Making the Pasta Dough
- I love making pasta dough by hand. This way, I can feel and work the ingredients by touch and always end up with the best-desired product.
- Place the flour on a work surface in a heaping mound, take your hand, push down in the center, and push the flour away in all directions, creating a 2-inch well.
- Place one egg yolk at a time in the center of the well and use a fork to slowly pull the flour from the sides into the well and mix to incorporate.
- Continue this process until the center well gets bigger and bigger, and more flour is pulled in.
- Add the olive oil and salt into the well and continue whisk with the fork until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Flour your hands and knead the dough about 2-3 minutes until it is soft to the touch and smooth.
- At this point, you should be able to touch the ball of dough with your finger, and it should leave a dent, but have a springiness to the dough.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 3 hours.
- The resting process allows the gluten to subside and make the dough more malleable and manageable when you are ready to roll it out.
- This dough is wonderful to roll out by hand if you do not own a pasta machine. All you need is a rolling pin and extra flour to coat your work surface!
- The olive oil in the dough and the high yolk content make it easier to roll by hand.
Rolling the Dough by Hand:
- Cut the dough into 4-6 equal pieces.
- Take one piece and place it on a floured work surface.
- Wrap the other remaining pieces in plastic wrap to lock in their moisture.
- Start by flattening the dough with your fingers into a 3-inch square.
- Flour a rolling pin and start rolling out the square.
- After each pass of the rolling pin, flip the dough over. This will make for a better and thinner dough if you are constantly flipping and redistributing the contact of the dough with the rolling pin and work surface
- You know your dough sheet is thin enough when holding it up to the light; you can see your hand through the dough.
- Once you have achieved this thickness, dust more flour over the sheet and then roll the sheet over itself into one long ribbon.
- Cut the ribbon into 2 inches pieces. Unroll your ribbon and lay flat on a floured baking sheet.
- Repeat until all the dough has been rolled out and cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Note: If you want to place all the lined pappardelle on one baking sheet, fill up the first layer, place a floured piece of parchment of kitchen towel over the top and continue to line your strips onto this second layer. Repeat until all the pappardelle is cut.
- I chose to use pistachio in this pesto instead of the classic pine nuts because I love their smooth, almost minty taste.
- They are also the healthiest of all the nuts, as they the lowest in calories.
- You want crisp and fresh pistachios for this pesto. If you bite into the nut and it tastes flat and doesn’t have the crunch …it’s not fresh.
- Note: I keep all my nuts in the refrigerator to preserve their shelf life.
- The pistachios go into the food processor raw, and I like to add pre-minced garlic and grated cheese. I feel that when I take this extra step, I don’t have to pulse the food processor as much, and as a result, the basil is a brighter green, and I get a better-incorporated product.
- The more you pulse your basil, the more diluted the green will be.
- When adding the oil, it is essential to do so slowly and while the food processor is running. This way, the oil will get appropriately emulsified into the sauce, and you’ll get a more cohesive product.
- I always scrape the pesto out of the food processor and into a bowl and check taste it one last time and adjust for salt and pepper.
Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic
- Roasting the tomatoes is a quick and easy step while you are rolling out the pasta dough or making the pistachio pesto.
- The hardest part is simply cutting the tomatoes int half.
- The halved tomatoes are placed on a lined baking sheet, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
- Pop the tray in the oven, and after 20 minutes, they are nicely browned and ready!
- The roasted tomatoes add garlic add a lovely sweetness to the pesto, another element of texture, and a lovely pop of color.
- Just remember to squeeze the garlic out of the skin before adding it to the sauté pan with the tomatoes and pesto.
Cooking the Pasta and Flipping in into the Pesto
- You will see all the true Italians taking their pasta right from the boiling pot to the sauté pan with the sauce.
- NEVER RINSE YOUR PASTA UNDER COLD WATER AND NEVER DRAIN AWAY ALL THE PASTA WATER!!
- These are two of the most crucial steps in making pasta perfection!
- While you are cooking the pasta in batches in the SALTED pasta water, you want to get your sauté pan ready for the cooked pasta. The water needs to be “salty like the sea” as this acts as a cooking agent, helping to break down the gluten in the pasta to make it more tender and silkier.
