Is it just me, or is pasta probably one of the greatest inventions EVER? From fancy restaurants in Rome to student kitchens across the land, it’s an absolute staple food. It can easily be vegan or gluten free too, and you can eat as much of it as you like if you’re doing Slimming World.
And it’s super versatile as well. Serving it up with tomato sauce, carbonara sauce, filling it with whatever you fancy, spicy sauce, Bolognese…you get me. From a quick meal when you’re exhausted to a fancy way to impress your mates/dates/parents, I’m pretty sure this post could easily just be an ode to how much I bloody love the stuff.
*This post is sponsored by Marks & Spencer*
Instead, I decided to be a bit more helpful – it’s all about how to get the very best pasta meal. And honestly, there’s nothing quite like making your own fresh pasta. And actually, as evidenced by my recent trip to Food52 in London to learn with Marks & Spencer development chef Jon Jones, it’s not even as complicated as you might think.
So here it is, the lazy girl’s guide to making your own pasta – and an alternative that’ll also impress any last minute dinner guests.
Method 1 – Making Your Own Fresh Pasta
Hand Cut Pasta: 130g pasta flour, 4 egg yolks
Filled Pasta: 130g pasta flour, 2 egg yolks, 1 whole egg
(To make it vegan: Use ¾-1cup of water instead of eggs!)
A Simple Method for Making Pasta
Pour the egg into the flour and work together, until a rougly textured dough forms.
Continue to knead the dough until it’s smooth and supple. (Yes, this counts as exercise)
Wrap in cling film and let it rest for four hours. (Netflix time!)
Four hours later, and you’re back to that delicious dough. What next?
I mean, the ideal situation is to get yourself a pasta machine. Run your dough through this, setting it lower and lower until you have a thin sheet of pasta to work with. To keep it square, after every couple of runs through, fold in the edges once, then twice (this is called a book fold)
For the hand cut pasta: Roll the sheet into a tube, and cut through gently, making each section around 1.5cm wide. Unroll, and you have your pasta! Cook for a few minutes in boiling water, and serve with a really good sauce.
For the filled pasta: Use an average-sized cookie cutter upside down (the non-serrated bit) to make circles of pasta. Watch a YouTube video of how to fold them properly (because it’s easier than me explaining how). Cook for a few minutes in boiling water.
Method 2 – Go to Marks & Spencer and buy some really good pasta
As much as handmade pasta is SUPER impressive and tastes amazing, you won’t always have the time or the drive to get off the sofa for it. Which is where Marks & Spencer’s Italian range comes in.
I’m a BIG FAN of buying groceries from M&S, especially when I’m trying to impress. They’ve been working with their pasta supplier in the Dolomites since way back in 1997 – so you know it’s gonna be good. Because the air in the Italian Alps is so pure, all their pasta is naturally air dried – giving it a totally authentic taste.
You’ll also probably need some sauce – the top folks at M&S also come in handy here, with a 20 year history with their supplier in Calabria, Southern Italy. Using freshly grown seasonal ingredients that are picked from right next to the factory, they’re all about making their sauces feel as homemade as possible.
So next time you want to impress with your pasta dishes – you know what to do!