Last week I was watching Jamie Oliver and his new show, 'Jamie at home'. I think it's in its second season in the UK, but it is new for us here in Norway. It's my favorite Jamie Oliver show thus far. He has this cottage out in the country where he has a HUGE garden and a hippy gardener called Brian.
Every week he picks something from the garden or farm to make stuff with: eggs, root vegetables, fowl, lamb, greens, ect. Well, last week, Jamie was making things with eggs. Not just any eggs, but free range organic eggs. But before he got to the cooking, he gave us all a lesson in why eating eggs from caged chickens is really inherently evil. To illustrate his point, he took a chicken, whom he had heroically adopted to come live in freedom at his little farm and join the free range chicken flock, out of its cage, and the chicken just stood there, not moving a muscle.
IT DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO RUN! And the comb on top of its little chicken head was really anemic looking when it should have been vibrant red!
The lesson was for us to always buy free range chicken eggs.
But do what you want.
So, with his eggs, he was going to make pasta. I love homemade pasta. Last Christmas Christopher gifted me with a stainless steel pasta maker. I was in pasta heaven for months and we used it often. When we moved last summer, it got put away and I had really kind of forgotten about it.
Until Mr. Oliver and his free range eggs.
So, lets make pasta!
I just followed Jamie's basic pasta recipe:
100 grams of flour per person
1 egg per 100 grams of flour. I used Tipo '00' flour. It is an Italian pasta flour. Look for it in your grocers baking section.
I have made pasta 2 times in the last few days, one batch of plain and one batch of spinach, so the photos are mixed together a bit!
Put the ingredients into your food processor and pulse it until it resembles crumbs. Pour it out on a floured surface and knead the heck out of it.
Once your dough is smooth, break it into 4 different pieces and get ready to roll it through your pasta machine. I find it a bit difficult to give you good directions, so I will just copy and paste the instructions from Jamie Olivers website:
"Dust your work surface with some Tipo ‘00’ flour, take a lump of pasta dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting - and roll the lump of pasta dough through it. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it sticks at all. Click the machine down a setting and roll the pasta dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. It might seem like you're getting nowhere, but in fact you're working the dough, and once you've folded it and fed it through the rollers a few times, you'll feel the difference. It'll be smooth as silk and this means you're making wicked pasta!
Now it's time to roll the dough out properly, working it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to around the narrowest. Lightly dust both sides of the pasta with a little flour every time you run it through. When you've got down to the narrowest setting, to give yourself a tidy sheet of pasta, fold the pasta in half lengthways, then in half again, then in half again once more you've got a square-ish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and feed it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll it down through the settings for the last time, you should end up with a lovely rectangular silky sheet of dough with straight sides - just like a real pro!"
See how easy Jamie makes it sound? When you have a long sheet, flour it a bit, fold it in half, then in half again, so it looks like this:
I used to roll the sheets through the cutting mechanism of the machine, but Jamie's method is much easier. Just CUT it!!
After you cut the pasta, pick it up and use your fingers to separate the strands:
Here are your two different kinds of pasta after they have been cut and tossed:
Plain egg noodles:
Spinach egg noodles:
For the plain egg noodles, I made a gorgeous pasta carbonara on Friday night:
And tonight, I made an equally gorgeous bolognese sauce for the spinach pasta:
There is no telling when my current pasta obsession will end. It is one of those things that I think is really amazing, to start out with flour and eggs and end up with perfect noodles! Noodles that I made! From scratch!
It is magical!