The best dinner is made with family.

 

Family Dinner – Pasta Night

22 Jun 2020, Posted by Chris Waltman in Chris' Corner

One of my most cherished memories growing up was pasta night with the family.  It was something the whole family could agree upon.  The meal consisted of a dried pasta, Prego Marinara with extra herbs and a bay leaf, ground beef, parmesan cheese, the not so fancy loaf of garlic bread.  It was simple and cheap but always filled the house with a distinct smell of deliciousness.

Now that I have a little girl of my own and another on the way, I do pasta night a little differently.  We make a fresh pasta that hopefully one day my daughters will be able to do together.  I have found my wife and daughter prefer a chunky Bolognese sauce.  My daughter loves to be as hands on as possible even if that means she is on my shoulders telling me to be careful.  By the time dinner is ready the house is filled with that familiar aroma (maybe even a little better) from my childhood.

 

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Fresh pasta is one of the easiest things that sounds like it is difficult to make.  Texturally it is so much better than dried pasta.  The mouth feel is delicate and springy and compliments a rich sauce.

 

pasta blog picture

Fresh Pasta

Yields 1 lb.

Prep Time – 30 min

Rest Time – 30 min

Cook Time – 3 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP Flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 4 Yolks (large eggs)
  • 2 Whole Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt

Instructions

  1. Pour flour and salt onto a stainless steel or stone tabletop.
  2. Form a bowl shape reservoir with the flour then pour the eggs and yolks into the middle.
  3. Use a fork to beat the eggs and slowly start to incorporate the flour.
  4. Once a sticky blob begins to form use hands to build a dough ball.
  5. Use a bench scrapper to remove dough from hands and the fork.
  6. Scrape any excess dough from the surface and begin to fold the dough ball to incorporate the extra flour.
  7. Once all the flour is stuck to the dough ball, begin to knead the dough with the heel of your hand.
  8. Continue to knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic like Play-Doh.
  9. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 min. Resting allows the dough to fully hydrate and the gluten starts to relax.
  10. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces.
  11. With a rolling pin, roll each of the pieces out to a long oblong shape about ½” thick.
  12. Run the dough through a pasta maker on the widest setting.
  13. Fold the dough over itself and run through the press 4 more times.
  14. Narrow the press by 1 setting and run the dough through.
  15. Continue to narrow the press by 1 setting after each pass through until you reach the desired thickness. (if the dough comes sticky then dust the dough sheets with the extra flour)
  16. Dust the sheets and fold into small stacks while running the rest of the dough through the press.
  17. Attach the cutter for the desired pasta shape.
  18. Cut the sheets to the length of desired final product.
  19. Run the sheets through on a low speed to make sure the dough does not bunch up.
  20. Hang the pasta to dry or add to boiling water for 2 minutes.

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Bolognese Sauce

Yields – 2 qt.

Prep Time – 10 min

Cook Time – 60 to 90 min

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Yellow Onions (medium dice)
  • 2 large Carrots (medium rough chop)
  • 2 stalks Celery (medium rough chop)
  • 1 Lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 Lb. Ground Pork
  • 2 (28oz.) Can of Crushed Tomatoes (organic)
  • 6 cloves Fresh Garlic (sliced thin)
  • ¼ cup Basil (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup Flat Leaf Parsley (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ½ cup fresh shaved Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat until shimmering.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft and translucent while constantly stirring. (6-8 min)
  3. Add the celery and onions to the pot and continue to cook. (3-5 min)
  4. Add the beef and pork and continue to cook while breaking apart chunks with a spatula. (6-8 min)
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, parsley, basil and bay leaves to the pot.
  6. Lower the heat to low and cook until the sauce reduces and thickens. (30-60 min.)
  7. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the cheese.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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