For all the singles searching for love or long time couples out there, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner which means it’s time to put in some work. Even though it’s just another hallmark holiday filled with cards, roses and chocolates there is nothing more important than the food you will eat, for me anyways. Nothing says I love you like a homemade meal that requires some work, and nothing is more romantic then spending time eating over a delicious meal with some wine. Sure, you can go out and buy diamonds and necklaces, but when I see people do work on my behalf, it makes me that much more appreciative. Remember its quality time not quantity of time that matters most :-).
In my book pasta is always a homerun when it comes to cooking for couple’s holidays. Whether it be an anniversary, a birthday or Valentine’s Day, this Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce will certainly put a smile on your sweetheart’s face. The pappardelle pasta is of course homemade. Yes, you can obviously go buy the premade stuff but the labor of love is worth way more than what you can pick up at the grocery store. When noodles are homemade they are more flavorful and suck in more of the sauce then that of the dried-out version from the store making them that much tastier. Pappardelle pasta is a super wide noodle that can be on the shorter side or just as long as spaghetti. I like my pasta long so you must roll it out a little more to make sure you get to that desired length.
I use the simplest of recipes to make all my homemade pasta, flour, semolina and eggs, that’s it. You must start by sifting the flours together to ensure there are no lumps in it. From there you form a well and crack the eggs right into it. Then using a fork whisk together the eggs until combined and then slowly bring in the flour from the outside of the well into the inside. Ok stop there for a second. I started to use a bench knife when making pasta dough 2 years ago and I’m never going back. Using this tool will allow you to scrape your cutting board to get up all the egg-flour mixture to make sure all of it is getting used. Sometimes the dough can be too dry or too wet, but after scraping up everything and incorporating it you’ll then find that the recipe is perfect. Once you’ve combined the dough together you’ll want to let it rest for about 20 minutes or so under a towel or plastic wrap.
If you planned on working out, you can for sure skip arm day because you are going to feel it in your triceps when you begin to roll out this dough. Cut the dough into 3 parts and roll out each one using a rolling pin. I personally prefer to use a French style roller because it allows me to put more pressure on the dough as well as letting me feel how thick the dough is while rolling it out. Since I’ve done this quite a few times I find that if I roll each dough ball out to the size of my cutting board, which is 24”x18,” it becomes the perfect thickness. If you aren’t sure how thin it needs to be, you should be able to see silhouettes through the dough if you hold it up. Let the rolled-out sheets of dough rest in between sheets of parchment paper before rolling it up and slicing it thick. If for some reason you aren’t a fan of pappardelle, then maybe you can slice it thinner to a fettuccini or even a linguine. Honestly it will taste the same so do what suits you best. Once it is sliced up set it aside on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper dusted with a bit of flour for about 20 to 30 minutes more to dry it out a bit more.
Now that most of the hefty lifting for this recipe is done, all that is left is the Puttanesca sauce. Puttanesca sauce is an incredibly classic sauce deriving from one of the 5 mother sauces, tomato sauce. The basic ingredients include thinly shaved garlic, chopped anchovies, capers, olives and tomatoes. Once you have those ingredients you simply brown up the garlic, add everything else and simmer.
While the meal is incredibly important the ambiance of where you are eating is just as crucial. I mean could you imagine spending all this time making a beautiful Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce and then serving it up on some milk crates in front of a TV? Yeah, I don’t think so. When we renovated our kitchen we wanted people to feel like they were eating in a small romantic French café with the big beautiful farmhouse sink, gooseneck faucets and cooking range with hood. As we were making our decisions on what to put into our kitchen to capture our vision, Franke was top of mind with their high-end kitchen fixtures. They cross at the perfect intersection of functionality and beauty and then married with the highest of quality to offer up a truly superior product. We use the Franke Roller Mat, sink and faucets every day and could not be more proud to display them in our house. While you are eating in our kitchen at our super long wood table, the light becomes soft in our kitchen but the chrome on the faucets shines through for the most gorgeous kitchen I could have ever imagined having. So while the food is important it is essential to set the mood as well, and thanks to Franke our eat in kitchen is a joy to be in. Happy cooking everyone, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce Recipe
For the Pasta:
- 1 ¼ cups of semolina flour
- 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 8 thinly shaven cloves of garlic
- 4 chopped anchovies
- ¼ cup of assorted pitted and sliced olives black, green and kalamata
- 2 tablespoons of capers
- 2-28 ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes juice drained
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- fresh chopped parsley basil and oregano for garnish
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
Pasta: Sift together both flours onto a clean cutting board and form a well.
Add the eggs to the center of the well and whisk with a fork until scrambled and then slowly incorporate the flour into the whisked eggs until it is completely combined.
Knead for 1 minute to ensure it is mixed in completely, add water if the pasta is too dry, form a ball and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
Next, divide the dough ball into 3 even parts and roll out each one until it is the 18” by 24” and place on a flour dusted sheet tray lined with parchment paper and let rest for 20 minutes. Repeat with the other 2 dough balls.
Next, fold the dough over several times and slice it to your desired thickness. About 3/4” for pappardelle. Repeat the process until all the dough has been cut and toss it together with a little bit of flour and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Sauce: In a large sauté pan with olive oil over medium heat add in the garlic and anchovies until lightly browned. Next add in the olives, capers, tomatoes and salt and pepper and simmer over low heat.
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are al dente, or slightly crunchy, strain them add them to the sauté pan with the sauce and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta with fresh chopped parsley, basil and oregano, and grate on some parmesan cheese.