A few months ago I posted a recipe for Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables. In my mind, it was good. I do admit that the gnocchi could have been better, but I did the best with what was at my disposal. Or so I thought...
Within minutes of posting the entry, I received multiple text message...
"Tommy! How dare you!"
"Do you have any idea what you've done?"
"Have I not taught you better than that?!"
Clearly I had done something incredibly incorrect. Before being given an explanation, I had an idea of what I did wrong - the gnocchi, I purchased dried gnocchi from the pasta aisle at the grocery store. I quickly learned that I had committed perhaps the greatest sin against any Italian...I purchased pre-made gnocchi, even worse, I purchased dried gnocchi in the pasta aisle. It is something that I will never live down. I have since vowed never to purchased store-bought gnocchi again. Lesson learned.
I have been wanting to try making homemade pasta for quite some time, but have never made the time to do so, until now. My world has changed for the better. Homemade pasta is far superior than store-bought pasta.
In my mind, making pasta at home was an incredible feat, something that would be far too difficult for a Swede to taken on. My friend Maria came over and cooked with me and taught me something: never fear cooking. Go with the flow. You are never going learn to cook until you practice, make mistakes, and keep cooking.
After making this recipe, and seeing how easy pasta truly is to make, I may have a difficult time buying boxed pasta at the grocery store.
The only problem that I now face is that I do not own a KitchenAid mixer. I was forced to cook at my parents' house for this post. KitchenAid, if you want to help a brother out, let me know!
Let's talk the elephant in the room - squid ink. Yes, the noodles are ink black, something you don't see every day. Please do not let this deter you from trying this recipe. While the ink itself may smell fishy, the noodles become velvety and delicate once they are made. The fishy taste becomes almost nonexistent.
As with any other pasta, you can pair these noodles with a plethora of sauces. I chose to make two to go with mine. Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait a while longer to see those - but to hold you over in the meantime, I will tell you that there will be a white and red sauce.
Squid Ink Pasta
Yields approximately 1 pound, serves 4
200 grams + 1 cup flour
2 tablespoons fresh sepia squid ink
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Place eggs and ink in KitchenAid mixer bowl. Attached bowl and flat beater. Mix for 30 to 60 seconds to incorporate eggs and ink.
- Little by little, add flour. Once all flour is added, the dough should come together and begin pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Add salt and olive oil, mix.
- Place 1/2 cup of flour on a flat surface and add the dough to the flour. Use remaining flour as "bench;" the remaining amount will depend on what is needed. This can vary depending on a number of factors, ie humidity, etc.
- Knead dough thoroughly by hand until all flour is mixed in. (Note: With most pasta dough, you do not want to overwork it. However, with squid ink pasta, don't be afraid of kneading it for longer. You want to be sure that all of the ink is mixed in to prevent any pockets of ink from forming).
- Let the dough rest, under a bowl, for 30 minutes.
- Cut dough into four pieces before processing with pasta sheet attachment. Take one piece and flatten into a rectangular shape. Adding flour to both sides. Be sure to cover the other pieces. Attach the pasta sheet roller to your stand mixer and set it to #0. Turn on the stand mixer to speed 2 and run the pasta dough through the pasta sheet roller. While on #0, fold the dough in half and run it through again.
- Adding a little bit of flour on each side of the dough again, change setting to #1 and pass the pasta dough through the sheet roller. Continue running the dough through the roller until you have completed a cycle through #5.
- Once again, add flour to each side of your long pasta sheet. Change the attachment to your spaghetti or fettuccine cutter and turn on mixer. Run the pasta sheet through and with your left hand, hold on to the pasta as it comes through the cutter. Allow pasta to dry for a few minutes before boiling.
- When boiling your pasta, it only needs 3 to 7 minutes to boil.
- Serve with your choice of sauce. (2 of my favorites will be coming in a later post.)