Homemade pasta for dinner...really!

 Homemade cavatelli.

Homemade cavatelli.

Isn’t it great when you go to an Italian restaurant and they have fresh pasta on the menu? There really isn’t anything quite like a plate of fresh cavatelli or tagliatelle. There is something about the consistency and the flavor that is just perfection!

Too bad you have to wait for the occasional restaurant outing to be able to eat fresh pasta, though, right? Or do you? Did you know that making fresh pasta at home is actually pretty simple? With only flour, water and a little time you can make an amazing meal of homemade pasta in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Let me show you how it’s done.

Here’s what you’ll need for about 4 servings…

1)   2 cups unbleached flour

2)   ¾ cup warm water

Put the flour on a clean, flat surface and create a well in the center so that the flour looks like a volcano (you can also do this in a bowl). Pour the water into the center of the well and then slowly start incorporating the flour into the center. Once the water is all incorporated, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until you have a smooth and even consistency. Form it into a ball and place it, covered, on a floured surface to rest for about 15 minutes. Now it’s time to shape your pasta. I use this recipe to make cavatelli but you can get creative with the shapes if you want to. For cavatelli you cut strips off the dough ball and roll them out into long ropes. Then you cut the ropes into 1 inch pieces and, using your 3 middle fingers, put pressure on the piece as you roll it toward you so that you end up with a hollow shell. As you’re shaping the pasta, place it on a floured dishtowel on a flat surface so that it doesn’t stick while it’s drying. Once all the pasta is formed let it sit out to dry uncovered for at least 30 minutes or longer. Then cook it as you would regular pasta. You know it’s done when it starts to float to the top, usually only a few minutes. Then top it with your favorite sauce and, voilà, a beautiful and delicious meal!

It really is very doable. Give it a try this weekend and impress your friends and family.

Buon appetito!