It’s rolling into summer here and the tomatoes are off the charts, and so they are showing up about 3 times a week in our dinners, (apologies to you northern-hemisphere dwellers). I had my first adventure in noodle making and made the rookie mistakes: too-thick pasta that wasn’t uniform. Ah well, the taste was still heavenly. While googling I also learned that Marco Polo did NOT bring noodles to Italy from China, it had already been there for 200 years. Pshht. If this is your first time, get some pasta-making tips first from the pioneer woman (I did not use a flour bin like she did) and know that you don’t need any special tools. I’m trying out a new format for my recipes, I hope it will be more convenient (and also more aesthetically pleasing).
-12 oz or 340 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
-5-8 medium garlic cloves, minced
-3 tablespoons evoo
-2/3 grated parmesan, grana padano or pecorino
-1/4 cup basil, or parsley, or oregano or a mix of these.
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, a little more for dusting
Sauce: Preheat oven to 300 F or 150 C. Mix the tomatoes, half the olive oil, and most of the minced garlic in a bowl. Spread on a baking sheet cut side up and roast, about 45 minutes. Be careful not to let them dry out. In a food processor mix the herbs, cheese, and remaining garlic and oil until pretty fine. After the tomatoes are finished, immediately spread the herb paste on top, then mash everything with a spoon set it aside until you’re ready.
Pasta: These are not my instructions, but the universal recipe for pasta-making everywhere. Make a mound/bowl shape with your flour on a clean wooden cutting board. Crack the eggs into the flour bowl. With a fork mix the eggs in the flour bowl until the eggs are broken. Incorporate more and more of the flour until you have a (pretty grainy) dough, kneading it with your hands after it gets too thick for the fork. Clean your board with a bench knife (or butter knife if like me you don’t have a bench knife). Roll out the dough flat as thin as you possibly can with a rolling pin. Cut long one inch strips with your dough. Mark strips into 3 inch pieces, taking each piece and twirling it around a bamboo stick or just a wooden skewer and set aside. (Aside: I’m not sure what to call this pasta shape, as I misread instructions for strozzapreti) Boil water, add noodles with a generous pinch of salt until al dente.
Optional: put the sauce back in the oven while boiling the pasta to reheat it a bit. Mix together the pasta and roasted tomatoes and serve! Bon appetit!