I hadn't even gotten the dinner invitation out of my mouth, when T replied in the affirmative. "Don' t you even want to know what I'm cooking?" She always does. "No, what time should we be there?" "Well, I'm making homemade pasta." That got her attention.
I was inspired to make pasta after reading an essay written by Italian-cooking doyenne, Marcella Hazan, in her last cookbook, Marcella Says. Home made pasta was something I made often back in the days when our dinner parties were more formal, when serving course after course was, well, a matter of course. Over the years life happened, we all got a little older, and informal entertaining seemed the way to go. And somewhere along the way I stopped making pasta.
I clamped the machine to the table and I took out my large wooden board. Next I dumped the unbleached flour onto the board and made a well. Into the well went the eggs.
The eggs were beaten with a fork with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Don't tell Marcella about the oil. Then, little by little the flour was taken from the sides of the well incorporating the eggs.
Eventually it formed a dough which you gather into ball and begin to knead after cleaning off the board.
Then more kneading on the widest setting of the pasta machine.
After thinning and stretching, then drying.
And drying again
Finally, serving with Marcella's tomato sauce with onion and butter.
The pasta was light, delicious and just heavenly. I know what I said about courses, but I did follow the pasta with pesto meatballs and then a refreshing fennel and orange salad.
My thanks to Marcella for the inspiration.