fresh egg pasta and italian sausage

fresh egg pasta and Italian sausageThe other day I ‘attempted’ to make fresh pasta and absolutely failed!  The more I tried to rectify the situation, the worse it got.  It’s in these situations I’ve learned to walk away and try again at a later date when my mind is free from the noise.  I’ve been making my own pasta for years but every once in a while, something leads me down a path that I inherently know will result in disaster.  I knew I had too much flour for the amount of eggs but something in me said I can alter the recipe and make it work.  Wrong!  Anyway, not one to dwell in the past, making your own fresh pasta is easy when you don’t stray from the ingredients/instructions, and so rewarding when you take your first bite.  And for clarification, the following recipe is not the one I walked away from.  That one is in the garbage!

Serves 4
400g Tipo ’00’ flour (or use all-purpose flour)
4 large eggs

Place flour on a counter top and make a well in the center. By way of feedback, most culinary experts will say that fresh pasta doesn’t like a cold counter top and to use a wood surface.  Crack eggs into it and beat eggs with a fork until smooth. Gradually draw the flour into the egg. Do this a little bit at a time until everything is combined. Then begin to knead the dough. If the dough feels sticky, then add a light dusting of flour. Knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Wrap dough in kitchen wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  Some say in the fridge while my Italian friend says to let it sit on the counter…I’m with Francesca.

fresh egg pasta doughGrab your pasta machine and have the setting at its widest. Cut the dough into half or quarters. Flatten out with the palm of your hand. Cover the remaining dough to prevent from drying out.

fresh egg pasta dough through machineLightly dust the dough and roll through the pasta machine. Fold the sheet of dough into thirds (lightly dust with flour, if needed) and place back into the pasta machine and roll the dough out again. Again, fold dough into thirds, click the machine down one setting, and roll the dough through.

pasta dough passing through machineYou’ll notice that each time you do this the dough starts to feel silky smooth. If it doesn’t feel silky smooth, repeat the process again.

egg pasta rolled outAdjust setting again, one click down, and run dough through. This is where I stop as it’s the right thickness for the noodles. If you’re making lasagna you may want to go one more click or two if you’re making ravioli.

fresh pasta starting to feel silky smoothUse the attachments that came with your pasta machine and choose desired cut.

pasta sheet being cut into noodlesIf you don’t own a pasta machine, you can easily roll out dough (in smaller chunks) and then cut using a knife. Once you have your pasta cut, toss with semolina flour to prevent from sticking together.

fresh linguine

Italian Sausage Sauce
2 to 4 Italian sausages (if large, only use 2)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (more if you like)
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
chopped parsley

fresh egg pastaIn a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Add onion slices and cook until soft and translucent. Remove sausage meat from casings and add to pan. Break up meat with a spoon and cook until no longer pink. About halfway through cooking, add garlic slices. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fresh egg pasta and cook 3 minutes. Remove pasta with tongs and toss into meat sauce and don’t worry about the water dripping from the pasta – it’ll add to the sauce.  If the sauce appears to be too dry add one or two tablespoons of the pasta water and a knob of butter. Stir and add half of the Parmesan.  Serve immediately topped with remaining Parmesan and chopped parsley.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: I used half of the dough and placed in the freezer for later use.  Enjoy!