ITALY

FRESH PASTA

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Here we have provided a recipe to make your own pasta. Making fresh pasta for us is a must, the whole process of getting your hands doughy and coming out with a perfect result is addictive. Seeing flour and water turn into something completely of its own nature is nearly a religious experience. However, for most home cooks the equipment and knowledge necessary can feel overwhelming. If you want to give it a go, you’ll simply need a pasta roller with an attachment that cuts spaghetti and a rolling pin

(sometimes we use an empty wine

bottle). For home chefs up for

advanced technique, you can roll

your spaghetti like us using a

chitarra.

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup fine durum semolina

10 egg yolks

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp cold water

Mix your semolina and flour together with a whisk or with your hands to make sure it’s completely even. Next make a mound of the flour on the counter top and create a well in the centre. Add the eggs, water and oil into the well and begin mixing with your fingers. Once the mixture begins to come together it’s time to really get your hands in there. Mix the dough until the flour becomes hydrated and then you can start kneading. If the dough seems a little dry you can add a touch more water if needed. Begin to knead the dough (some people think this means folding it over on itself multiple times, this is not true). To knead properly you want to push the dough away from yourself, rolling it from your fingers all the way to the bottom of your palm. Repeat this process until the dough comes together into a uniform texture. Next wrap it up (the dough) and let it rest in the fridge for 30 min. While you wait you can begin to prepare the rest of the ingredients.

{One episode of Seinfeld later}


Next cut the dough into 4 even pieces. Cover the pieces you aren’t rolling with saran wrap or a damp towel to stop them from drying out. Roll the pasta into a piece thin enough to fit into the pasta roller on the largest setting. Pass it through the roller and fold it over on itself after it comes out. Repeat this several times, this process is called laminating. Once the dough is laminated you can begin to roll it out thinner. All pasta machines will differ in settings, but basically you want to pass the dough through each time just lowering the setting by one. Once you get to the thickness of a loonie you’re ready to cut. Break out the spaghetti attachment and pass the dough through, making sure you toss some semolina on it when it comes out to avoid the pasta sticking together. Fresh pasta will always take less time to cook, so just check your pasta by tasting a piece (should be cooked but with a slight bite to it - aka al dente). The texture you get with fresh pasta is truly what makes it worth the effort. Good luck chefs!


SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

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Spaghetti Carbonara is a traditional Italian dish that first originated in Rome. An incredibly hearty dish made with a combination of eggs, cheese and cured meat. The trick to this technique is to create sauce with your eggs and water your pasta was cooked in. A great example of how a few humble ingredients when used in unison can create something absolutely delicious and comforting. Making fresh pasta can be time consuming, so alternatively you can buy it fresh or dried from the store as there are many good options out there.

½ cup diced pancetta or guincale (bacon works too)

½ cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan

2 egg yolks

1 tsp coarse ground black pepper

1 clove garlic chopped fine

½ lemon

Start a pot of water boiling (it’s always better to have a big pot aka more than you think). MAKE SURE YOU SALT THE WATER THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL. Don’t go crazy because the cured meat in the dish adds a good amount of salt, 1 tbsp per 2L should be good. Get the water boiling before you start anything else, this just helps with the timing. Its best to use a pan to cook the other ingredients that can fit all of your pasta easily so you can toss it once the eggs are in. Start your pan on low heat and add the chopped meat (we use pancetta), let it cook slowly so the fat is rendered out and it begins to become crispy. Once crispy add your black pepper and let it toast up in the fat. Once you smell the pepper add your garlic and cook it out (this doesn’t take long). To stop the cooking process use a ladle to add some water to your pan to deglaze it.

Now it’s time to cook your pasta. Fresh pasta generally takes between 3-5 minutes in boiling water, but dried can take up to 16 (check the box it can vary). While the pasta cooks, separate your eggs and grate your cheese. You can keep your pan on low heat and add the cheese to begin creating your sauce. Once the pasta is cooked it’s best to take it out with tongs or a sifter (you will need the pasta water later so don’t pour it down the drain). Move the cooked pasta to your other pan and add another splash of the pasta water. Now it’s crunch time, Once the eggs are tossed into the hot pan there is no stopping until the sauce is done. If you don’t keep moving the eggs in the pan they will simply scramble and the sauce will not come together. Move off the heat stir constantly with a spatula or tongs until the eggs begin to cook with the water. You can adjust the thickness by adding more water to the pan as you stir. Once the sauce begins to thicken you are almost there. The tell tale sign of a good carbonara is when the sauce is thick enough that it doesn’t slide off the noodles, rather sticks to them. One quick squeeze of lemon juice and your done. Quickly mix and transfer to your vessel of choice, best enjoyed immediately. What a process, but the result is worth it! Enjoy with our wine pairing preferably.

COENOBIUM BIANCO

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Now everyone knows that drinking a wine that compliments your food can only heighten the experience. The list of great Italian wines is endless, but we chose this bottle both because of its unique story and because it works so well with the richness of our dish. This wine is from Lazio, Italy and is actually made in a monastery by the Cistercian nuns who live there. The Coenobium white blend is our wine of choice for this month. At roughly $25 a bottle its a great wine and a great value. If your having trouble locating this bottle try to find a wine made with either trebbiano or verdicchio as these grapes aren’t too fruity and boast a pungent acidity.