It’s raining here! Now that Monsoon has finally decided to pay us a visit, humidity our permanent house guest might let us exist in peace for a few days at least. And I am rushing to make the most of this sudden drop in the hygrometer. My other cousin Pinaki, visited us last weekend and came bearing the best possible gifts…. mushrooms, baby corn and cheese. Now that I had the perfect ingredients for a wonderful Italian dinner, I decided to make my own pasta from scratch. You have told me often enough to try my hand at it. Well last night, I did. And wow what a revelation ! I doubt if I will be buying those packaged pastas any time soon . And it was pretty simple too. Making the dough was the same as kneading atta for chapattis, and the cooking time was a fraction of that of dry pasta. The only thing which took a little time was the rolling and cutting bit. But I involved Riz, who gladly cut the tagliatelle ribbons, while I rolled out the pasta sheet. It was fun and the flavour was simply amazing.
Tagliatelle dough ingredients (4 generous serves)
3 cups Cake flour ( Maida)
1 cups Semolina ( Suji)
2 tsp olive oil /vegetable oil
1 egg ( optional)
Salt to taste
Alfredo sauce ingredients
1 packet button mushrooms (500 gm) washed & cubed
1 packet baby corn. ( 500 gm) washed & sliced
A few cloves of garlic peeled & chopped
1-2 onions, sliced thin
1 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh cream ( malai)
1/2 cup Cheese grated
Fresh Basil ( I use Tulsi)
2 tsp flour
Seasoning to taste
Oil to cook
To make the Tagliatelle dough
In a bowl mix the two dry flours.
Make a well.
Add the oil, egg (if using), salt & pepper.
Keep bringing flour from the sides into the well, don’t hurry this part.
Slowly bring everything together
Add little water at a time and form into a mass.
Tip on to the counter, sprinkle with flour and knead.
And knead. ( for at least ten minutes)
The dough will turn silky and smooth.
Cover in clingfilm and rest for at least an hour. ( use food grade plastic bag in place of clingfilm if you don’t have any )
Tip: You can add vegetable juice in place of water to colour the dough.
Kneading the dough well and resting it is very important. And definitely cover it or a dry skin may form.
To make the pasta
Use a knife /pizza cutter to cut long narrow ribbons.
Sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking with each other.
Repeat the same with the rest of the dough.
Add to the Alfredo sauce and serve hot.
Tip : Start to make the sauce around the time you put the pan of water to boil, it will get done around the same time . Do not over boil the pasta. You want a bite to it. What the Italians call “all dente”.
To make the Alfredo sauce
Heat oil (olive or vegetable) in a pan.
Add the chopped garlic,then add sliced onions. Brown.
Add the corn, sauté for a minute.
Add the mushrooms. Add seasonings and the oregano.
Sprinkle the flour and mix well.
Mix the milk and cream, add to the mushrooms.
Boil for a minute.
The sauce should thicken due to the flour.
Pour over the pasta.
Add the basil and sprinkle with the cheese.
Eat immediately .
Tip: Don’t add too much flour to the sauce, it should coat the pasta strands. You can add chicken, shrimp, bacon or any other meat or vegetable of your choice to the sauce. Instead of cream, for a lighter version, you can use hung curd.
If you add eggs to the milk and cream mix, then this same sauce becomes The Carbonara sauce.
I had great fun making this, and you should have heard the satisfied noises Riz was making. If I had asked him to study non stop for a whole week in exchange of a plate of pasta, at that moment he just might have promised me!
Tell me to what you think of my recipe.