Like many of us at home right now during this COVID-19 pandemic, I am trying to find things to do to keep my time occupied so to limit myself from sitting on the couch all day binging Netflix. I mean, I’ve certainly had some of those days so no judging here to anyone at all!
Luckily I have been able to work from home during the week and have a pretty structured weekday 9-5 schedule to get me through my day. I am able to enjoy breakfast at home along with getting the time to prepare dinner more often instead of meal prepping and cooking for the week on Sundays. Where I struggle is finding how to define and differentiate my weekends.
Weekends are our time to go out, enjoy time with friends, frequent restaurants and do literally whatever we want. Now that weekends are also comprised of staying home, I do things like bake bread for the week (yeah, I know how that sounds!), play games at home and try new recipes.
Last Friday I had the best time and experience making fresh pasta for the first time. Ironically enough, I was supposed to get pasta-making classes at Eataly Toronto for my birthday but they were sold out for a few weeks and every other class in Toronto was also sold out. We thought we would do it later but now that we’re in this whole thing I thought, why not try it at home on our own?
Both Waseem and I did this together and it was a really fun couples activity that can easily be something that can be done with the whole family as well. I did not use any special tools and you only need two ingredients to make this super easy fresh pasta. Eggs and Semolina Flour. As you will see in the videos, a tapered rolling pin works best. My sister used an Indian roti rolling pin and I used a western rolling pin – both worked fine.
I shared these same instructions with my sister to test out if she got the same results and she did! There are three videos in total that I suggest watching in order to get this right.
Recipe: I used this recipe and rolled it by hand with a rolling pin – no pasta maker required. I like that you can adjust the servings to get exact measurements. I always use a scale when cooking and I highly suggest investing in one (You can get them for as little as $10).
Overall, for two servings you need:
- 200 g Semolina flour (1 cup) plus more for rolling the dough
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten, preferably organic and free-range
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Kneading and cutting the dough: This video really helped me understand what to do with the dough and how long to knead it for before it was ready to be rolled out. look for to figure out whether the dough is ready. Specifically for kneading – pay attention to when she pushes into the dough to know if it is ready or still needs some work. Note that this is ONLY for the technique not for the recipe as this is a water/flour recipe.
Rolling the dough: In this video, the Pastaio of Eataly Flatiron, Luca D’Onofri goes through a lot of pasta doughs and shapes but focuses specifically on the semolina dough and pays attention to how thin the dough gets before it is cut. It is also a great resource to know more about what regions specific kinds of pasta come from. This really took me back to my trip to Italy in 2017 – reminding me of how the food is the same but different as you move from North to South.
Boiling the pasta: Though the pasta can be seen being boiled in the first video, I also found Toronto-based David Rocco’s quick IGTV video useful to see how quick the process is to boil pasta. It can be done in as little as three minutes from the time that you drop it into boiling water.
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Dreaming of Tuscany? You can escape there with this recipe I picked up when I was in Siena. I use fresh pici, but you guys can really use any pasta you like – especially the ones you hoarded from the supermarkets 😉 – with pancetta, asparagus, fava beans, passata and parmigiano 😍🙌 who’s making this for tonight?? 🙋♂️🙋♂️🙋♂️ #Pasta #Pici #Toscana #Siena #QuarantineKitchen
Remember to ensure that you put enough water and salt to boil your pasta. Do not even think about leaving out the salt and always reserve at least a cup of water to use in your sauce.
I tossed my fresh pasta in an easy olive oil-based sauce. I don’t have a full proper recipe for this as I make it all the time and eye-ball it but you can follow this Bon Appetit Recipe as it is basically the same thing I do!
Be creative! Toss this in any sauce you like.
Be sure to tag me or share your experience with me if you make this! You can find me on Instagram @dasootas.
Enjoy, stay home, stay safe and In sha Allah we will be ‘back to normal’ soon!