Tonight I made my own pasta!
Taking advantage of my second last night housesitting chez maman, with her lovely biggish kitchen, I got all excited. Literally, I was thinking about it before I went to sleep. Because you see, it has to be perfect. It is one of my three cooking challenges
. I can't love pasta this much, study recipes,
wax lyrical about the food of Italy, and then when I finally make it, make slop. That would hurt
And...for the First Pasta, which sauce? I thought about it, and thought about it, and remembered my beloved parpadelle with chicken liver and sage, a Stefano di Piero recipe that I picked up years ago and hold dear.
So off I went. 100g flour, 1 egg. What a fabulous equation. Hmm, too sticky, there's not much here. I added more flour, still not much. I should say that I didn't really measure the flour, I just used rough tablespoons. I'm arrogant like that. At this point I realised this was not a portion going to make, so I doubled the proper amount of flour and another egg. Voila. A nice elastic dough.
I stumbled upon this clip
of Gennaro Contaldo with Jamie Oliver on Youtube the other day, showing how to make pasta without a pasta maker. A pasta maker to me looks like a two-person job, at least for a newbie, so I was besotted with Gennaro's "romantic" method, rolling and slicing with a knife.
Except mum didn't have a rolling pin, but she must because she makes rugaliki, so it means I couldn't find it (I am a man after all). So I improvised with a long pasta container. Who the hell knows, but I got it as thin and as light as I could. It even passed Genaro's 'blowing' test. Wide slices, floured. My parpadelle are ready!
The chicken livers are my own recipe now, so I prepared them and got the water ready. In went the pasta ribbons - ooh the excitement, what would they do, stick together, float? no they were just as described - and after a couple of minutes they were done. Mixed into the sauce, into a bowl, and the verdict?
Delicious! Real pasta! A little rustic, which was good, and I'm sure it's because the dough couldn't get a proper rolling. Better rolling would make a silkier pasta. And the whole thing, with sauce, took less than an hour.
So I'll keep perfecting it, and bask in the excitement of having made my own pasta!Parpadelle With Chicken Livers And Sage
, serves 2
Adapted from a recipe from Stefano di Piero
Handful of chicken livers, trimmed if needed
1 Spanish/red onion, thinly sliced
6 sage leaves
Lug of cream
Cook the parpadelle while you make the sauce. Heat some oil in a frypan and add the livers. When browned, add the onion and sage leaves and stir to coat. Lower the heat so as not to overcook the liver, and saute until the onions have softened. Add the cream, season* and cook for another minute. You can add a nob of butter to enrich the flavour and loosen the delicious browned bits.
Drain the pasta reserving a little pasta water and add to the pan with the sauce. Stir through and serve.
* Don't season before as the salt will toughen the livers while they are cooking.
Labels: foodie, recipes