Sunday, October 16, 2011

10-16…Sunday homemade pasta

The house has been wonderfully quiet and still this morning. P is working, the dogs resting or lounging about the house and yard, no radio or iPad playing, and not street noise. I will open the gallery later, but until then I’ve enjoyed the solitude, thinking about any number of things, including today’s pasta.

Since it’s Sunday the choice is simple; I’ll go with the Italian-American classic…pasta with a rich, meat based gravy, of which there are countless variations. To make it special, I’ll make my own pasta today using my mother’s old chitarra.

For the dough I used a recipe I haven’t used before…1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of Semolina flour, plus 2 large eggs and 1 yolk. The addition of the semolina flour produces a sturdy dough that is good for long pastas. I used the machine to roll the dough into two thicknesses, #4 and #5 and found that the thicker dough was easier to work on the chitarra. Of course I could have avoided some of the frustrations by using the machine to cut the pasta…but it had to be the chitarra!

The chitarra is a two sided instrument with a center panel that slides out to remove the pasta.
On one side the wires are separated by linquine thickness, and on the other side, spaghetti thickness. Tonite I wanted to make spaghetti, although with the chitarra they are square and not round.

The sheet of dough is placed on the strings and pressed down with a rolling pin, falling onto the removable panel where they are recovered and hung out to dry.

The sauce is sausage based and uses imported San Marzano peeled, whole tomatoes. For the recipe see my post on May 8th and simply substitute sausage for the chicken.


The addition of the semolina flour was very evident after the first bite. P thought it was a bit too heavy, but I enjoyed the nuttier texture. Of course with this gravy I would probably enjoy cardboard. There is another option…simply use less semolina. Something for another dinner.

Was it worth all the effort? Absolutely!!

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