Happy Thursday! Today, I want to talk to you about macaroni. Not “and cheese”. Just macaroni. Noodles. Pasta. Whatever way you call it, fresh is best. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I am 100% Italian and yes, growing up I ate a lot of it. During the week we would use the regular dried macaroni which is perfectly fine, but on Sundays and holidays my mom and grandmoms would whip up a batch of what we affectionately call ‘home-mades”.
I can still see the hand rolled (no machine here!) sheets of thin, eggy dough draped over the table edge drying until that final moment when it is to be hand cut and quickly cooked.
About five years ago I went low-carb, but being apart from something this delicious was hard. Now I eat carbs, just in smaller doses, but if I am going to splurge and eat some macaroni I am going to make it from scratch. It’s not as daunting as you would think. Enjoy!
“Homemades”- adapted from my mom
3 1/2 c flour
pinch of salt
Start by placing the mound of flour mixed with a sprinkle of salt on your board or flat work surface (don’t use a bowl). Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into the hole. Using a fork, whip up the eggs like you do when scrambling. As you stir the eggs, start incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Keep pulling in flour until a dough starts to form. At this point I loose the fork and use the best kitchen tools ever created- my hands. Work the rest of the flour into the soft dough until it is all incorporated and doesn’t stick.
Now it’s time to roll! Sprinkle a bit more flour onto the board. Cut the dough into thirds, keep one third out and the other two under a bowl to keep fresh. Using a rolling pin roll the dough into very thin sheets, rotating the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board. Once it is desired thickness, keep uncovered so it dries out a bit and has a chance to relax. Repeat until all the dough is rolled.
When you are ready to eat, take the sheets of dough and fold over so its the about the width of a baguette. Taking a sharp knife cut the dough into 1/4″ slices (or your desired thickness. For the tagliatelle above, I went closer to a 1/2″.). After the dough is cut fluff and unravel the dough to separate.
Continue to dry while you get the water boiling. Fill up a large pot of water to cook the macaroni. Once the water is a rolling boil, add a generous dash of salt. Add the macaroni and cook 3-5 minutes or until they float. Drain and top with your favorite red gravy or anything else you like. Mangia!