Soul Food

 

SOUL FOOD

pasta

If I don’t eat Pasta every three or four days, I get crabby.

When I was a kid, my Grandfather lived downstairs. He was a two burner stove guy, one for boiling water, and one to cook his pasta sauce. Every day we ate a plate of Pasta while watching an after school television show featuring cartoons and cowboys.

His English was terrible, but he loved it when Hopalong Cassidy shot the bad guys off their horses.

At least a couple of times a week, when my Father came home from work, my Mother made Pasta for our family dinner as well.

Although we ate mountains of Ravioli that my Grandmother made, we didn’t eat much fresh Pasta. All of the local stores sold dried Pasta that was produced in a factory just a block from our house.

However, we all learned how to make our own Pasta, and I still enjoy to do so whenever possible. I love to make it when we have friends over, and it is a great pleasure to give it as gifts.

The recipe that I use differs from the family Ravioli dough in that it uses more eggs. It has a richer taste, and in my mind, goes best with simpler sauces.

This is the recipe that I use.

Three eggs

Two cups of flour

About a teaspoon of Olive Oil.

A dash of Salt

 

1. Mix the ingredients together until they are all thoroughly blended.

2. Knead by hand. If the dough remains sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the ball is pretty uniform in texture.

3. Put the ball in a bowl, and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

I cut chunks off of the “mother” dough ball slightly larger than a golf ball. This size makes the sheet manageable as it comes out of the machine.

If, at any point, the dough seems sticky, dust it with flour.

 I use a pasta machine to roll out my dough into sheets. It gives me more constant results, and when set on the finest setting, it makes a delicate noodle that goes down easy.

For years, I used the pasta machine attachment that cuts very precise Fettucine and Linguine noodles, but now I just slice it with a sharp knife. I roll a dough ball through the machine using every other setting until we get to the thinnest one. Then I slice that small sheet of dough into ribbons, and hang it up to dry.

I think my Uncle Joe made that rolling pin from a mop handle.

After my grandmother made Ravioli, she would slice up the trimmings, cook them, and serve them to us for lunch. She called this noodle “Lasange”, and I was in my mid 20s before I saw the baked dish that everyone else ordered by that name.

I suspect that Hipsters would call this noodle, “Hand Cut Artisan Egg Pappardelle” but to me it will always be “Lasange”.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s