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CSA Cookoff, Farmers Market Edition: Homemade Pasta, Sauce & Meatballs (Part 2)


This is part 2 of a special farmers market edition of the CSA Cookoff. What, you missed part 1? Go back and read it now! Just need a quick recap? Last time, we got the scoop on Mike’s not-so-secret sauce and meatballs. Coming up, Caroline shares her pasta recipe. Dig in!

CAROLINE’S (WORK-IN-PROGRESS) PASTA

My trusty pasta machine was the unfortunate casualty of a move and is either lost to the universe or has found a new home with an old roommate. Either way, I decided homemade pasta was the only carb worthy of Mike’s sauce, so I set to making noodles by hand. I used the bones of this recipe and method from Cook’s Illustrated, but if you’d rather build a flour well and hand-knead the eggs into a dough, do your thing. For more tips, check out the Homemade Pasta 101 and the Homemade Gnocchi 101.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get your pasta thin, so if you’ve got a pasta machine at your fingertips, use it!


From the farmers market (that’s it, pictured up top and above):
» 3 large eggs (Some recipes call for a few eggs; others, yolks only. I’ll experiment with the ratio next time.)
» 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used white, but I’ll try whole wheat or semolina in the future.)

From the pantry:
» 1 Tbsp salt
» 1 Tbsp olive oil

What to do:
Combine the sifted flour, eggs, salt, and olive oil in a food processor and mix for about 45 seconds or until a cohesive dough forms. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl or is sticky to the touch, add up to ¼ cup more flour, 1 Tbsp at a time—or, if the dough feels dry, add up to 1 Tbsp of water, 1 tsp at a time and process for 30 seconds.



Knead the dough on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Form into a 6” cylinder and wrap with plastic wrap. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Unwrap the cylinder and cut the dough into 6 pieces. Leave one piece out to work with and rewrap the remaining pieces. Lightly flour each side of your working dough and roll it out on a clean surface until it measures roughly 6” by 20”. You can flour your counter to keep the dough from sticking but do so with a light hand.

Your pasta should be very thin when you’re done rolling. (This is where a pasta machine comes in handy. If you’re going to roll out your dough by hand, use a heavy rolling pin and roll in one motion: from the center of the dough away from you and then from the center of the dough towards you.)

Let the rolled-out pasta sheets dry on a lightly floured cookie sheet or kitchen towel with wax paper between each sheet for about 15 minutes. After the rest, fold the sheet lengthwise at 2” intervals then cut the noodles to your desired width and unfurl. (We skipped the steps of resting the sheets. Big mistake. If you don’t let your pasta rest and dry a bit before cutting it, you’ll wind up with gummy noodles.)

Cook your pasta within an hour of resting it. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, dust off the flour and fluff your noodles, drop them in the boiling water, and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and add some grated Parmesan and a little sauce to lightly coat the noodles. Then top with more of Mike’s sauce and meatballs.


STILL HUNGRY?
CSA Cookoff is an ongoing series that puts good food to good use. What did you get in your CSA this week? And how did you use it? Post a comment and share the farm share love!

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