Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wedding and Honeymoon Spectacular: Homemade Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Olive Oil

Getting married is pretty awesome. Aside from the whole getting to spend the rest of your life with your favorite person, it also comes with tons of awesome kitchen gadgets for free!
Yeah, the wedding was kind of perfect.

Following a truly epic wedding featuring some of the best food and greatest dance moves of my life, Robin and I embarked on a perfect relaxing and delicious honeymoon in Napa. Sadly, we were forced to eventually return to work and the real world, but this weekend we decided to at least briefly relive the awesomeness by busting out our shiny new KitchenAid Pasta Maker and uncorking a bottle from our favorite winery of the trip- Silver Trident (Seriously, the food pairing, wine tasting, and people were so amazing that we joined the Wine Club).

Egg Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and Olive Oil
Recipe from Serious Eats
Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4

10 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 whole large eggs
4 yolks from large eggs
1 tsp salt
Water, if necessary

Whole tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic, whole
Basil, chopped
Olive Oil
Pecorino cheese, grated

I'm amazed that something so tasty could come from something so simple.
  1. Get married and receive lots of cool wedding kitchen gifts like a pasta maker. 
  2. Open a bottle of your tastiest red wine and get ready for some fun.
  3. Roast the tomatoes and garlic in the oven at 425 F for 30-60 minutes until roasted to your liking.
  4. I highly recommend reading the full Serious Eats article and the accompanying experimental pasta making article for a far better description of how everything should look than I will ever be able to give.
  5. Pour flour into a large mound on a clean work surface. Make a large well in the center and fill it with the eggs, yolks, and salt. 
  6. Beat the egg components together well with a fork. Then slowly combine with the flour until a sticky dough begins to form.
  7. Use a bench knife to scrape excess dough and fold additional flour into the dough until a dry ball begins to form (2-5 minutes).
  8. Knead the dough with the heel of your hand, rotating 45 degrees each time. Continue until the dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). If the dough is too wet, add extra flour 1 tsp at a time, or if it is too dry, lightly mist it with water.
    Our ball of pasta dough after Robin demonstrated her master kneading technique.
  9. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
  10. Cut the dough into 4 quarters, keeping unused portions wrapped until they are ready.
  11. Roll the dough out onto lightly floured parchment paper into an oblong shape ~1/2 inch thick.
  12. Place the pasta maker on its widest setting and pass the dough through 3 times.
    Pasta Maker!
  13. Fold the ends of the dough in so they meet, then fold the dough in half at the point where they touch. Roll back to 1/2 inch thick and pass through at the widest setting again 3 times.
    Pretend you're making the tastiest but least exciting origami
  14. Repeat the folding step, pass through the next smaller setting 3 times, and repeat as necessary until you reach the desired thickness (we stopped at setting 4). If the dough gets holes in it, just repeat the folding and run it through the setting again.
  15. Repeat with the remaining quarters. Be sure to cover the stretched out pasta with parchment paper to prevent it from drying out. 
    Robin made the perfect looking noodle up top, while I made the special, lovable one below...
  16. Pass the dough through a pasta cutter if desired. This cut pasta is much trickier to catch. Lightly dust the pasta with flour and roll into nests.
  17. Boil in salted water with a touch of olive oil for 60-90 seconds.
  18. Drain the pasta and serve with the roasted tomatoes, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, basil, and cheese.
  19. Refill wine glass as needed.
The finished product. It somehow tasted even better than it looks.
Everything about this meal perfectly transported us back to the complete and total utter bliss of the honeymoon. Making pasta by itself is a whole lot of fun. While there may be a lot of steps, none of them are all that complicated, and the results speak for themselves. The egg-packed noodles were full of flavor on their own and had an amazing texture. Robin's decision to top them with simple roasted tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, and cheese (with Pecorino providing a nice bolder alternative to parmesan) instead of a complex sauce was truly inspired. The result was a light and refreshing dish that I could've spent the entire weekend eating. Our bottle of Silver Trident's Playing with Fire red blend was the perfect compliment to our pasta and made us even more excited for an anniversary to finally get here so we can travel back to Napa.
The perfect companion to our pasta- Silver Trident's Playing with Fire Red Wine Blend
Like I said, it was perfect. You can check at more at the amazing photographer's blog.

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