If you “are what you eat,” then we all should be turning into zucchinis, tomatoes, or peaches… who hears me? This weekend at the farmers market, I made my way over to a tent that is ALWAYS packed. I’ll admit, I purposely avoided the area during my previous visits because I always felt like I would bother shoppers with my bulky hiking backpack that overflowed of carrot greens. There was a break in the action this Sunday though, and my Mom and I meandered over. One word – Wow. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on all this time! At least two dozen varieties of homemade pastas, breads, and pestos. Decisions were tough: chickpea fettuccine, spinach angel hair, sun-dried tomato capellini. We settled on the pappardelle with basil on the chefs recommendation.
With a brand new hand-crank pasta maker at home, I thought making my own sun-dried tomato basil noodles would be an inspired challenge. I’m not sure how crazy creative this dish is, but I think that’s what I love most about it because when the plate or bowl is empty, you feel like you just got a great hug.
Homemade Sun-dried Tomato Fettucini
- 1 cup unbleached bread flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup basil, minced
- 1/4 cup, finely chopped
- your favorite sauce (mine is plain old stewed tomatoes)
In a large bowl combine flour, basil, tomatoes, and salt. Stir together, making a crater in the middle for the eggs. Crack the eggs and yolks into the crater and start to whisk them (as if you were scrambling eggs) slowly incorporating the flour surrounding it until the mixture sticks together and starts to crumble. Add about 1/4 cup of water, and begin to knead by hand on a lightly floured surface. When you have shaped a ball, cut into quarters. Set aside.
Bring a deep saucepan filled with water to a boil. Saucepan sounds weird, but I think this is the easiest way to keep the noodles from sticking. Assemble your pasta machine. Before you start, remind yourself that patience is key in this process. Because the tomatoes and basil give the dough a bit of 3-Dimensionality, it’s not going to look perfect. Accept that. Proceed.
With the cran on the lasagna setting, take one quarter of the prepared dough and roll it through to flatten. Fold the dough over itself three times and roll through one more time. Move the crank to the wide noodle setting, and roll the flattened dough through, catching the cut strips with a hand beneath the machine. A little extra flour helps things along. Use it when things feel too sticky. Set strands aside to dry slightly for about 20 minutes.
In three batches, place pasta gently in a boiling saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove with a fork or ladle into a strainer to dry – do not rinse. Repeat until all the noodles are cooked.
Top with your favorite pasta sauce, olive oil and garlic, parmesan cheese, or whatever strikes your fancy.