Probably the most pleasurable of cooking activities is the making of Fresh Pasta. From the mixing, to the rolling, to cutting and even filling, pasta making is so much fun and really rewarding.
I hear many people say: what is special about a Spaghetti Bolognese? Many of my friends tell me, they cook a spaghetti on lazy days, when they don’t feel like cooking, because it is boring! At any point, when we view cooking as a chore or a dish as boring, we are then serving, only that: Boring! But when we love our food, and are excited about what we are preparing, only then will our food excite us. Only then will it taste good.
I have been talking miles about the goodness of fresh, and how using fresh makes all the difference to our cooking. I sincerely believe that fresh is one of the decisive factors between excellent and mediocre – “really good” and “OK”. When you make your own pasta, you are going to have it fresh, which is miles better than the dried version. Furthermore, you will make sure to use the best quality ingredients, from the eggs, to the flour, and other flavourings, if using. This will tremendously improve the overall flavour of any pasta dish. When the base is the best that there is, the rest of the dish naturally follows in standard. Then a Spaghetti Bolognese becomes special. Not boring, not lazy rather good! Making fresh pasta opens up endless varieties for you to cook. Particularly if you have an extra special ingredient to celebrate, like a superb fresh local Ricotta, or seasonal fresh mushrooms, or even access to exquisite seasonal truffles. Making fresh pasta in that case maximises this celebration of fresh, as you can then use it to create your own stuffed pastas such as Ravioli, tortellini or agnolotti. Even without stuffing, making your own means access to different cuts such as tagliatelle or the wide pappardelle… You can even make bows and other shapes, especially these days, when most kitchen mixers have a pasta rolling and pasta shape attachments. The process and the outcome are so rewarding, that once you have tried it, you will definitely be going for it more often.
So why don’t we start at the base? Why don’t we make a fresh egg pasta? I know there are many of you out there and those of you regular readers of my online space who appreciate making things from scratch, who share this excitement with me for amazing food, good food, real food. real cooking. So for you I am writing this and sharing this recipe. This is the base recipe, on which you can build endless varieties… with flavourings, like saffron for a Sicilian touch, or perhaps cocoa powder for a dessert pasta as the new Italian cuisine does. You see, even in your choice of ingredients and sauces, you don’t have to think traditional all the time. You can keep the spark in the kitchen and your dishes creative and inspiring by going for creative options and even fusions. Your guide is your imagination and palate, but this can only happen, when you make your pasta, as only then, will you be able to flavour it ready for fusions or whatever your heart fancies.
Let’s get the dough rolling…