I try to make interesting lunches for my daughter Cherie. It helps me sharpen my skills and learn new ones, expands her palate’s horizons and makes for fun father-daughter activities. If I’m lucky, she asks to learn a specific technique, like today, she asked to learn how to make pasta from scratch. The two of us ended up commandeering the dining table and while having a good time spreading flour all over and getting ourselves messy too, she did help make the dough, roll out the sheets and cut her first batch of handmade Fettuccine. I’m quite new to handmade pasta, so if you think I could use a correction or two, please do comment!
Fettucine with Awesome Tomato Sauce
for the pasta
- 100gm Flour, AP
- 1 Egg, beaten
for the sauce
- 3 Tomatoes, medium, washed and quartered
- 10 cloves Garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (We love garlic; reduce this if you don’t)
- 1 Onion, medium, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 tsp Basil, dried (Use fresh if you have it)
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Black peppercorns, ground
- 1 tsp Bouillon powder (Optional, especially if you want to keep this vegetarian)
- 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Cooking oil, odourless
for the pasta
- Make a smooth dough with the flour, egg and very little water. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Roll it out really thin (.5 to 1mm) in a uniform shape if possible, flour well, roll into a cylinder, pat down gently, and cut into strips of even width, shake it out, toss with flour so they don’t stick together. If you have a pasta machine, roll out the dough till the smallest thickness setting, then cut the sheets into 30cm lengths and use the cutters to cut out the Fettuccine from the dough sheets, ensuring each new batch is floured well.
- Set aside. It only takes a minute or so to cook. So, you want to begin cooking when your sauce is nearly done. Do keep a pot of salted water simmering though, so you can quickly pop in the pasta without having to wait for the water to boil.
for the sauce
- Whiz tomatoes till liquid. Set aside.
- Fry onions and garlic in the cooking oil, till the onions are beginning to brown.
- Add whizzed tomatoes. Stir well, mixing the lot.
- Add everything else. Simmer and cook for 12 – 15 minutes, adding water as required, scraping dried sauce off the sides, back into the sauce.
- When you think the sauce is done, toss the pasta into the simmering water, bringing it to a boil. Check the pasta – it cooks really quick!
- When done, drain, refresh in cold water, drain, divide into plates, top with the tomato sauce and serve.
Tip: If you want to add chicken or ham or other processed meats to this, add them a little after the onions and garlic, but before the tomato sauce, so they can cook and brown nicely.
Photo courtesy: Cherie Khullar