handmade pasta & a simple sauce

This isn't a step by step tutorial or recipe as such. If you're an experienced cook this will be enough. If not, you may want to check out a professional tutorial or cookbook.

6) homemade pasta with tomatoes, onions,  garlic.and cayenne peppers.

My recipe ended up being:
(all flour was King Arthur flour)

1½ cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
4 - 5 eggs (start out with four and add fifth if necessary)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
~¼ cup water as it was still too dry
*The recipe called for a bit of salt, but I leave it out. I add salt to the water that the pasta will be cooked in.

Yield is about 1½ pounds of pasta.

I was surprised at how dry this was with only 4 eggs. I've made this recipe many times, but apparently my flour was very, very dry. I could have added a 6th egg, but decided to use water instead.

Make a mound of the flour and make a well in the center. Add four eggs & olive oil to the center. Gradually mix flour into the eggs using your fingers or (if you must) a fork. If all of the eggs are incorporated into a firm dough and there is still ½-¾ cup or more flour left unmixed, add another egg. If after adding this it is still too dry, add a little (one tbsp at a time) water until you have a knead-able dough that doesn't stick to your fingers. It can be tacky, but should not be sticky.
Knead the dough on a cool surface for 10 minutes or until you have a nice neat ball of dough that doesn't come off on your hands or the kneading surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for one hour. This is important. There is quite a bit of gluten in this and you won't be able to roll it out if it doesn't rest.

1) roll out the dough - i did it by hand this time
1) Roll out the dough, add a little flour if necessary. If you look closely above, you can see the wood-grain showing through the dough from the cutting board. You need that thinness to make noodles. Otherwise they will be thick and more like dumplings. But of course, still good.

2) fold the dough a little from each side and cut
2) Sprinkle with cornmeal first. The cornmeal will keep the dough from sticking to itself and will slide off when you lift it. That way you aren't adding anything to your dough. Fold the dough a little from each side towards center and cut cross-wise with a sharp chef's knife. (for the length)

3) pasta drying
3) Drying is optional. You may dry your pasta if you'd like or you can cook it once it's cut. But if you have to wait even for 30 minutes to cook, it's best to hang it than have it sitting on top of itself getting sticky.

4) boiling
4) Boiling. In my family we add a little salt to the water, but that's your call. Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stirring gently with a long fork.
Start testing after 4 minutes. If your pasta hasn't dried. (if you started cooking it right after you made it), it will cook quickly.  If your pasta dried for a while, it will take a bit longer. But keep testing every minute once it's started to cook. Too soft pasta is not an option!

5) cooked and ready for sauce
5) Strain the pasta and place on serving plate (or bowl whatever is your style). As you can see here, this pasta is a little thick due to the fact that I rolled it out by hand. That's okay, simple is often best. (the truth is that i didn't feel like dragging out the pasta cutter this time) Don't take too long adding the sauce here, a hot pasta dish, should be hot.

6) homemade pasta with tomatoes, onions,  garlic.and cayenne peppers.
6) Sauce! Make this in a large skillet. (not cast iron) This is a simple sauce with one medium onion & 2-3 cloves garlic sauteed in olive oil (my preference first cold press, extra virgin) until the garlic is just starting to get a little toasty. Add a pint of chopped canned tomatoes with liquid and abut ⅓ cup chardonnay (or any white one or nothing if you prefer)> If you like a little spice, add red pepper flakes to taste (add gradually) or a fresh chopped cayenne pepper. Cook over low heat until enough liquid has evaporated to make a nice chunky sauce.

These tomatoes were from some local tomatoes that I canned. They were half roma and half pink. It was little more tart than I expected. It was not too tart, though. I just expected more sweetness from the pink tomatoes. The cayenne peppers made it just a little spicy.

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