Home made pasta: first (successful) attempt!

I gave ravioli a try a while ago and I must say the result was not really impressive!
Yesterday I felt inspired again, or more simply, the weather was so miserable that I felt like doing nothing else than staying at home and treat myself with some nice food and a movie.

I tried to make “sagne” a kind of pasta typical from the Abruzzo region in Italy and whose main feature is the total lack of eggs – it is in fact one of those everyday “poor dishes”, but still so incredibly tasty, not to mention the fact that making and eating them was a sort of trip down to memory lane.

All you need is some plain white flour (the version with rye flavour is also very good though), salt and water: mix all the ingredients until the dough is not too sticky anymore and you can start using a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a circle. The thickness can vary depending on your tastes, I personally prefer it a bit thicker so that when you cook it it stays more crunchy and al dente.

Once it is rolled out and you reach the preferred thickness, leave it to dry for about 1 hour (or more, it depends on how dry is the room) – make sure it is quite dry before rolling and cut it or it will just get a super messy and sticky result!

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You can now start folding it (as if you would like to make a pasta tube) and cut it into stripes – I cut mine around 1.5 cm wide. Then put it in a tray and let it rest for another 30 minutes, making sure to sprinkle some flour so that the pasta stripes do not stick to each other.

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Time to cook it and enjoy it: bring water to the boil, add salt and then the pasta. It will cook very quickly, as soon as it starts floating you can drain the water and dress the pasta (be quick, or it will stick!).

I dressed mine with some garlic and chilli tomato sauce and percorino cheese sprinkled on top, YUMMY!

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Dish of the day: gnocchetti sardi with aubergine and ricotta!

The recipe is incredibly easy, but I just need to clarify a couple of things.

Gnocchetti sardi is a kind of pasta..they look like a little shell and they have nothing to do with gnocchi. Personally I consider them one of the best kind of pasta and I think they suit incredibly well with this sauce. This is how they look like:

this is how gnocchettin sardi look like!

  • Ricotta salata is a kind of dry ricotta. It is a sheep cheese, extremely tasty and it is absolutely delicious grated on pasta.
How to prepare:

Cut the aubergines in small pieces (1 cm) and let them cook in a pan with some olive oil.
– Please note: the more you fry the aubergine, the tastier will be the pasta… if you opt for a lighter version, reduce the amount of oil and add some water instead.
When all the little pieces will be beautifully gold, take them out of the pan and put them in a plate.
Use the same pan to prepare the tomato sauce: add a can of chopped tomatoes (you don’t need to add more oil, as there will still be some oil from the aubergine) and a bit of salt.
If the tomato sauce is too thick, add a bit of water… I don’t like when the sauce is too dark and thick!
Let the sauce boil for about 15-20 mins.
In the mean time cook the pasta. When it is done, add it to the sauce and then add the aubergine golden pieces.
The smell is already delicious but you just need to follow other two simple steps to make this dish perfect!
  • add the grated ricotta and mix… it will melt down and create a fab cream
  • add some ground pepper and some breadcrumb (it might sounds strange, but trust me it will give a crunchy taste that you will love!)
As I said before…it is really easy and quick but the result is excellent!
Bon appetit!