Maccheroni alla molinara domus

It has been a busy busy spring and summer for me, and sometimes, all I want to do is stay in and cook a big meal for myself and Mr. R.  All while sharing a bottle of wine, of course.

I love to reserve the most adventurous recipes I find for these nights, and this recipe below is no exception.  Several times now I have attempted homemade pasta, and every time my ultimate reaction is:  NOT WORTH IT!

While we all have our days of ramen noodles and frozen meals, I’d like to think that I am pretty gung-ho about making things from scratch.  I love food.  I love cooking.  And to me, the effort is usually worth it.  We bake our own bread, grind our own spices, grow our own herbs and produce, and the thought of baking something that came out of a box induces some pearl-clutching in me.  So…homemade pasta should be right up my alley, no?

Well.  I can’t say I regret making this recipe below.  But I’m not in any rush to try it again.

Not too long ago we dug out my parents’ old pasta machine from their basement and gave it a whirl.  Again, I decided it wasn’t much better than store bought and so not worth the effort.  But when I read this article in the Washington Post about a hand-rolled type pasta, I thought — well that doesn’t look too hard.  Doesn’t require any machinery.  Let’s try it!

Well let me tell you.  Rolling out five feet of pasta dough by hand takes work!  Thank god for the wine!

That being said, if you have the patience, the end result is most certainly satisfying.

Maccheroni alla molinara domus (from the Washington Post recipe).

Ingredients

5 to 6 cups flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 to 1 cup tepid water
Marina sauce of choice (here and here are several ideas)
Parmesan cheese to taste

To make the pasta dough:

Pile five cups of flour into a mound on your work surface.  Create a depression in the mound and crack the eggs into the center.  Gently beat the egg into the flour with a fork until incorporated.

Slowly work the water into the flour and egg mixture with your hands until you have a dough.

Knead the dough for several minutes, adding more flour or water as necessary to maintain a workable consistency.  Form it into a ball, cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Knead it once more and then let it rest for another 5-10 minutes.

Separate the dough into four equal pieces.  Start with one piece.  Form it into a little ball and with your finger poke a hole in the center.  Use your hands to make this hole wider.  It will start to resemble a bagel.  Keep going.  And going.  Work the dough longer and longer.  Ultimately it should be a rope five feet in length.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Boil in well-salted water for a good 20 minutes.  The noodles are thick and take a long time to cook through.  Serve with your favorite sauce.

This meal ended up taking us a LONG time to finish.  I can’t say it was worth the effort, but it was delicious nonetheless!

-R

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