- We are in the home stretch for World Nutella Day on February 6th! Are you getting your entry ready? Have you organized a Nutella party – we’ve got confirmed parties in San Francisco, Houston, Milan, Rome and Bologna! Just get a few of you together and scarf pane e Nutella!
The entries are pouring in and we’ve got some real creativity out there! Please help spread the word – you can find more information about participating at www.nutelladay.com or my introductory post. Entries should be sent to nutelladay **at** nutelladay **dot** com, not my blog.
I was thinking about my favorite pizza the other night – a pizzeria near my house offers the Porrina, literally “little leek” which is laden with gorgonzola and leek. As I mentioned at the turn of the year, I have ushered gorgonzola in as a favorite taste recently.
The next thing I know, I’m in the supermarket buying those two ingredients. I had thought about re-creating the pizza, but halfway home I thought…Wouldn’t that make a good pasta sauce? And why I’m at it, why don’t I make the pasta, too?
Sante’s mother gave us his paternal grandmother’s pasta machine a few years ago, as a pre-wedding present, but I hadn’t used it yet. *Shame* Since we’ve never really had “our” house and therefore no furniture or large household items, I felt it was a little strange to buy a “large block of wood” (the preferred pasta-making surface in Italy) just to use for pasta as we moved around with our belongings.
Instead of making troccoli like I mentioned in my “This Year I Dare…” list (I’ll get there soon), I decided to make pappardelle. This extremely wide noodle feels a bit decadent, like you’re eating something you’re not supposed to as the mini-sheets of pasta fill up your bowl.
I am going to experiment with a few pasta dough recipes, so if you have a favorite handmade pasta recipe or suggestion, put it in the comments! The measurements in this recipe are for two (abundant) portions.
- 100g. semola
- 100g. flour (type 00)
- 2 eggs
Make a well for the eggs in the flour-semola mix and with a fork, start to slowly incorporate them into the dry mix. Use your hands to mix it more thoroughly – at this point my hands were so covered with dough that I have no pics. :) This took me about 10 minutes to get it to a point where it was a bit elastic and uniform.
With the pasta machine, start at the lowest (and therefore widest setting) and start to run chunks of the pasta through. As Judith said so wonderfully about the pasta machine technique, “No brushing it with basting brushes, no cutting off irregular edges, just fold and roll.” I started with half of the dough, but pretty early on 4 separate pieces emerged so I worked with those.
I worked the sheets all the way down to the lowest (and thinnest) setting, and instead of putting the attachment on to cut the fettucine or spaghetti noodles, I stopped as there is no pappardelle attachment. Instead, I took each sheet of pasta, folded it in half, and folded it again, and I think a third time until I had a “roll” of about 3-4 inches wide. Then I took my very sharp Santoku knife and cut the roll every 1-1.5 inches. Then I just “unrolled” them into strips.
In the meantime, I set a pan of water to boil, and started the sauce. Many people put a damp towel on top of the pasta to keep it from drying out.
For the sauce:
- 200g. leek, the white part, cut into rounds
- 100-150g. soft gorgonzola
- Milk/cream, to taste
Saute the leek in some olive oil, and when they start to become opaque and break down, add the gorgonzola in chunks over low heat. I added a bit of milk (skim, even, because it’s all we had) to keep the mixture fluid.
In the meantime, the pasta finished boiling and was ready to be drained.
So easy, and so delicious! I was very pleased with how good the sauce came out, and I think I did pretty good for my first homemade pasta attempt!
Note: Immediately after draining the pasta, make sure you toss it with the sauce or a little oil to keep it from sticking to itself.