Remember that time our contributor team visited épicerie for an afternoon of unbelievable cheese tasting, or as I like to call it, the best afternoon of my life? Well, imagine my elation when we heard from Sarah and her culinary team again, this time inviting us over for a lesson in pasta making. I have to admit, as much as a I love pasta (and believe me, I really love pasta), I’d never given that much thought to making it from scratch at home. After our class, I don’t know that I can enjoy it any other way! Click through to learn how to make your own fresh pasta (with gorgeous photography by Wynn Myers), and be sure to stop by later today for a not-to-be-missed, perfectly autumnal recipe from the épicerie team…
We stepped through épicerie’s doors and were escorted downstairs to their commercial kitchen. It doesn’t get more exciting than endless stainless steel countertops and industrial rolling carts.
To make pasta…
On a large, clean workspace, make a mound of 1 3/4 cups of 00 pasta flour (or substitute with all purpose flour), and create a “nest” in the center.
Put 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks into the “nest” and use a fork to gradually incorporate into the flour until mixture forms a dough.
Knead into a ball and let rest for 20 minutes in plastic wrap. During this time the yolk will continue to absorb and create a more moist dough.
note: This can also be done it a mixing bowl, but if you want to do as the Italians do, this way is traditional.
Flatten dough with a rolling pin, and feed through a pasta maker (or pasta rolling KitchenAid attachment) set at its widest opening.
Continue feeding pasta through the machine, making the opening smaller each time.
Once the pasta is rolled out to a thickness of 0, cut into sheets.
Sarah introduced us to this pasta-cutting machine called a chitarra. Retailing at $40, its mandolin-style design is super easy and fun to use. On one side, the strings cut skinny spaghetti, while the other side cuts the dough to a thicker linguini.
Lay dough sheet on top of the strings.
Hold rolling pin by the barrel. Firmly press against pasta sheet, pushing from top to bottom, until the strings have cut through the dough.
Use hands to push the dough through the strings. Then turn the chitarra on its side, allowing the pasta to slide out onto the counter.
The dish we made called for papardelle. Since the noodles are so thick, Sarah cut the papardelle by hand, giving it a nice rustic shape.
The best time to cook the pasta is 30 minutes after it is made (although it does keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days). Simply drop into salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. How salted, you ask? Sarah says pasta should be cooked in water that “tastes like the sea.”
While the Epicerie team put the finishing touches on our pasta dishes, our group headed upstairs to sample the mouth-watering cheese selection. We made sure to revisit our our favorites.
Time to reap our rewards! We were finally able to enjoy our handmade pasta…
Looks amazing, right? Be sure to stop by later today for the recipe for this delicious Fall Oxtail Pappardelle, as well as tips on how to adapt it from season to season.
Last but certainly not least, we were sent home with Epicerie’s famous salted chocolate chip cookies. Fingers crossed that we’ll get a sneak peak into making these next!
photography by Wynn Myers
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