How to Make Pasta at Home (and What to Do with It)
Creating homemade pasta from scratch may seem daunting. But one simple dough recipe—and five basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand—will let you make pappardelle, fettuccini or farfalle with less effort than you might think. After finishing the dough and shaping the pasta (or even if you’re not quite ready to take the leap yet and use store-bought pasta—we won’t tell), try your hand at one of these three different recipes, with the perfect wine pairings for each.
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Courtesy Carmine DiGiovanni, co-owner/chef, Aunt Jake’s, New York City
In a bright, modern kitchen set above the bustling traffic in New York City’s Little Italy, Carmine DiGiovanni keeps the rosé flowing as he teaches classes on how to make fresh pasta. Downstairs, less DIY-inclined customers eat DiGiovanni’s creations at Aunt Jake’s restaurant.
Here, he teaches us his recipe. This dough can take on just about any shape you like, be it lasagna, stuffed pasta or more, but we’ll take you through three basic shapes and teach you three dishes to make with them.
- 4 cups 00 or all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup durum flour
Heap flour into mound on table or countertop. Create well in middle of pile, leaving wall around outside. Crack eggs into well. With fork, crush yolk. Slowly stir flour from outside of well into middle to mix eggs and flour together. Once 80 percent of flour is incorporated, use fork to fold dough by hand, bringing bottom of flour pile over to top and press/knead. Knead approximately 20 times until it develops dough texture. (Add drops of water if dough separates or is too dry.)
With rolling pin, roll dough into thin sheet, sprinkling durum flour on top. Put through pasta sheeter, according to manufacturer’s instructions. (If you don’t have pasta sheeter, roll dough as flat as possible.)
With your hands, roll dough into a loose 1-inch thick tube. Cut crosswise to form 1-inch-wide ribbons. Unroll before cooking.
Follow directions above, except cut into ¼-inch-wide ribbons.
Use tip of sharp paring knife to cut sheet into 2-inch squares. Pinch each square using thumb, pointer and middle fingers. Keep pointer in center of square, while thumb and middle finger pull sides together to resemble bow tie.
Few dishes are more comforting than a rich, meaty ragout draped over chewy-tender ribbons of fresh pasta. This dish achieves that—minus the actual meat. Ingredients like tomato paste and black olives add tons of umami. The anchovy kicks that up a notch, but if you’re serving non-fish eaters, the dish is still good without it.
- 1 medium (12 ounce) eggplant, cut into ½-inch dice
- Kosher salt, divided, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup fruity red wine
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons chopped black olives
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup microgreens
- Black pepper, to taste
Spread eggplant cubes in even layer. Sprinkle salt over top.
In large skillet, warm olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, anchovy and tomato paste. Cook, stirring and breaking up anchovy until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and herbs, and stir to coat. Add wine and stock. Let simmer until eggplant is very tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring well-salted pot of water to boil. Cook pappardelle until al dente, about 2–3 minutes for fresh pasta. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, and drain pasta. Divide among 4 plates.
Stir olives and vinegar into ragù. Thin with pasta water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon ragù over pasta. Top with microgreens just before serving. Serves 4.
Donnachiara 2012 Taurasi. “Taurasi is a classic pairing for rich, meaty dishes. In place of the meat in this case all the deep flavors from the eggplant, tomato and garlic will stand up nicely and complement this wonderful, full-bodied wine. Notes of dark fruit, like blackberry and black cherry will balance the anchovy and herbs well, while not overpowering the dish.” —Ian Toogood, sommelier, Bar Cotto, Stamford, CT.
Talk about a crowd pleaser. This weeknight-friendly dish comes together quickly, and it makes for delicious leftovers. Roasting tomatoes concentrates their flavor, which is perfect for when they’re out of season. It also creates a light sauce, and a shower of fresh basil at the end brings bright, clean flavors.
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 4 small chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoon brandy or Cognac
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup fine-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade basil ribbons
Heat oven to 375°F
Warm 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Brown both sides of breasts, and transfer chicken to cutting board. Reduce heat to medium.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onions, and stir to coat. Spread in even layer and allow to caramelize, stirring and spreading into even layer occasionally.
While onions caramelize, whisk mustard, brandy and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, and toss with tomatoes, mushrooms, mustard mixture and salt. Spread onto baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are puckered, but not dry, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring well-salted pot of water to boil. Cook fettuccine until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, and drain pasta.
Caramelized onions, roasted chicken and pasta should be done around the same time. Combine them in skillet, and toss over medium-low heat. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle basil on top just before serving. Serves 4.
Andriano 2013 Anrar Riserva Pinot Nero (Alto Adige); $63, 91 points. “One of my favorite Trentino-Alto Adige Pinot Noirs, this wine will be great with a lighter chicken and pasta dish. The wine has great lighter red fruit flavors without being sweet but it still has a slight earthiness to it that will complement the roasted onions and tomato. Serve this wine just the slightest bit chilled as is common in north for these styles of wines.” —Ian Toogood, sommelier, Bar Cotto, Stamford, CT
This dish is a bit mixed up. Cauliflower and currants are a common pairing in Italian dishes, while beets and dill can be found in Eastern European fare. But everything comes together harmoniously in this colorful main-course pasta salad that channels summer all year long. If you have access to golden cauliflower, it’s stunning in this dish.
- 1 large beet
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Banyuls or Sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ¼ cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill
Heat oven to 400°F. Wrap beet in foil, and roast until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Once beet is cooked through and cool enough to handle, rub skin off with paper towel or kitchen towel. Cut into ¼-inch dice. Season lightly with salt, and set aside.
While beet roasts, toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add salt, to taste. Spread on baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring well-salted pot of water to boil. Add eggs, and cook 6 minutes. Transfer to ice bath. Add farfalle, and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Once eggs are cool enough to handle, remove shells and halve vertically.
In small bowl, whisk vinegar with mustard and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Slowly drizzle in remaining olive oil, whisking continuously to emulsify.
Toss pasta with cauliflower, vinaigrette, currants and capers. Chill in refrigerator. Just before serving, place beets, dill and egg halves over top. Serves 4.
Jermann 2015 Vinnae White (Vanezia Giulia); $34, 90 points. “This wine is a wonderful blend from the north of Italy of Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia and Riesling. [When] pairing a wine with beets one can go white or red, depending on the accoutrements. The Vinnae has a nice lively acidity that can handle the natural sweetness of the beets, however the Riesling will play nicely with vinaigrette and the currants.” —Ian Toogood, sommelier, Bar Cotto, Stamford, CT
- 1How to Make a Simple, Easy Pasta Dough
- 2Pappardelle with Eggplant Ragout
- 3Fettuccine with Roasted Chicken and Tomatoes
- 4Farfalle Salad with Cauliflower and Beets