Sunday, August 23, 2009

Homemade Pasta with Sizzled Sage

As I'm sure you've noticed in the past few weeks, the posting has slowed down a bit... I hinted to why and some of you knew exactly what was happening.

Yup! Again... I know - don't say it! At least I don't think we're moving to another state this time... hee hee! If the house sells, and who knows what will happen in this market, we are planning on jetting closer to downtown to cut down on Jeff's commute time and to have access to more things to do. So, when we have a showing or an open house, it's hard to get a post up and ready... hence the little slowdown.

Okay... let's get back to what you are here for! We've been growing sage for the first time this year and even though I've dried a bunch of it with our dehydrator, the plant just won't slow down! In looking for recipes to incorporate the fresh leaves in, I found this Homemade Pasta with Sizzled Sage which sounded too good to pass over.

Ever since I was gifted that pasta machine, I've definitely been more attuned to finding recipes that would put it to use and this recipe uses the machine twice! The dough for this pasta starts in a stand mixer, but is finished by using the strength in my hands to bring it together with a good kneading. Rich with a whopping seven egg yolks, the dough only has two other ingredients - flour and salt! Don't toss out those leftover whites either - save them in the freezer and make an angel food cake later on! When the trio are added in the mixer, you'll want to beat them until the flour begins to moisten and looks like loose wet sand. Scooped out onto the counter, the dough is kneaded until the sand-y flour turns to a stiff, cohesive dough that isn't sticky. If the dough seems crumbly or dry, you may want to sprinkle in water, a little at a time, until it turns the tide.

To make it easier to work with, let this yellow-stained ball sit at room temperature, well wrapped, for about half an hour - this will relax the gluten and help the dough along through the pasta machine. Unless you have a giant machine, you'll want to split the dough into three pieces before running each through the rollers - you will be going from the widest setting all the way down through the thinnest the machine has for a paper thin sheet of dough. To get full use out of the pasta machine, the sheets are then fed through the spaghetti attachment to create an exquisite mound of golden noodles.

While we waited for a large pot of salted water to come up to a full rolling boil, we melted a few pats of butter and tossed in the fresh sage leaves to crisp up. The leaves are fairly flimsy once they hit the heat, so try and not fuss around once they are in - just turn them over once through the cooking process. Pick the leaves out when they are ready, leaving the infused melted butter in the skillet to keep warm, and set them on a plate to be added to the dish in a bit.

If you've never cooked with fresh pasta before, one thing you may not realize is just how fast it cooks. Instead of the eight to 10 minutes dried pasta cooks in, this batch literally takes just one minute to cook through - any longer with these thin strands and you risk losing that sought after al dente texture. Before you drain away the cooking liquid, set aside a rough third cup - this will be added, along with the melted butter, to simply dress the pasta and keep it moist. Seasoned with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper, we served the pasta family style with a scattering of the crispy sage and a shower of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

While cheese is always welcome and an ounce might not seem like a lot, don't go too crazy with adding extra - a little at the table is good, but you want to let the work you did to prepare the delicate, yet sturdy pasta to be the star. Which is why all this needed was the soft, savory essence of the sage hitting your tongue and that slick coating of butter to keep the strands separate. Creating homemade pasta like this doesn't need to be scary or difficult - in fact, it might be a good activity for little helpers to join in with!


  1. I can't believe you guys are moving again! You must have it all down to a science, with no extra junk building up. Hope you get a nice place.

  2. I am dying here just looking at that pasta! Moving? After planting all those strawberries???


  3. Cyndi - Have to sell this place first! But yes, we have it down pat at least.

    Quinn - I know, right?! This wasn't in the works then, but I should have known better.

  4. Are you marketing the house to locavores?

  5. Yes, it will be a pity to leave the garden behind, but on the other hand it will be a strong selling point to some buyers, so that's a good thing.

    Best wishes for a quick sale, and then a worthy replacement house with plenty of gardening room!

  6. Exciting news about the house, hope it goes well for you. Your fresh pasta looks wonderful and a little butter and sage is all you need to make a tasty meal.

  7. Nice pasta! I tried making my own once but it didn't go as well.

  8. Good luck with the house! You never know...the market is getting better. It will be fun to be closer to the city for sure!


  9. That's it - I need to get the attachment to my stand mixer to make pasta!

    I made it by hand once, and used a pizza cutter to cut the strands - took me forever!

  10. I can't believe you're moving again either... I'm thinking of your wonderful garden this summer esp the strawberries... you are a sweetie to do this for you DP!

  11. I wish you all the luck in the World. We had our house on the market for 6 months and did not sell. We are staying in BC for 1 more year. I really wanted to move East to be closer to my kids.

  12. Anon - Anything to help sell it!

    Sobaka - Sounds like a good plan to me!

    Katie - Thanks!

    Hillary - Can always try again!

    Courtney - I know... so much more to do!

    Biz - Let us know how that attachment works with the stand mixer if you get it!

    Cheryl - It is crazy! But as Jeff says, "Look at it as an adventure!".

    Helene - I don't have my hopes up because I know that the market isn't the best! Sorry it didn't happen on your end.

  13. good luck with the house sale, I'm sure if the buyers smell your delicious treats then they are bound to offer more!!

  14. Jennywenny - Thanks for the luck!