Homemade pasta is one of those lush and comforting type of foods that I love to do on a regular basis. There is something so wonderful when my hands get to touch the wet pile of eggs and flour and feel the stickiness that through gentle movements turns into a soft ball of dough. The process gives me a child-like feeling. Like the feeling when you find yourself in the middle of an unexpected experience and your curiosity just makes you go for it. You are not sure you can do it. You are not sure why you are doing it. Yet, the doing of it brings you so much joy that you want to do it again. And again. And again. That is how pasta making is for me. I can buy an already made pasta. Dry pasta, or even fresh store bought pasta. Yet, every time I want to go through the messiness and the stickiness and the flour everywhere in my kitchen. And oh, what to do with the left over noodles? So many of them!!! It is totally worth it. Just like life itself...I can get someone else’s version of it. I can read a book about someone else’s experience – then attempt to skip some steps in order to save myself that’s person opinion on perceived struggles. Or, go and experience life myself and see how I feel about it. The bottom line is, making homemade pasta makes my heart happy and brings me joy just as life is.
As a person that cooks often I fall into my loving-this-one-recipe-to-the-end-of-life mode (quite often, lets be honest). However, I try to remind myself that I haven’t tried it all and I don’t know it all, so lets see what other people are doing in their kitchens. And fresh pasta fell into this “I am sticking with my recipe” category for me, but I broke it. I went and tried a different recipe and let me tell you that I was wonderfully surprised because the dough turned out to be soft and silky and yummy. Basically, my new favorite go-to pasta dough thanks to the lovely Rachel form On the Acre.
I met Rachel a few months ago and I loved her instantly. She is one of these passionate people who follows her heart and makes magic with every step she takes. Rachel’s love for growing her own food and making down to earth, simple and true recipes is so transparent in her photography and writing. And if I could describe her with few words it would be: honest and with a heart (all of the profits form her class went to help a friend who is adopting a child from India). Rachel thought me so many things that day in her pasta making class. How to color my pasta with vegetable paste like a tomato and kale (she made the kale paste herself from the kale from her garden!!!). How to use a pasta roller (I am that close to buy one because I got obsessed wit it by the end of class). And how to make wonderful, silky pasta dough only with 2 eggs (my staple old recipe called for 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg...I see saving money in my future).
So, if you are wondering what to do for dinner and want to be inspired, head to On the Acre and make this lush, velvety pasta. I guarantee you that you will find your new staple dinner recipe that makes your heart and tummy happy and will give you lots of delicious and envious leftovers for work lunch tomorrow.
Fresh Pasta with Chanterelle Mushrooms
Sevres 4 (plus some leftover noodles)
• Fresh made pasta. Recipe from On the Acre
• 6 tbsp butter, divided
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 cups of Chanterelle Mushrooms (about 1/2 pound), brushed clean (halved if large)
• 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup of white wine (rose works too)
• 2 tbsp Crème Fraiche or Mascarpone
• 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano + extra for serving
• 1/4 cup of shopped fresh herbs (thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, parsley, chives), only parsley or thyme works well too
• Salt + Pepper
Follow instructions from On the Acre on how to make the fresh pasta.
Sauce and Assembly
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and follow the instructions from On the Acre on how to cook the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Chanterelles, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. If the mushrooms are a bit dry and woody, add a 1/4 cup of water to soften them and cook until the water is fully evaporated. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and set aside. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet and the shallots. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden, 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
When pasta is ready add the desired amount of noodles for 4 people in the skillet (you might have some leftover cooked noodles, which you can store for the next day or two to enjoy with your favorite sauce). Add a ladle of the pasta water in the skillet and toss gently to mix the pasta with the sauce. Add the cooked chanterelles, toss and let pasta cook for 2 min to let all the flavors come together. Add the Crème Fraiche or Mascarpone + the Parmigiano Reggiano and toss until the sauce becomes lush and creamy. Add a bit more of the pasta water if it seems dry. Add the fresh herbs and toss until fully incorporated. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Divide pasta into 4 pasta bowls and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.