Baked Lobster with Mango Sauce - Lobster Tail 5

Pasta – who doesn’t love it? Today there is a bounty of wonderful dried pastas, every shape and size. So the need to make fresh never really occurred to me. The thought of pulling out a pasta machine (and then having to clean it!) wasn’t appealing to me at all. Until…I made a trip to Italy.

There was fresh pasta everywhere! From casual dining to Michelin Star restaurants. And the flavor and texture – amazing! I got excited about giving it a go on my own. I would purchase a pasta machine (and clean it!), it would be worth all the effort. And then I talked to Michaela, my cohort at the store. She’s been making fresh pasta all her life. “It’s so easy, it uses basic ingredients that are always readily available – flour, eggs and water. You don’t need a machine. You can just roll it out.” So she taught me how to make fresh pasta and I created these three recipes inspired from my trip to Italy.

The pasta dishes in Italy revolved around fresh pasta (of course) and fresh seasonal produce. Many dishes included fish or seafood because it was readily available in coastal cities. They added types of fish and seafood I would never have thought of on pasta; tuna, sea bass, calamari. Shrimp, clams and mussels were used quite often too. When it came to the sauce for the pasta dishes, they were light. They usually consisted of a good local olive oil, butter and pasta water. Sometimes they added a splash of fresh lemon juice, local wine or a small amount of cream.

The recipes include a basic egg pasta. The porcini mushroom and spinach pasta uses the same basic egg pasta recipe with the addition of the mushrooms or spinach and a few adjustments on flour to water. If you have a food processor, it works great and little less messy. But, if you don’t, you can mix by hand.

With the sauces (recipes listed separately), I focused on local produce just like the Italians do. Each sauce uses the same basic process with a variety of ingredients. You could take this process and create a sauce all your own. If you’re entertaining, make and cook your pasta a day ahead. The day of your party, prep all your sauce ingredients and bring your chilled pasta to room temperature. When you’re close to ready to eat, make your sauce, add your pasta, heat through till it’s hot and serve. It’s very easy and fast.

The pasta recipes make about 1 lb of fresh pasta.

Fresh Italian Pasta
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Servings
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Servings
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Fresh Italian Pasta
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Ingredients
Egg Pasta Recipe
Porcini Mushroom Pasta
Spinach Pasta
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Instructions
Egg Pasta
  1. In a food processor with the dough blade, add the 2 cups flour and salt. Add one egg at a time, pulsing to incorporate. Add the water and continue pulsing. Add additional flour or water until the dough ball is formed in the processor. Remove from processor and knead with additional flour till the ball is no longer sticky. Roll out thin and cut into strips. Set to the side to dry for 20 minutes. In a large bowl thoroughly mix the flour, eggs, water and salt. If you have crumbles in the bottom of your bowl, add a dash more water to the crumbles till they form a ball. Incorporate the dough balls. Your dough ball should be moist with a flour crust. *If you accidentally add too much water, add more flour till you get the right consistency.
  2. Roll out dough till it’s very thin (thicker dough will just create a heavier noodle). Cut into strips and set to the side to dry for approximately 20 minutes. *Or, hang them overnight to dry for later use. *Or, blanch then freeze for later use. !Follow the same instructions as above. The mushroom powder makes it a little drier so you may need to add more water. !Sauté the spinach for five minutes or until wilted. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Cool down before using. In a food processor with the regular chopping blade, chop spinach. Add 1 cup flour and pulse till mixed. Add the 2nd cup of flour and continue to pulse until mixed. Switch out blade for the dough blade. Add one egg at a time, pulsing to incorporate. Add additional flour until the dough ball is formed in the processor. Remove from processor and knead with additional flour till the ball is no longer sticky. Roll out thin and cut into strips. Set to the side to dry for 20 minutes.
Porcini Mushroom Pasta
  1. Follow the same instructions as above. The mushroom powder makes it a little drier so you may need to add more water.
Spinach Pasta
  1. Sauté the spinach for five minutes or until wilted. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Cool down before using.
  2. In a food processor with the regular chopping blade, chop spinach. Add 1 cup flour and pulse till mixed. Add the 2nd cup of flour and continue to pulse until mixed.
  3. Switch out blade for the dough blade. Add one egg at a time, pulsing to incorporate. Add additional flour until the dough ball is formed in the processor.
Recipe Notes

MAKING DOUGH BALL BY HAND In a large bowl thoroughly mix the flour, eggs, water and salt. If you have crumbles in the bottom of your bowl, add a dash more water to the crumbles till they form a ball. Incorporate the dough balls. Your dough ball should be moist with a flour crust. *If you accidentally add too much water, add more flour till you get the right consistency.

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