Wednesday, February 27, 2008
so i've decided that my new favorite food-related program is Jamie at Home. the reason? because he cooks like i want to. he's a total slob while cooking and everything, including his mouth, is going a mile a minute. i love it. plus i love the fact that he can just go run around in his garden and yank up some leeks and run back into the kitchen while parading newly picked leeks all about. and his outdoor kitchen is something i envy.
i either forget his show is on or sleep through it (it comes on at 9:30 Eastern time on Saturdays; and i'm normally not a late sleeper but the past two Saturdays have been a wash), so i DVR the thing. Last weekend i watched his "Egg" show and oh. i need to do a YouTube search to see if someone managed to save the part where he describes making pasta. i deleted it or i would totally have plastered it all over this page. it was a riot. what i liked best was his no-nonsense approach to pasta. no kneading forever, no letting sit for an hour to relax. just blitz it together in the food processor, a bit of hand kneading, then straight into the rollers. that alone had me making pasta within 13 minutes of watching the show, and again the next night.
fresh pasta - if you haven't made it, you really ought to. you don't know what you're missing. i've waxed poetic on it before. it really is joyous. and if, like me, you get total satisfaction out of smooshing something large and blooply through a steamroller type thing, if it lets out your inner teen angst, if it helps get out your aggression if you can't make it to the gym, well. we ought to be soul mates.
i was fortunate to receive the kitchen aid pasta attachment as a wedding gift from a second cousin i've seen maybe twice in the past 20 years, and the reason she gifted me so well is because we bought her an All-Clad roasting pan for her wedding (hey. we were loaded at the time, i guess). if you don't have the kitchen aid attachment and you have good Google foo, you can get a hand crank roller thing for a fraction of the price (i've seen them for 20 dollars). alton brown described how to make it on one of his shows by using an ironing board and McGyvering his way through it, but in all honesty, who actually goes through and does this? it makes for good entertainment though.
the lousy thing about the publishers of Mr. Oliver's show and Food Network is that FN can only post recipes for two episodes at a time, no more. i haven't checked, but i think perhaps the Egg show recipes are down (who knows - i can't bear navigating the FN site, it's so damn slow). but i'll type up his tagliatelle process for you.
For the pasta:
4 large free-range or organic eggs
2 cups pasta flour, plus extra for dusting (i used 00)
(my note: one egg per person. so when i made it, i used two eggs and 1 cup of flour)
Crack the eggs into a food processor and add the flour. Whiz it up and listen for the sound changing to a rumble - this means the dough is coming together nicely. Turn the power off and test the consistency by pinching the dough. If it's a bit sticky add a little more flour and pulse again.
Tip the dough mixture onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball using your hands. Give it a little knead until smooth, then divide your dough into 4 equal parts. Start on the thickest setting of your pasta machine and run the first bit of dough through 4 or 5 times, moving the rollers closer together each time until the pasta is silky, smooth and about as thick as a CD. Flour your finished sheet generously, then fold it up and cut across into 1/2-inch strips. Gather all the slices together and toss them through your fingers, with a little flour, to open them up and make your pile of tagliatelle. Place to 1 side and repeat with the rest of the dough.
Then basically, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and keep an eye on it until it's cooked. Can take 1 to 2 or 3 minutes tops (keep checking it - depending on how thick you made your pasta, it may only take a minute). Dress yours however you want to dress it.