Before I start I should tell you 3 things:
- I’m the first to admit that while making your own pasta is easy it is not quick. But hey we’re on lockdown so we have more time on our hands than we usually would. A lot more time.
- On top of that I was given a pasta machine one Christmas when I was a teenager, which make this easy and fun.
- I didn’t make the pasta, my 2 eldest boys did. Lured by the gadgetry of the pasta machine.
We were inspired by an Anna Del Conte recipe for the pasta (but ad libbed a fair bit) and she admits herself that even Italians only make fresh pasta on special occasions. So feel free to skip the whole pasta making section and just simmer up the tomato sauce.
This is the simplest tomato sauce to make and really handy for those days when you’re busy but still want to get a tasty bowl of pasta on the table for dinner. You can have all the ingredients in your pan simmering away in minutes. I like this sauce best with linguine or tagliatelle but I’m no expert and I’m sure it would work with any pasta shape you happen have in the cupboard.
Simple tomato sauce for pasta
I’m starting with the pasta sauce as most of us won’t be making fresh pasta any time soon. But this sauce is worth having in your recipe arsenal.
ingredients (serves 4 – 5)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can of tomatoes
- A teaspoon of dried oregano
- A handful of fresh basil
- Salt and black pepper
- Heat the glug of oil in your pan and gently fry your garlic for a couple of minutes.
- Pour over the tomatoes and sprinkle in the oregano, stir.
- Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes, then I like to mash the tomato pieces to make a smoother sauce (you don’t have to do this if you’d rather not).
- You can simmer this on a very low heat until your pasta is ready.
- When you’re ready to serve, just add salt and pepper to your taste and tear in the fresh basil.
- Serve with grated parmesan if you fancy and I always do.
fresh pasta recipe
Serves 5 greedy people
- 400g 00 flour
- 4 large eggs
- Pile the flour on to your clean work surface and make a deep well in the centre. Crack your eggs into the well.
- Start to draw the flour and egg mixture together, it feels wonderfully silky.
- Once the eggs and flour are well mixed and you have a beautiful yellowy dough you can start kneading.
- You only need to knead for a few minutes (3 or 4).
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest for at least half an hour.
- Now just follow the instructions for your pasta machine for rolling and cutting yout pasta.
- Fresh pasta literally takes 2 minutes to cook in a large pan of boiling salted water.
You can, of course, roll the pasta by hand but I’ve never tried it and I gather it take some skill.
We had lots of fun in the kitchen making this but there are some fantastic dried Italian pastas in our supermarkets. All to say that unless you have a pasta machine lurking in the back of that cupboard and a bit of spare time / boredom to banish, I wouldn’t say this is an everyday kind of affair. Put it this way, we last made pasta on New Year’s Eve 2017.