Not like mama used to make
Making fresh pasta is easier than you think
A simple sauce of sauteed guanciale and grated zuchini, with a pinch of saffron for color and flavor. For recipe, see below. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Note: Adapted from "The Glorious Pasta of Italy" (Chronicle Books, $30), by Domenica Marchetti
2 to 2 1/4 cups Italian 00 flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon semolina flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. For the dough, put 2 cups 00 flour, the semolina, salt and nutmeg into a food processor; pulse briefly to combine. Add eggs; drizzle in 1 tablespoon oil. Process until mixture forms crumbs that look like small curds. Pinch together a bit of the mixture and roll it around. It should form a soft ball. If the mixture seems dry, drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; pulse briefly. If it seems too wet and sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly.
2. Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface sprinkled lightly with semolina; form into a rough ball. Knead the dough: Using the palm of your hand, push the dough gently but firmly away from you, and then fold it over toward you. Rotate the dough a quarter turn; repeat the pushing and folding motion. Continue kneading for several minutes until the dough is smooth and silky. Form it into a ball; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature before stretching it, 30 minutes.
3. Set up a pasta machine with the rollers on the widest setting. Scatter a little semolina on the work surface around the machine.
4. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces; re-wrap 3 pieces. Knead the remaining piece briefly. Patting it with the heel of your hand, form the dough into a flat oval 3 to 4 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Feed the dough through the rollers of the pasta machine; lay the strip on the work surface. Fold the dough into thirds, as you would a business letter; sprinkle with a little semolina. Pass it through the rollers again.
5. Repeat the folding and rolling a few more times, until the dough is smooth. Move the roller to the next narrower notch; feed the strip through twice, sprinkling it with semolina if necessary to keep it from sticking. Continue to pass the dough through the rollers twice on each setting, until it is about 1/16 inch thick or slightly thicker (the second- or third-narrowest notch on my machine). Lay the sheet of dough on a semolina-dusted surface; cover it lightly with plastic wrap while you stretch the remaining pieces.
6. Cut the noodles using the cutter attachment with the width you prefer. Feed a sheet through the cutter, sprinkling noodles liberally with semolina to keep them from sticking. Wrap them gently around your hand to form a nest. Set the nest on a semolina-dusted baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets.
Per serving: 321 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 159 mg cholesterol, 50 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein, 344 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Pasta with guanciale, zucchini and saffron
Prep: 10 minutes