There is something about a simple Italian dish that makes life feel robust, full, delightful. Especially when you share it with loved ones. My brother, Zach, is in town this weekend and I am beyond excited to have someone to cook for and with for a few days. In my usual fervor of anticipating a weekend of cooking, I started pouring over the recipes I have tucked away in the "to make someday" file. This was the first one I busted out of my arsenal...simple, delicious, filling and let's just say, perfect. Enjoy!
Fresh Pasta with Tomato & Mushroom Sauce
Adapted from la cucina italiana magazine
- 1 leafy sprig rosemary
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (28-ounce can) whole peeled tomatoes with 1/2 cup of their juices reserved
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound fresh field mushrooms (shitake, porcini, etc) roughly chopped
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 egg white, as needed
Remove leaves from rosemary sprig. In center of cutting board, mound rosemary leaves, parsley, garlic and thyme; finely chop together.
In a large skillet with lid, combine herb mixture, butter and oil; heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is foaming. Add tomatoes with 1/2 cup of their juices and salt; bring to a simmer and cook, breaking up tomatoes, for 5 minutes, then stir in mushrooms. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, covered, until mushrooms are tender and sauce is flavorful, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the pasta. Combine eggs, flour and oil in a food processor and pulse until it comes together in a cohesive mass. If it doesn't come together add an additional egg white and pulse again. Remove from the food processor and knead several times by hand on a lightly floured surface until the dough comes together in a ball.
Divide the dough into thirds, take one and cover the rest with plastic wrap. With your dough ball in hand, run it through a pasta machine until you are at the thinnest setting the dough will take without ripping (on my Kitchenaid pasta maker this was a 7). Repeat with additional dough balls. You could potentially do this without a pasta maker but it will be hard to get the dough thin enough.
Cut the pasta sheets into wide 2" strips with a pizza cutter. You can leave these to dry on the counter until you cook them.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When sauce is very close to done, cook pasta in the boiling water. Fresh pasta only needs about 2 minutes to cook, so don't overdo it. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add sauce and toss to combine well. Season and serve immediately.