I feel like the title appropriately should say Broccolini Homemade Pasta, but of course that is not particularly intelligible. The point is that I made the pasta myself, from scratch.
I was craving garlicky, smooth-yet-toothsome-ness, and that meant homemade pasta.
For making the pasta dough, I follow a simple method that involves getting your hands very dirty. You pile a bunch of flour on a clean kitchen surface (or living room surface, or whatever, no judgment here, as long as you take care of the vacuum cleaning after yourself!). You then make a little nest or hollow in the middle of the flour pile, and into that you crack an egg. Then you circle your fingers to mix the egg yolk with the egg white, while being careful not to let the egg escape over the flour walls. When the two are no longer entirely separate, you start expanding your finger circling to include a little flour from the wall all the way around. Then you pretty much keep doing that until the dough has come together. Then you sort of brush away the flour that didn’t make it into the dough. And then you knead a bit. When you have a cohesive ball of dough, wrap in in some cling film and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
When the dough has rested, you’re ready to start rolling it out. You can do this with a rolling pin, or a pasta machine/pasta maker. I have a manual one. In either case, you unwrap the dough, and then separate it in two, and dust each with some flour. Then you flatten them a bit, so that they will fit into the pasta machine. Before you proceed, you’ll probably want to put a pot of salted water on the stove, so it will be boiling when your pasta is ready to take a dip.
And then you start rolling. I begin at the widest setting on the pasta machine and work my way down to the desired pasta thickness. There’s probably a bunch of fancy rules about folding the dough over and doing each step multiple times, but I haven’t quite gotten to that yet.
When all your pasta dough has become pasta sheets, you cut them (though make sure you dust each sheet with flour when it’s completed, otherwise it will stick to the counter. Trust me). This can be done with a knife or with the fancy pasta machine. On this day, I was going for a long, but wider-than-spaghetti type pasta.
Once cut and flour dusted (yet again) the pasta strips went straight into the now boiling water and cooked for a few minutes. Taste-and-chew test to find out how many minutes are needed for your preferred pasta texture. When you’re satisfied, quickly drain the pasta and bathe it in cold water to stop it from cooking past your preference. Drain again.
Now you can take a few minutes to prepare the rest of the dish. I cut and blanched some broccolini, zested a bit of lemon and chopped some garlic. I didn’t actually chop it, but I don’t know what the word is for ‘I put the garlic in that device that looks like a nutcracker and makes garlic come out almost pureed’.
With all the ingredients ready, I melted a bit of butter in a pot (actually it was my wok, but I’m sure another vessel would work as well) and added the garlic and the broccolini. After that had cooked for a minute, I added the pasta (and possibly a bit more butter) and tossed everything together. Then I added the lemon zest and some lemon juice, seasoned with some salt, and then tossed everything some more.
And then I ate way more of it than I probably should have done. When that was done, I thought about getting another bowlful to try what it would be like with some fresh grated parmesan cheese as well. But I withstood the temptation and instead made myself very happy the next day for lunch.
Serves two (or indeed, one person, twice)
400 grams of broccolini
3 cloves of garlic
half a lemon (zest and juice)
salt to taste
pasta (you’ll have to decide for yourself what paste to veggie ratio you prefer)
Cook the pasta. Cool with cold water, drain it, then set aside. Blanch the broccolini in a lot of salted, boiling water. Melt the butter in a large cooking vessel, and let the garlic and the broccolini cook in it for a minute or so (make sure it doesn’t burn, because that makes it really bitter). Add the cooked pasta to the garlic and broccolini, stir a bit, then add the lemon juice and zest. Have a taste and see if it needs salt. Cook everything together until it’s thoroughly warm and everything is nicely coated in garlicky butter. Then serve. Very yummy!