Homemade and Handcut Fettuccine

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A note from Maggie

To celebrate National Pasta Day (October 17), I wanted to make sure you knew how to make fresh pasta. I asked Sheila (from the infamously delicious The Market Restaurant in Gloucester, Massachusetts) to share some of her pasta-making expertise with a classic: hand-cut fettuccine. Take a bag to a friend this weekend. And come back tomorrow, when we’ll get a taste of her favorite fall pasta sauce.  

’m lucky enough to get paid to be a total food nerd. Working in the kitchen and the front of house at The Market Restaurant, I get to talk about, taste, and create delicious food every day. One of my favorite parts of this season was learning how to make hand-cut pasta.

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Not only is it incredibly delicious (much more so than dried), but it is so satisfying to take only flour and eggs and turn it into a simple dinner, which is perfect for one, yet also worthy of company. Once you get the feel of what pasta dough should be — something that was not born into my hand’s memories, as I do not have a magical Italian pasta-making grandmother — you won’t need a recipe for fresh pasta. Just two ingredients and a little time.

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Keep in mind that this recipe is a guideline – as you learn, it’s important to create a memory of the different dough textures through touch. No two batches will be exactly the same, as the size of eggs, type of flour, humidity in the air, etcetera, will vary. However, the dough should always be smooth and elastic — not so dry that it will crack and fall apart as you roll it out, but not so wet that it is sticky. Allowing the dough to rest wrapped tightly in plastic, and of course lots and lots of practice, will solve any texture problems.

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Handcut Fettucine

Recipe adapted from Beard on Pasta by James Beard

Serves: 3 as an entree

Prep Time: 1 Hours

Total Time: 2 Hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, cracked into a small bowl
Equipment
  • Stand mixer
  • Pasta machine

Directions:

Make the dough
  1. Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer, mix together the flour and salt. Add 1 egg at a time, allowing the flour a minute to incorporate the egg. Once the eggs are in and the dough has just begun to come together, turn the mixer off, and turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it feels nice and elastic. Divide the dough into two balls, then roll each one to the width of your pasta machine. Wrap each tightly in plastic and allow it to rest for at least an hour at room temperature, or in the fridge overnight.
Roll the dough
  1. Start with your pasta machine at its thickest setting. Feed the dough through the machine, going through each progressive setting. You don't necessarily need to reach the thinnest setting quite yet; you just want to feed the dough through the machine, say until about the sixth or seventh setting. Do this at least three times, as the more you do this, the better your pasta will become. Each time you start over, fold the dough and put it through the machine in the opposite direction as the last time, to knead it in all directions. After at least three rounds, bring the dough down to about the second to last setting on the machine, or until it reaches your desired thickness. Cut the dough into 12-inch-long sheets.
Cut the pasta
  1. To cut the pasta, take up to 3 of the 12-inch sheets of pasta, well-floured on both sides, and stack them before loosely folding like a letter. Be sure that they are nicely floured, because otherwise the pasta will stick to itself. Cover the rest of the dough with a damp towel. Cut the stacked pasta into strands 1/3 inch thick, pressing down evenly with your knife. When you finish cutting, toss the pasta as if it were a salad to loosen the noodles, unrolling any that may be stuck together. Place the cut pasta on a well-floured baking sheet.
Photos taken and styled by Sheila James.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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