- Cook the Pappardelle in three batches, and for each batch, you should have4 tablespoons of pistachio pesto, 3 spoonfuls of the roasted tomatoes with 2 roasted garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 ladle of pasta water combine on low heat in your sauté pan.
- After 3- 4 minutes, the pasta should be ready in the boiling water. Use a pair of tongs and lift the pasta out of the water and into the sauté pan.
- Flip the pasta into the sauce and turn the heat up to moderate. The heat will help loosen the sauce and make it melt into the pasta. The pasta water also acts as a binding agent, adding to the sauce to make the sauce and the pasta melt into each other.
- You can add another ladle of pasta water if necessary, over the heat if your mixture looks to dry.
- The finished product in the pan should be smooth, velvety, and perfectly saucy!
- The more times you make this dish, the better you will become at flipping your pasta from “pot to pan” in with the sauce. This is truly an art form! Sometimes you might need to add more butter for silkiness, more pasta water to loosen, or more pesto to thicken.
- You want to develop an eye for the sauce, and the key is to have it loose enough to coat the pasta, but not runny, so have spoonfuls of extra sauce are left in the pan after plating.
- The perfect pasta should have all edges of the pappardelle coated in pesto with a smooth and glossy finish!
- I like to add a spoonful of lemon juice over each freshly plated pasta dish to brighten it through the butter and cheese.
- You are left with pure pasta perfection!
Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Pistachio Pesto and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs plus 5 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- Extra flour for rolling out the dough
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1 cup pistachios, shelled
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Pasta Cooking andFinal Assembly
- 1 recipe pappardelle pasta, cut
- 1 recipe pistachio pesto
- 1 recipe roasted tomatoes
- 6 tbsp butter, separated into three piles (2 tablespoons in each pile)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Place the flour on a clean work surface and make a well in the center.
- One by one, crack the eggs into the well and slowly mix them into the flour wall's sides. Be very careful not to break the well, so the eggs do not leak over the table.
- Add the olive oil and salt into the well and continue to mix until all the flour is combined, and a dough is formed.
- Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it is tough and smooth on the outside.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours at room temperature.
- Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece and shape it with your finger into a flattened small square. Keep the other pieces moist by wrapping them in plastic wrap while you work.
- Coat your work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin or through a pasta machine. Work to flatten and thin out the dough until it is thin enough to see the light coming through when held up by your hand.
- Take the pasta sheet that is dusted with flour and roll it into a long ribbon. Cut the ribbon into 2-inch pieces and then unroll each piece and reserve on flour coated baking sheet.
- Repeat this process but lining up the ribbons on your baking sheet. When you have filled up the entire baking sheet, place a flour-coated piece of parchment on top, and continue lining up your ribbons until all of the pasta dough is rolled out and cut.
- Place a kitchen towel over the baking sheet to lock in the moisture while making the pesto and heating your pasta water.
- Combine the basil, pistachios, garlic, Parmigiano, and salt in a food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms, and the nuts have broken down.
- While the machine is on, slowly pour in the olive oil to emulsify. The fluctuation of the oil depends on how thick or loose you like your pesto.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve for the pasta.
- Line a baking sheet and preheat oven to 375degrees F
- Place the tomatoes and garlic in one layer on the sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast in the oven until the tomatoes start to brown, and the garlic is roasted about 20 minutes.
- Squeeze all of the garlic out of the skin. Reserve both the garlic and tomatoes for the pasta.
Pasta Cooking and Final Assembly
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Salt the water to it tastes “salty like the sea.”
- Place a large sauté pan over moderate heat and add 4 tablespoons of pistachio pesto, 3 spoonfuls of the roasted tomatoes with 2 roasted garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 ladle of pasta water. Stir until and combined and reduce heat to low.
- Cook pappardelle in batches. Place 1/3 of the cut pappardelle into the boiling water.
- Cook the pasta until al’ dente, about 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked pasta directly from the boiling water to the sauté pan. Flip the cooked pasta in the sauté pan with the pesto about 1 minute until the sauce has thickened into the pasta, and everything is well combined. Transfer to someone’s plate or large serving bowl.
- Repeat the exact process with the same amounts of pesto, tomatoes, garlic, butter, and pasta water with the remaining two batches of pasta.
- Serve immediately with a spoonful of lemon juice over each serving:)