Fresh homemade pasta is a lot easier to make than I originally thought! I’d always been a bit scared of taking on handmade pasta, but when I received a pasta machine for my birthday, the task suddenly seemed much more manageable.
Not to say that you couldn’t tackle homemade pasta without a machine, in fact, many people swear it’s just as easy, but I was certainly inspired by the thought of playing with a new gadget.
Since I was putting all my heart into making fresh pasta, I wanted to match it with a sauce or dressing that was light. This raw tomato “sauce” could almost be a salad. It’s fresh and summery, and perfect for if you’re anticipating warmer weather.
The taste and texture of homemade pasta is far superior to the store bought stuff. And it’s ridiculously easy to make!
How to make homemade pasta
For the raw tomato sauce:
700g mixed exotic cherry tomatoes halved – Woolies offers a R10 discount when you buy two 350g packs
100g pitted black olives halved
Half a red onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic grated
1 – 2 chillies finely chopped (optional)
Leaves off of a bunch of fresh thyme
Bunch of fresh basil roughly chopped, plus more for serving
Good glug of olive oil
Drizzle balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta dough:
200g all purpose/cake flour, plus extra for dusting
2 XL free range eggs
Parmesan to serve
For the raw tomato sauce:
1. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, olives, onion , garlic, and fresh herbs.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, sprinkle with sugar, and season.
3. Coat tomatoes well and set aside until needed. The ingredients need to meld and macerate before being used.
This is where the fun starts…
For the Pasta dough:
4. Place flour in a separate bowl, make a well in the middle, and then break eggs into it.
5. Using a fork, begin whisking the eggs and slowly incorporating the flour until a thick dough is formed that can no longer be whisked with a fork.
6. Turn the contents of the bowl onto a clean surface, and begin kneading the dough until a smooth consistency is formed.
7. NB. You may not need to incorporate all the flour into your dough. That’s fine! If the dough feels too dry, add a drop or two of water.
8. Knead the dough for ten minutes until smooth and soft, then wrap in clingfilm and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
9. Once rested, divide dough into four equal pieces.
10. Roll each piece separately, keeping each piece wrapped up until rolling.
11. Flatten each piece into a rectangular shape with your hands, then pass it through the pasta machine making sure the dough is well dusted with flour so that it doesn’t stick to the machine.
12. Work through each rolling setting at least twice, and don’t skip a setting!
13. Once the dough is paper thin, pass it through the cutting setting, flour the strands well and lay them out on baking paper in a spread out bunch while you work through the rest of the dough.
14. Once all the dough is ready, bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil and drop your pasta in.
15. Fresh pasta cooks very fast so keep an eye on it. Your pasta should be cooked al dente within 4 – 5 minutes.
Bring it all together
16. Drain the pasta, throw the tomatoes and their juices into the pot and warm and cook it through on the stove for 5 minutes at most.
17. Turn off heat, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then scatter with more fresh basil and serve with shavings of parmesan.