Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted something new. I have been pretty busy being sick and recovering from having two wisdom teeth pulled out….eek! I am finally starting to feel like myself again, which is awesome because I really miss being in my kitchen!
This weekend we had a craving for homemade pasta with bolognese sauce-similar to what we ate at NYC’s Eataly. Yesterday, we tried to mimic that dish. If you don’t know about Eataly, it’s one of the greatest Italian markets that I have ever been to in the U.S. There’s endless amounts of Italian goods and amazing restaurants. If you are ever in the area, GO!
We started by making the pasta. We made a big batch of dough, which in the end served 7 hungry people. I really think everyone should try to attempt making homemade pasta. It’s not hard at all. Also, having a pasta machine helps with making the process go faster. These days, you can find great pasta machines for reasonable prices. This recipe can easily be cut in half or increased.
Fresh Pasta Dough:
4 1/2 Cups: Pasta Flour or All Purpose Flour *I used pasta flour (also labled as “00”) which is a very finely ground farina flour. It gives the pasta a nice bite and flavor. You can order it online or find it at a specialty food store.*
6 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon: Salt
2 teaspoons: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Warm water as needed
2) Using a fork, slowly combine the flour from the sides of the well into the egg mixture. Continue doing this until it becomes too stiff to beat with the fork.
3) Now, use your hands to knead the dough. You may or may not need to incorporate any of the warm water.
4) Once the dough comes together in a ball, cut it in half. Wrap both pieces in plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator.
Now time to make the bolognese sauce! Everyone has their own way of making sauce. In our house, we have sauce making down pat. One requirement in our sauce is using high quality tomatoes. We buy San Marzano tomato cans, which come straight from Italy. You can easily find these tomato cans in your food store.
This bolognese sauce is very hearty. It contains a lot of meat and is cooked for a few hours. You can easily leave out the meat and just make a plain tomato sauce.
1) I start by cooking one pound of a mixture of ground beef, pork and veal in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. I then add 5 cloves of sliced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I don’t like adding the garlic before the meat because it easily burns and turns bitter. I also slice my garlic, I don’t mince it into small pieces. I like slicing it because minced garlic gets lost in the sauce-I like seeing the garlic!
2) I then open 4 cans of peeled, whole San Marzano tomatoes and put them in a big bowl. I use a scissor to cut the tomatoes into pieces. I like doing this because I get to cut the tomatoes to the size I want them to be. You can easily buy crushed tomato cans. I pour all the tomatoes into the cooked meat along with a few spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons) of tomato paste and a splash of red wine.
3) I then add about 1/4 cup of basil, salt & pepper and a small pinch of nutmeg. Nutmeg may sound weird, but I think it adds a nice, warm flavor to the sauce. I also added the rind of a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. This is obviously optional, but it adds such flavor!! I always have rinds saved in my freezer for whenever I make my sauce. Now, just give the sauce a stir and keep it on low heat for a few hours until it’s thick and reduced slightly.
While the sauce was cooking Jake and I rolled out the pasta. We then cut it into thick pieces to make what is called, pappardelle. Each piece was hung on this awesome drying rack for a few hours until we were ready to cook it.
Oh, and we kept stirring the sauce :). Don’t forget to!
We also made some homemade braciola. Which is thinly sliced beef stuffed and rolled with a breadcrumb mixture. The breadcrumb mixture contained a lot of cheese, parsley, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil. They are pan fried and then added to the sauce. We also pan fried some Italian sausage and added that as well.
We really went all out!
The pasta was cooked in salted boiling water for only 5 minutes. After the pasta was drained, it was put in a beautiful bowl with the sauce on top. The braciola and sausages were served in a separate bowl.
We then feasted!!