homemade pasta

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many years ago i spent my days slinging coffee beverages. everyday, for five years, in fact. the memories held in that coffee shop remain close to my heart. i met my best friends there, i grew up there, became a woman, worked through pain and self discovery, i met my husband there... i served a multitude of people over those years and some of them came to be close friends. one of these was a man named jon. after a trip to italy, jon became an espresso lover and i was happy to deliver his dose every morning. at the time, the world of coffee had been overtaken by complex drinks filled with syrups and whipped cream and resembled something more like dessert than a morning cup of joe. a customer who enjoyed the purity of espresso was rare and the opportunity to share a moment at the bar between us was treasured. jon and i developed a game of "reading" his espresso, where after pulling his shot, jon would look into the crema and read a fortune of sorts. waking up earlier than everyone else and being pleasant sometimes before i'd even had a cup of my own wasn't always easy (my former customers can attest to this) but folks like jon made it better. they gave me something to look forward to every morning.

when my time was up at that coffee shop and i made the very difficult decision to move on, jon came in for one last espresso reading. as a thank you he brought with him, a pasta maker. that pasta maker is my favorite kitchen tool and i am forever grateful to him for it and for the gift of his friendship.

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pasta dough
from michel roux

- 1 3/4 c. flour
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp. cold water

put the flour into a mound on a clean surface and make a well in the middle. put the egg, egg yolks, water, olive oil, and salt into the well. using your fingertips, mix the ingredients in the well together, then gradually draw the flour into the center and mix. when the dough has come together, knead 4-5 times with the heel of your hand. then roll it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. divide the dough in half, rewrap one portion, and roll the other throughout a pasta machine. starting on the widest setting, roll through the machine, narrowing the setting by one notch each time until the dough is 5/8 in. thick. roll through once more to prevent shrinkage when cutting. fit the appropriate cutter onto the machine and use according to your machines instructions for the particular pasta you'd like. lay the strands on a sheet of lightly floured parchment to prevent tangling.

to cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. add the freshly cut pasta and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes until it is al dente. we ate ours with asparagus, a poached egg, lemon butter, and shaved reggiano.

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