Last week I finally acquired my own pasta machine from a friend who is leaving soon. (Thank you Jessica!) I have been making my own pasta for tortellini for quite a while now, but making it by hand is somewhat tiresome. You should all still give it a try though, they turn out great. The dough is very quick and easy to make. It’s just the rolling that is time-consuming. Now with my trusty new machine I can roll it out in seconds. It is an electric roller and has 6 different setting for thickness and two for cutting spaghetti and linguine. I have always just used dry pasta before but after tasting how good this is freshly made I can 100% recommend that making it yourself is worth the effort. Even with just a little olive oil and salt it tastes divine. I decided to make the lamb, coriander, and orange sauce because I thought the combination would work well after having it at Between. However where their dish was bland, mine was full of flavour. If I wasn’t so lazy I would have marched up there and given them my dish and showed them how it should have been made. It really was that good. It’s possibly my new favourite pasta sauce.
250g of all-purpose flour (I use the one for noodles and dumplings)
A pinch of salt
300g of minced lamb
4 cloves of garlic
1 bottle of tomato juice (340ml)
2 baby oranges juice and zest (1 big orange could also be used)
A bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro)
A glug of olive oil
1 teaspoon of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
The first step is to make the pasta dough. Mix the salt with the flour then make a heap on a clean flat surface. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in your beaten eggs. I haven’t taken any pictures of these steps, as I’m sure you have seen it countless times before. Stir the egg gradually incorporating the flour from the sides of the circle a bit at a time so the well keeps its shape until the last moment. When all the flour has been mixed in you should have a lump of dough. Knead this dough for 5-10 minutes until it is elastic and has some stretch to it. Wrap it in cling-film and store it in the fridge for 30 minutes. While you are waiting you can make the sauce.
To make the sauce finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a glug of olive oil for a few minutes until it has softened. Add the lamb mince and cook until it has browned. Then chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Add the bottle of tomato juice, rosemary, orange juice, and zest to the pan, along with half of the chopped coriander. Cook on medium to high for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Finally add the second half of the coriander and stir.
After the dough has been chilled properly you can begin to roll it out. It’s a good idea to separate your lump of dough into 2 or 3 pieces and work with one piece at a time. Put the unused lumps back in the fridge so they don’t dry out. If you have a pasta maker rolling the dough should be quick and easy. If not roll those sleeves up and get out your rolling-pin. The pasta really does need to be wafer thin, so when you think its thin enough, keep rolling. I read on-line that it should be thin enough so that you can see a playing card underneath the dough. The thinner your pasta the better it will taste. Even if the pasta is a little thick it’s not the end of the world but the skinny ones were definitely far tastier than the fatties. If you are sans pasta maker then use a sharp knife and a ruler to cut your linguine. Although if I was cutting by hand I would make them thicker into more of a pappardelle. Once they have been cut flour them up to stop them sticking then leave them to hang and dry. I used the clothes rack but the old Italian mammas would use a broom propped up between two chairs.
After your pasta has dried out cook in a pan of boiling water with a good pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil. A very wise Italian woman once said that you should cook your pasta in water that’s as salty as the Mediterranean sea. The pasta will only take 1-2 minutes so be careful not to overcook it. I like it al dente, soft with just a little bit of bite to it. Strain and serve with your sauce and good shaving of fresh parmesan. Voilà amazing homemade pasta.