PASTAAAAAA!!!!

Ok it's no secret. I love pasta. I have a bottomless pit stomach for pasta. I can eat more pasta then is humanly possible. My husband, Matt, will throw down his fork and exclaim  'I can't eat another bite!' and I'll not only have finished my bowl 10 minutes ago, but will stare at his unfinished bowl of pasta like a dog at a bone until he eyes me and says 'eat it!'... I'm a pig.

I'll then pick at the extra pasta I made to save for lunch tomorrow. I had good intentions but we both know its not going to last that long... It's just so good! Comfort food at its best. Nothing makes me feel the way pasta does... Well.. Almost nothing..... Ice cream's pretty good too!!!

I don't have a favourite way to eat pasta, when I was younger I used to eat it every day after school a'la carbonara- dodgy style though, with loads of cream instead of egg like its supposed to be! Then when I became a chef, it was a staple in my diet again being the cheapest, quickest most filling thing you can eat when you're on the go. Carbo-loading is what you live for as a chef. That and several coffees and I could go all day!

Bolognese, quattro formaggio, marinara, pesto, ragu's made of all sorts- goat, oxtail, pork shoulder, veal, sausage.. the list goes on! Puttanesca (the 'whore's' pasta- literally), arrabiata (angry pasta-perfect for Hangry Chefs!) Don't forget pasta's dear friends- like gnocchi (with creamy gorgonzola), lasagna, canneloni... The list goes on!

So needless to say, I've got some pretty damn good recipes... And nothing beats freshly made pasta! So here is the recipe! I'll give you gnocchi too one day cos I'm that nice ;-)

You will need... (2 serves)
2 eggs
to 200gr flour
20mls of olive oil
salt and pepper.

Method...
1. Sift your flour with your salt and pepper, make a well in the centre. Break your eggs into a separate bowl and mix your egg and oil with a fork and pour into the well.
2. Use your fork to mix the egg, gradually bringing the flour in from the sides of the well. Once its all come together, turn it out on your bench and knead for about 2 minutes until its all smooth, wrap in glad wrap and leave in the fridge for an hour.
3. Dust your pasta and pasta-roller with a small amount of flour, then flatten the pasta to roughly about 1/2 an inch thick rectangle with your hands. Roll through the machine on the thickest setting twice. Then fold your dough buy folding one-third into the middle, and the other third on top. Dust again and roll through again on the thickest setting twice. This will help you get that nice shape and a nice smooth pasta!
4. Lower the settings one at a time, and roll the dough through, dusting with extra flour each time. You may need to repeat the first step of the process twice on the second thickest setting if your dough doesn't run through easily or isn't very smooth
5. Your dough is thin enough when you can just start to see your fingers through it, this may be before you get to the thinnest setting- it is totally variable depending on different machines. If your dough is too long to work with, cut it in half and roll half at a time to make it more manageable.
6. If you have an attachment for your machine to cut the pasta, by all means use that (just make sure you flour the machine first), but otherwise, fold your pasta up and cut slices just under 2cm/an inch thick- this will give you a beautiful pappardelle (or ribbon-like pasta).
7. You can leave to dry by hanging, using a broom handle propped between two chairs, or even coat hangers, but just make sure they're clean, and out of reach of hungry children (or puppies in my case!!). Once they are dry to touch, pop them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes (fresh pasta doesn't take very long to cook!) and serve with some yummy Bolognese!

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