The past year has been an eventful one for foodie fans with Robert Pattinson’s arrival in the public eye with the premiere of his romantic comedy, Beautiful People, leading to a string of high-profile collaborations with some of the world’s best chefs. From lavish dinner parties at home with his family to cooking lessons with superstar chefs, the British actor has proven himself to be a true culinary talent, delighting fans with his unique take on Italian cuisine. Now, we can continue the celebration of Pattinson’s adventurous side with the publication of his first cookbook, My Italy, which features all of his favorite Italian recipes. And what’s an Italian recipe without pasta? Lucky for us, this movie star has graciously shared his secrets for making the most perfect Homemade Pasta. With just a few simple steps, you too can impress your friends with restaurant-quality pasta that you can prepare at home. So, let’s get started.
The Pasta Dough
For those of you unfamiliar, making pasta is quite simple. All you need are four staples: pasta, olive oil, butter, and flour. The first step is to put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to combine them until a dough forms. Once the dough is together, you can either roll it out or cut it into pieces and use it right away. We recommend the former as it gives you more control over the end product. Otherwise, if you used pre-cut pasta, the baking process might affect the overall texture of your pasta. So go ahead and mix up that dough!
To make the perfect homemade pasta, you need a tasty sauce to accompany it. While many prefer a rich and creamy texture for their pasta dishes, we think a bit of a zingy sauce is just what the doctor ordered. Our favorite recipe for a zesty tomato sauce simply consists of tomato purée, basil, and garlic. Feel free to play around with the flavor profile and experiment with different combinations of vegetables, herbs, or spices. This is a recipe that you can scale up or down depending on how many people you’re serving.
After you’ve mixed the dough, you’ll want to take it out and let it rest for a few minutes before you start baking. This helps develop the gluten strands in the pasta, resulting in light and fluffy pasta that stays that way even when boiled or cooked al dente. While it’s not essential, we highly recommend you cook your pasta until it reaches that golden brown color typical of Italian restaurants. The color is only a guideline; you should rely on your own taste buds to determine how much you want your pasta to cook.
A Bit Of A Health Warning
Before we begin making homemade pasta, let’s take a moment to discuss a few cautions. First, make sure that you’re using a high-quality olive oil; any type of oil other than olive will spoil the end product. Next, ensure that the butter is completely chilled before you begin incorporating it into the dough. Lastly, try to avoid any types of dairy products or cheeses when making pasta, as these tend to make the pasta softer. The key takeaway from this list? High-quality, freshly made pasta is easier to digest and has a much higher nutritional value than that which is purchased pre-made and frozen. So, go ahead and make some pasta, you big foodie!
Let’s Get Started
Now that you have your pasta dough, it’s time to move on to the next step. First, lightly brush a clean work surface with olive oil and set aside. Next, take a rolling pin and roll the dough out to a 2-inch thickness. Do not flour the pasta as this could make it stick together. Instead, use a pastry brush to brush the bottom and sides of the pasta sheets with more olive oil. Cut the pasta into desired shapes using a pizza cutter or knife. Then, arrange the pasta on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for about 30 minutes before baking. This step is important because as the pasta chills, the edges will become crispy and the center will remain soft. You can either bake the pasta flat or, once the pasta is baked, you can cut it into any shape you like. It’s up to you!
Bring Meats And Other Dish
To accompany our homemade pasta, we’ve prepared a selection of dishes that are perfect for bringing meat-eaters and other dish fans. First on the menu is spaghetti squash, an autumnal vegetable that is similar to courgette or zucchini. The spaghetti squash is cooked in a similar fashion to regular pasta, relying on a mixture of oil and spices for flavor. Afterward, you can dig into one of our lasagnas or tagines, which are both rich and filling fare. To balance out the heaviness of the meats, we’ve included some light and fluffy oven fries and a colorful salad. So, let your tastebuds guide you as you prepare this simple but satisfying array of Italian dishes.