These handsome nephews of mine are busy rolling out some pasta dough to be cut into fettuccine. They were out to visit from New York along with the rest of the family which was super fun and these two were excellent rolling helpers. While I spent way too long on whatever else I was cooking that night, rolling fresh pasta is surprisingly quick. I think I timed myself from mixing dough to having noodles ready to cook at 14 minutes (and the dough should rest sometime in there) – and then cooking time is literally about three minutes depending on your noodle size. Anyhow, I do love to enlist the help of Addie and have mixed up dough in a couple preschool classes which was fun. So, yep, fun for the whole family. And other people’s too.
I usually make my dough by pouring two cups of flour onto a big board, counter or large flat-bottomed bowl. Mix in a little salt and I’ll often toss in some fresh herbs from the garden. Make a little mountain with a dome and crack three eggs in the middle, then mix up the eggs working in some flour until you can stir it all up. You can add some drops of water if the dough is too dry. Knead for a few minutes and then the professional folks will say to make a couple balls and wrap them up, which I’ll do if I have time, but I often end up making eight balls and just begin rolling when they’re formed. Having a wee roller is great but I’m sure a rolling pin and cutting works fine too, though maybe that would take forever (probably still worth it for how delicious it is). Coating with plenty of flour maintains separation in the noodles and clean up of the machine is easy too as it only involves wiping off the flour.
Okay, I thought I might write some silly pasta suggestions here or something, but this is already ridiculously long and boring so you one should get a prize for even reading this far. If you just skipped to this last short paragraph you don’t get a prize.
So easy and so good. We’ve been throwing something like this together a lot lately when we have little time or need a simple, springy side. A simple sauce of about half lemon juice and half olive oil. Mix it with the ratio you like best and a wee bit of salt as well. Save the zest to stir into the pasta when done too for an extra little zing. I think the pasta pictured has arugula tossed in because we’ve got lots ready to harvest, but the basil plant we had already died away. Stir in plenty of feta when the noodles have cooled a tad and grind some fresh pepper on top. Okay, I think I put some pepper on pretty much everything. I like it.