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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Tomato Sauce and Homemade Pasta

Food will talk to you so listen closely at what it is saying....

Long overdue.... I am aware.
I mentioned Here that I would quickly write up the recipe and now 4  months later I have returned to do just that and just in time for Valentines. What's better than a deep red sauce to show your special someone that you care and desire them then a homemade meal. 

This recipe is one that can be used just as is but I have found over the last 4 months that it is also the basis to so many different sauces. 
When I have made this meal myself (without cheffy to help) I have opted out of making fresh homemade pasta and focused my attention on the sauce. I have now made the pasta twice myself for two different types of noodles and found that although it has been great it takes a lot of arm work and time. 
Pasta recipe:
6 egg yolk
1 egg
tsp milk
1 tsp olive oil
1-3/4 all purpose flour
I quite simply place the flour on my wood board in a nest. (use a big one) reserving about 1/4 cup of flour off to the side. A nest...yes a nest. A nest of flour that you can hold all the liquid ingredients without losing its walls. 
Slowly and I mean slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid in the middle with one or two of your fingers. You are developing the gluten which will make the pasta hold together. When the dough begins to thicken, use a pastry scraper (or a flat spatula) to lift the flour up and over the dough that is starting to form. Cut in the flour with the scraper. At this point, with your hands, bring the shaggy dough together and form it into a ball. Knead the dough a few times by pressing it in a forward motion with the heels of your hands, not folding it over on itself like you would do with bread. Re-shape the dough into a ball and repeat the kneading motion several times. The dough will be moist, but not sticky. If you find that it is too sticky then incorporate the flour you had set aside early little by little until your dough is moist. Let it rest for a few minutes before continuing. Here is where the real kneading begins: Dust the work surface with flour. Knead the dough in the same manner as before, pushing it forward with the heels of your hands, and re-shaping it into a ball. Keep kneading in this way until the dough becomes silky smooth. The dough is ready when you can pull a finger across the top of it and it wants to snap back into place. This process will take from 15 to 20 minutes, but knead as a long as it takes to pass the pull test. If not, the dough could collapse when resting. I found that it took more like 30 minutes to get it to the right consistency. Double-wrap the dough in plastic wrap to ensure that it does not dry out. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before rolling it through a pasta machine (or rolling out by hand). The dough can be made a day ahead, wrapped and refrigerated, but bring to room temperature before you continue. Roll the dough out to the thickness you desire then cut and cook. Fresh pasta only takes approximately 4 minutes to cook.

Sauce Ingredients:
A large can of whole tomatoes
Two cloves of garlic
One yellow onion
Optional Fancy Ingredients (I recommend this option for Valentines)
Panchetta or bacon
Red wine for cooking
Fresh rosemary

Dice up the garlic and onion. (I will vlog how to do this easily another time)
Warm up a sauce pan on med heat. Add approximately 2 tbls of olive oil. 
Once the oil has heated up add the garlic and onion and let them "sweat" Sweating is releasing the flavor without adding color...meaning do not have the temp. high enough to turn the garlic and onion golden brown. We are just releasing flavor here. Once the garlic starts to turn color add the whole can of tomatoes. Simmer the sauce while breaking up the whole tomatoes (I use a whisk to break up the tomato) Add basil and a little sugar to combat the acid and then let simmer. Let the sauce reduce to half its size while stirring and breaking down the tomatoes. This could take approximately a half an hour. 
Dice bacon and place into a med heated saute pan. Add freshly cut rosemary and just enough wine to add flavor, about a 1/4 cup. Listen to the panchetta- is it popping? if so it is at too high of a heat. Once the wine cooks off you can add the bacon and rosemary to the sauce. Rosemary and Panchetta add such a different flavor to an ordinary sauce. 
It is hard to describe the flavor. To sum it up I would say sultry, playful, and confident. 
This step just takes a few minutes for the bacon to cook so I won't start this until my sauce is nearly ready. 
Mix the cooked pasta into your sauce and serve with a little chopped parsley on top. 

Remember....Food will talk to you so listen closely at what it is saying. 

Happy Valentines Day 

Next Recipe we shall use the sauce as a base and make Seafood Nage (my favorite)

The pasta recipe is actually from the French Laundry cookbook by Thomas Keller. We have adapted it a little to work with our home and equipment.  


  1. Mmm you had me at sultry and playful flavors! These recipes sound wonderful and any adaptation of a Thomas Keller recipe is bound to be good. It is great to see that you've added some pretty cool recipes to your rotation. Thanks for sharing!

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

    1. I really like your updated blog as well. Nice to see some familiar faces....Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I love making homemade pasta and the whole recipe sounds wonderful, sweetie. Have a lovely day. xoxo


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