Our New Year’s Eve/Anniversary dinner was fairly simple. I used my new Kitchen Aid pasta attachment to make fresh bucatini. It sounds like more work than it was. Pasta dough is pretty simple to make and can be made ahead of time. It took less than 10 minutes to feed the dough through the machine, and then the actual sauce for the pasta was quick to make. We loved this dish. The sauce is rich and hearty and the pasta was perfect.
I used Alton Brown’s pasta recipe, which was shown on the air but isn’t published on the Food Network site. I’ve added the recipe below. It was easy but I was worried about it being tough – it wasn’t. We have an Italian grocery across the street so I used 00 flour instead of all-purpose.
I’ve been making bread at home regularly thanks to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but over the past year I’ve been experimenting with the techniques and recipes to come up with our standard bread. We love the European Peasant Loaf, but it’s mostly white flour so I started using Zoe and Jeff’s second book (Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day to find a bread we loved that wasn’t overly wheat-y and heavy. Honestly, we’ve liked every bread I’ve made out of the books. I finally settled this week, going back to the European Peasant Loaf. I made one simple change, subbing out half of the white flour for white wheat flour. It makes great toast and garlic bread and I love that I can’t remember the last time I bought a loaf of bread.
Fresh Pasta Dough
From Good Eats: The Middle Years by Alton Brown
This is two large eggs beat with three tablespoons of water, half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. This is a big ole pile of all purpose flour, about three cups. But you don’t have to be too picky about it right now. Here’s why: we’re going to make a bowl out of the flour instead of putting the flour into the bowl. So just make yourself a little kind of a volcano crater in the middle and make sure that it’s pretty stable around the sides. We’re going to pour in just a small amount of the egg mixture.
2 Large Eggs
3 Tbs. H2O
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Olive Oil
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
Just use two fingers and slowly spin that egg mixture around. Use your other hand to support the wall while slowly kind of pushing it in towards the middle. Antiquated though it may be, I love this method because you never work too much or too little flour into the mixture. The dough simply takes what it needs. Now if you really can’t stand playing with your food, you can do this with your food processor but I for one would call you a sissy.
Now as soon as it comes together into a firm paste like this, wrap in plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least an hour to let it rest. Sure. Yeah. It does look a little ooey and gooey for a dough, but you can always add flour when you roll it out. And remember, a lot can happen in here (the refrigerator) in an hour.
- Fresh Pasta Dough (Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, p. 12)
- Bucatini in a Spicy Tomato Sauce with Crisped Pancetta (Fine Cooking #60, November 2003, p. 98c)
- Caesar Salad with Focaccia Croutons (The Conscious Cook, p. 57)
- European Peasant Loaf with Sauteed Garlic Butter (Fine Cooking #43, March 2001, p. 49)
Wine: Sea Smoke 2005 Southing Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills, California). A great bottle of wine. This is a big Pinot, and stands up great to the tomato sauce.