Pasta

Photo: Pasta

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 55 min
Prep: 40 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr 10 min
Cook: 5 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 cups pasta or Italian 00 flour
  • Fat pinch salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
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Directions

Meatballs, recipe follows
Tomato sauce, recipe follows

Either put the flour (with the salt) in a bowl and crack the eggs into it, or make a mound of flour on a worktop and add the eggs to that. I don't bother to beat them before adding them to the flour, but if you prefer to, do. Just find the way that you prefer. All you do is mix the flour and eggs together, and then knead the mixture until it comes together in a satiny mass. Kneading involves no more than pushing the mixture away from you with the heels of your hands and then bringing it back toward you. If you've got an electric mixer with a dough hook, then use that, though for some reason I don't find it makes the pasta cohere any sooner. And you don't get the relaxing satisfaction of making it by hand.

When the pasta is silky smooth, form it into a ball, cover with a cloth and leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then get out your pasta machine, read the instructions and away you go. Two tips first: cut each slice you want to feed through the pasta machine, read the instructions and away you go. Put through the no. 1 press quite a few times, folding the strip in 1/2 and pushing it through again after each time. When the pasta dough's been fed a few times through the no. 1 slot, pass it through the remaining numbers on the gauge before pushing it through the tagliatelle-cutters. And I find that pasta strips cut into tagliatelle is better if you leave them hanging over the table or wherever to dry a little first (10 minutes is enough).

When you cook the pasta, make sure you've got plenty of boiling, salted water and start tasting as soon as the water comes back to the boil after you've put the pasta in. Use about 1/3 of the Meatballs in their sauce to toss with the cooked, drained pasta and then pour the rest of them over the scantly sauced ribbons in the bowl. This is ambrosia: food to get you through the winter happily.

Meatballs:

Just put everything in a large bowl and then, using your hands, mix to combine before shaping into small balls. Place the meatballs on baking sheets or plates that you have lined with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator as you finish them.

Yield: 6 servings

Tomato Sauce:

Put the onion, garlic and oregano into the processor and blitz to a pulp. Heat the butter and oil in a deep, wide pan, then scrape the onion-garlic mix into it and cook over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Don't let the mixture stick, just let it become soft. Add the tomatoes and then add about 3/4 cup cold water to the pan with a pinch of sugar and some salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes. The tomato sauce may appear thin at this stage, but don't worry, as it will thicken a little later. Stir in the milk, and then drop the meatballs in 1 at a time. Don't stir the pan until the meatballs have turned from pink to brown, as you don't want to break them up. Cook everything for about 20 minutes, with the lid only partially covering it. At the end of cooking time, check the seasoning, as you may want more salt and a grind or 2 more of pepper.

Yield: 6 servings

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  • on December 29, 2012

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    My family loves this sauce, even our picky eaters who don't like "chunks" in their sauce. The small meatballs cook up tender and the combination of pork and beef is delicious.

    people found this review Helpful.
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