Homemade Fettuccine (al Sugo)
Ever since I was a kid I remember watching in awe as my dad would take a seemingly boring piece of dough and, using an incredible machine, magically transform it into the delicious pasta my siblings and I would fight over at dinner time. The times when he made fettuccine (a process that for a ravenous family of six usually took the better part of the afternoon) were always great, as we all waited in anticipation for the glorious meal to come. Making fettuccine was one of those things that I never really imagined I could do myself, for some reason, but last Christmas I asked my brothers for a pasta maker and I finally just had to try it. The results, if I may say so myself, were truly spectacular.
For the sugo
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 small brown onion
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 500g peeled plum tomatoes
- 300g passata
- olive oil
Preparation (15 minutes + 30 minutes simmering)
Drizzle some olive oil onto a pan an put it on medium heat. Finely chop the onions, and add to the pan. Let them cook until just starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and just a few basil leaves. Once the onions are starting to turn golden brown, Add the peeled plum tomatoes. Let it cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the passata, and some more basil (make sure you still have some basil left). Now turn the heat slightly down and leave to simmer while you’re making the pasta, stirring occasionally. The longer you can leave it to simmer, the better, but 30 minutes should be fine. Then add a little salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar, stir it all, and set aside.
For the pasta
- 400g of strong white flour
- Egg substitute equivalent of 4 eggs
- Some warm water
- 2 tsp salt
Preparation (40 minutes + 20 minutes rest)
Mix the flour and salt together, then make it into a volcano shape. Add the egg substitute in the middle, with just a tiny bit of warm water, and mix it all together. Start kneading the dough, and add a little extra water if it seems to stiff. It should end up being very firm and not sticky at all, but knead it very thoroughly. Now cover it with a cloth and leave it to rest for about 20 minutes. Once it’s ready, set up your pasta maker. Break off a small chunk of the dough, and roll it through the pasta maker (the one that simply flattens it, not cutting it into fettuccine yet), set on the highest thickness. Once it’s all passed through, repeat, then fold the strip of dough in half (to create an equally wide but half as short piece), and pass it through again. Repeat, then decrease the thickness and repeat again. Continue until you’ve decreased the thickness to one appropriate for fettuccine (on my pasta maker that would be thickness 3). Once you have the pasta down to the correct thickness, cut it lengthwise into pieces the same length as fettuccine (about 20cm), and pass it through the fettuccine part of the pasta maker. Cover with a healthy amount of flour to prevent it from sticking to itself, and lay out it all out as spread out as possible. Once you have all the fettuccine ready, bring a large pot full of water to a boil, add a generous amount of salt, and add all the fettuccine. After about a minute and a half, and not more than two minutes, drain the water, put the pasta back in the pot, and add the tomato sauce. Add the rest of the fresh basil, stir, serve, and enjoy!