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July 12, 2012 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Pasta from scratch and recipes that compliment it?

Hi there! So I've been learning to cook Italian food. I finally have a pretty good spaghetti sauce and am loving it. I'm excited to learn more so I decided to learn to make pasta from scratch. Great! I've looked at many recipes online and I've found a few to try, but in my searching I also found that for certain recipes its better to use box pasta because it won't soak up certain sauces (like garlic oil spaghetti). So my question :

TL:DR Can you direct me to your best pasta from scratch recipes and recipes that really highlight the pasta? (Also stovetop recipes are the best, as I don't have an oven!)

Hope this makes sense! Thanks!
posted by xicana63 to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A traditional Bolgnase seems right up your alley w. homemade tagliatelle. Personally, my own recipe is about halfway between this and this (I use a mix of pork and beef, and tomato paste to redden it up). But it's an all day affair --- the kind of thing where you start it Sunday morning after breakfast and let it barely simmer on the back of the stove all afternoon. Worth it though.
posted by Diablevert at 9:40 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: Really, anything simple with few ingredients so you can really highlight the pasta. I kind of disagree that Aiglio e olio (garlic oil pasta) shouldn't be used: I think it is a great starting point and you can easily add to it.

For instance, if cherry tomatoes are in season, quarter some of those and add them to the garlic and oil to simmer for about two minutes. Toss this with homemade pasta and serve hot with parmigiano and shredded basil, or cold with crumbled feta and oregano.

Or chop zucchini and yellow summer squash and add those to the garlic oil along with some crushed red pepper. In the fall or winter, replace the oil with bacon, the garlic with shallots, and the squash with chunks of butternut squash. After sauteeing a bit, add some cream and warm not quite to a boil.

A good alfredo sauce also showcases the texture of homemade pasta nicely.
posted by gauche at 9:42 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: I'd recommend getting The Geometry of Pasta, which will give you some of the answers, but also help with the question of matching pasta types and ingredients. It's a great book.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:46 AM on July 12, 2012

I don't make pasta from scratch so I don't have a recipe for that, but I'd recommend looking for the simplest one possible. I helped a friend make a batch once, and I think it was maybe just flour and egg, and then a little water/milk as needed to get the texture right.

BUT I do have a fantastic sauce that is great especially on fresh pasta, and it only requires chopping (no cooking). I'm not including measurements, you can tweak the amounts or try different ingredients depending on the flavors you like:

Ingredients: Fresh, ripe tomato chopped roughly into half inch pieces. Fresh basil, coarsely chopped. Garlic, minced (not too much, since it will be raw). Parsley, coarsely chopped. Parmesan or other hard cheese, finely grated. Salt and pepper. Olive oil.

Cook your pasta and drain. In a serving dish, throw all your chopped fresh ingredients in with the hot pasta and mix gently but thoroughly so all the pasta gets coated and the oil and juices blend. That's it! Very fresh, very summery. You could experiment by substituting lots of different things: chopped nuts, goat cheese or ricotta, olives, roasted peppers, different types of oils (walnut oil, yum!), a little lemon zest...
posted by dahliachewswell at 9:53 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: Cacio e pepe.

posted by rachaelfaith at 9:55 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The basic egg dough recipe that's worked for me is this:

3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2.5-3 c. flour

Beat eggs in mixer. add salt. While mixer is running, add flour, a 1/2 c. at a time, until a stiff dough ball forms. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand on floured surface for a little while.

Run through hand-crank pasta maker at widest roller setting, fold, and run pasta through this setting again. Proceed with thinner settings, and then cut as spaghetti or fettuccine.

Additions: spinach, chopped fine; lemon juice; 1 c. fresh herbs, loosely packed; freshly pureed garlic. Or whatever else floats yon boat.

Not fancy, but totally reliable. I've found that freshly-made pasta requires less cooking time than boxed stuff--taste for consistency as you cook.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:56 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want to make a really rich pasta, one that pretty much has to be made fresh, try a Tajarin from the Piedmont region in Italy. This is what we make when we make pasta at home.

All that's needed is a butter and sage sauce you can make. The texture and richness of the pasta is what stands out.
posted by vacapinta at 9:56 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This tomato sauce was all the rage on the internet a while back. I made it and ate it with some homemade spaghetti, and it was pretty good (though read through the comments to see if you would like it). Also, I don't have a recipe for this one, but pistachio pasta sauces are really good with homemade ravioli and farfalle.
posted by bluefly at 10:47 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: To complement great homemade pasta, you want the simplest, freshest sauce possible. Anything too fussy or strong will take away from the star (which in this case is the pasta.) Mangia!
posted by cyndigo at 11:00 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: I find that homemade paparadelle (wide noodles, which are easy to hand cut - bonus) are great with something meaty, like a thick beef stew (not served like a soup, more like a hearty sauce).

Also, think about pasta dough mix-ins that will make the pasta itself stand out and just toss with butter. I like the mushroom pasta recipe from Simple to Spectacular, or ground black pepper, or saffron... You just have to watch out because if the mix-ins are too large, they can make the dough difficult to roll.
posted by beyond_pink at 11:07 AM on July 12, 2012

I want to second dahliachewswell's simple summery sauce. My version is a bit different, as anyone's will be, but the basic thing is first-rate. Sometimes I let the sauce sit for a while so the flavors marry well. Sometimes lightly sautee the garlic first if you want it milder. Really good tomatoes are crucial, as are fresh basil and parsley.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:24 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: use semolina flour, or mix it with flour. It changes everything!
posted by Tarumba at 11:59 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: Let me suggest Ricotta Gnocchi. It is delicious, light and doesn't require a potato ricer like traditional gnocchi. I serve mine with a brown butter sauce tossed with some sauteed vegetables.
posted by mmascolino at 12:13 PM on July 12, 2012

If you have a grill & a grill basket, try grilling up sliced zucchini, squash, onions, red (or green) pepper and mushrooms . While that's grilling, finish your pasta with a little olive oil and minced garlic. Toss the veggies in with the pasta or serve on the side to be mixed as you eat.

I usually marinate the veggies overnight in a small amount of Italian dressing. Wegman's has a great zesty marinade called Santa Fe if that's available in your area. And if a little leftover spaghetti ended up being grilled in with the veggies . . well, that just works well too.
posted by jaimystery at 5:42 PM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: Hello! Just wanted to close this thread with my results!

I tried the 50/50 recipe :

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semolina flour
1 pinch salt
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

and the semolina flour only recipe :

2 cups semolina flour
1 pinch salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

And found the latter to be easier to roll out and more flavorful.

I used my regular spaghetti sauce for my first go at homemade pasta!

1 lb freshly ground beef
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
3 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup Cabernet

Thanks everyone for your help!
posted by xicana63 at 7:51 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

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