Fresh Pasta with Italian Sausage Herb Sauce

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Fresh pasta, made simply from eggs and Tipo flour, is one of the best (and most fun!) ways to take a simple dinner and make it restaurant quality. There is something so special about fresh pasta; the taste and texture are completely different from even the best dried pasta out there. If you have a pasta press, it’s actually fairly easy to make, even for a week night dinner!

The boyfriend and I have date night every Thursday, where we leave the office at 5 (calendar is blocked off and it’s the only day of the week we leave at a normal hour) and come home to make dinner together. As soon as we get home, he starts on the drinks (he’s a killer bartender too! I know, I’m pretty lucky) and I start prepping whatever it is we’re going to make.

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We’ve made fresh pasta many times now, and find it easy to get it done within an hour. The boyfriend will start mixing the dough while I get the sauce started. This recipe is what we made last week, and it was a huge hit – we even ate the leftovers for dinner that weekend! I was really happy with the depth of flavor in the sauce: slightly spicy, sweet from the tomatoes and full of flavor from the various herbs. The pasta turned out perfectly – cooked for 3 minutes, which left it with a slight bite and nice chewiness.

Next time you have a dinner and have a little bit of extra time, consider making this. Depending on the particular shape of pasta you make and what flavors you crave, you can put any sort of sauce on top – this is just a suggestion and something that I really enjoyed.

Pasta Recipe

Makes roughly 1/2 pound of pasta, more than enough for two people. Easy to double.

  • 300 grams Tipo flour (or 00 flour) — these are in the bulk bins at Whole Foods
  • 3 eggs

Step One, Set the Well:

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Measure out the flour and put directly onto a clean counter top. Make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well in the middle. Slowly start mixing in the flour, taking care not to let the well break, but as you can see in the picture, it doesn’t always work that well.

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Mix together until it’s all incorporated.

Step Two, Knead:

Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. Cover and let rest for half an hour.

Step Three, Press the Pasta:

Cut the dough into small-ish chunks to press. Using a pasta maker on the largest setting(we use a pasta maker attachment on a Kitchen Aid), start running the dough through. We will run the dough through twice on each level until level 4 on the flat press. Next, get the attachment that cuts the shape you want. For this, we used the fettuccine one. As it gets cut, sprinkle flour on the cut pieces, otherwise it will stick together and will be difficult to get apart.

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Step Four, Boil:

Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water for three minutes. Top with your favorite sauce and eat!

Sausage and Herb Sauce

  • 1 can of diced San Marzano Tomatoes (I highly recommend this brand)
  • 1/2 pound of bulk Italian Sausage
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • Handful of fresh Oregano and Basil, finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper, and crushed red chili flakes (optional and to taste)

Step One, Brown:

Brown the sausage in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Drain the excess fat.

Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for two to three minutes.

Step Two, Merry the flavors:

Add the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for at least 20 minutes, but longer is better when it comes to sauce.

Step Three, Serve:

Top the pasta with the sauce, and add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish. EAT!

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