Sunday, April 27, 2014

Farfalle happiness

The formed farfalle for Nonno
Apparently, homemade farfalle will make you feel better.  I didn't know this until a few days ago. We were headed over to Nonno's house to make dinner because Nonno's not feeling 'too much strong'.  So I consulted my kitchen assistant for advice on what we should make. 

The response: 'Farfalle, because it makes you happy'.

I agree, and that couldn't sound any more perfect for Nonno.

So we made some pasta and rolled it out. Then, armed with a little scalloped edged cutting wheel, my four 1/2 year old set about cutting the long pasta strips from the machine into sections (widthwise), and I, with a sharper knife, took those strips and reduced them into 3-4 farfalle depending on the length of the trimmed strip.

Once the little rectangles were cut, we pinched the centers to make the classic farfalle shape.

Next time, I'm told, we're going to make them smaller because 'someone's fingers are smaller'.  A good a reason as any.

Fresh Egg Farfalle (from La Cucina Italiana)

180- 200g all purpose four (start with 180, add more if required)
45 g semolina flour (not coarse semola - use gran duro rimacinata if you can find it)
pinch fine sea salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
5mL extra virgin olive oil

Whisk flours and salt in a large bowl, then mound on clean work surface, preferably wooden.
Make a well in the center and you know the drill: eggs and oil in the middle. 
Using fork (or fingers) break yolks and mix, slowly bringing in a little flour from around the edges.  I use a fork most of the time and mix like I am whisking eggs for an omlette.
When enough flour (about half) is incorporated to make a kneadable mass, clean (simply scrape) the surface of any dried on bits and sift along with the remaining flour. Set aside sifted flour to use going forward.
Lightly flour the work surface and knead the pasta dough about 5 minutes. Pushing the dough away for you with the heel of your hand and holding it slightly so that it stretches away from you.
When it feels like play-doh, you're done. a finger poked gently into the middle will leave a mark that springs back and if pushed through to the center of the dough, it will still feel a little tacky but not sticky.
Divide the dough in 4 parts for ease of rolling and cover the remaining 3 parts with cling to avoid drying out.
I roll out the dough with my Mercato, no motor required (I have good help who won't allow it!)
Follow the instructions for your machine, rolling on the widest setting and folding a few times then rolling dough through the increasing settings (narrower widths) without folding until it is 1mm thick.
That seems thin but is perfect for setting the formed farfalle aside to dry a little before cooking.
Take the long portions of 1mm thick dough, dust with a little semolina and trim if necessary.
Place the long portion of dough on a clean surface (long edge facing you) and cut into long rectangles about 10 cm long. Then take a sharper knife and divide these strips into 3-4 farfalle depening on the length of the strip. i find it best to go a little smaller than too big.  
You want the short edges (about 2.5cm) of the rectangles to be cut with your pasta wheel for the traditional zig zag edge and the long edge, a little less than 5cm, (that will get crimped) to be smooth.
Pinch the center and the long edges together. in one or two folds, whichever is easier for you.
Place formed farfalle on a clean tray dusted with semolina or coarser semolina.
Once farfalle have dried slightly, they can be piled on the tray and taken to Nonno's house to cook.

Serve with a tomato sauce (reserve cooking meat for secondo) and lots of cheese. Everyone will be happy.

Mangia!

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