and have never been thrilled with the results at high altitude. Foods dry out quickly here, and adding liquids to pasta dough is dicey business...just a drop too much and you end up with a gummy mess.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Tipo 00 flour, or "Double 0" as it is sometimes called, is ground extra fine, and the classic flour for making pasta in Italy. True Tipo 00 imported from Naples can be ordered at markethallfoods.com. I use a less expensive domestic product that I order from kingarthurflour.com.
Besides the fresh egg yolks and the Tipo 00 flour, there is one more secret to making the perfect pasta dough: Rest. The dough rests in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours before it is rolled, cut and cooked. Resting is important to soften and develop the gluten protein, which gives the pasta its irresistible chewy texture.
Makes 1 1/2 pounds of pasta, which should feed about 6-8 hungry people.
- 2 1/2 cups (13 ounces) Tipo 00 flour, plus 1/4 cup for dusting
- 1 large egg
- 14 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole milk
- Mound 2 1/2 cups flour on a clean countertop. Create a well in the center about 8 inches across, leaving some flour in the bottom of the well.
- Pour the egg, egg yolks, olive oil, and milk into the well.
- Using a fork, mix the ingredients together in the well. Then, little by little, begin to bring in some of the flour from the sides of the well. Continue to bring in the flour until all of it is incorporated and the mixture has a paste-like texture.
- Using a dough scraper (or a dull knife) starting at the outermost part of the well, make chops across from left to right and then top to bottom.
- Then use the dough scraper to lift the dough from the board and fold it over itself until it completely comes together.
- Begin to knead the dough, and use the dough scraper to clean the board. Sprinkle the board with some of the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Continue to knead the dough for 15 minutes, adding flour as needed, until very smooth and elastic.
- Lightly dust the dough with flour and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 24. (Do not freeze the dough).
To make the pappardelle:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a kitchen towel.
- Cut the dough into thirds. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the other pieces covered with plastic wrap so that they don't dry out.
- Shape the first third into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Fold it into thirds, as if you were folding a business letter.
- Set the rollers of the pasta machine on the widest setting, and dust the rollers with flour. Or use a rolling pin and follow the same procedure by hand.
- Roll the dough through the machine, then roll it through the same setting again. Repeat two more times. Next, fold the sheet lengthwise in half so that you have a narrower pice of dough, and run it through the machine again.
- Lower the pasta machine setting one notch, and roll the sheet of pasta through. This is where an extra pair of hands is so helpful, as the sheets of dough get very long. If you are working alone, just cut the dough into manageable segments.
- Keep lowering the setting by one notch and passing the dough through until you can easily see your hand through the sheet of dough. On my Atlas hand-crank machine, this is setting #7.
- Lay the dough on the floured surface, and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Continue the procedure with the other 2 pieces of dough.
To cook: Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add 1 Tablespoon salt. Add half of the pasta to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with your pasta sauce. Keep warm while you boil the rest of the pasta.