We had only just arrived in Sicily and not even 48 hours later my pasta making lessons began.
Being slightly jet lagged my concept of time was still quite off. I had slept in till 11:30am so I hadn’t been up very long. It was 3:00 in the afternoon and at 3:30 my ride to go into town would be at the house. But that didn’t matter, let’s make pasta!
Our family here in Sicily has a country home & an apartment in town. So while they live in town we’re in the country house. It has 3 kitchens and an outdoor wood burning oven. Food is taken very seriously here!
It’s an amazing piece of property with so much grown here. Olive, orange, lemon and banana trees. Kale, cabbage, rapini (broccoli rabe) romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, artichokes, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, Basil, peppercorns and more! Chickens provide fresh eggs and the 3 fluffy cats keep an eye on the daily comings and goings.
Through a little maze of rooms is one of the kitchens; the work kitchen. This is where you make bread, pizza, pasta, canning preserves etc. Clearly I’ve been doing this all wrong because I’ve never had a working kitchen.
As I suspected, my lesson would be based on eyeballing things; how things feel, not precision. So the recipe below will require a little give and take and the type of flour you buy may make a difference too.
Part of this though is just enjoying the experience and not worrying about precision. My teacher, Marianna, kept saying “don’t worry about it, it’s ok” Really and truly though, anything hand made isn’t going to be perfect either. That’s what makes it special.
- 1 Cup Warm water Aprox 70 degrees
- 4 Cups Durum Wheat Semolina Flour Plus extra for flouring
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat on stove 1 cup water, just till warm.
- On a large, flat, clean surface place a handful of semolina flour, aprox 3/4 cup.
- In a large mixing bowl measure out aprox 4 cups of flour and salt. When water is warm add slowly to flour and begin mixing by hand. Once a firm ball is formed transfer dough onto work surface.
- Knead dough aprox 10 minutes till smooth but firm. Add more flour or water as needed.
- Below is instructions for macaroni style pasta. However this dough could be used for any pasta.
- Once kneaded break dough in half. Roll dough into ball and then into thick tube.
- Cut off an inch of dough. Roll into little ball, then into a 3" tube. Press wire into dough and using two hands begin rolling out dough.
- Roll dough along tube until about 8" in length.
- Push noodle off wire onto floured surface. If your noodle bunches up after pushing it off wire it can be quickly but gently extended. This happened because dough is too soft & needs more flour.
- You can either let them dry out or cook them right away. In either case, fresh pasta requires very little time to cook, aprox 3 minutes. Test how al dente they are before removing from boiling water.
- You can cook the pasta in batches using forked spoon or a wire spider to remove pasta. Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl, add a few paddles of sauce before serving. Top w hard cheese and spicy chilli if desired