The feeling of failure in the kitchen has never been quite so great as when you go to the effort of making fresh pasta dough… kneading it… resting it… rolling it… cutting it… cooking it… and then realising that it’s quite possibly the most awful pasta you’ve ever tasted in your life. You’ve tragically also gone and put this on a plate for your family, who funnily enough are dodging eye contact with you for fear of having to speak and admit that what you’ve dished up is pretty much inedible. Aaaargh, all that hard work for nothing!
So, having attempted fresh pasta with my pasta machine a handful of times before, with little success, this was my first attempt using a recipe (along with a number of invaluable tips for technique and procedure) from John at ‘From the Bartolini Kitchens’. Please link through here to his ‘Mom’s Pasta Dough’ recipe and then also to his post for ‘Home-Made Fettucine, Linguine, Capellini’ for several variations of what to do with the dough once it’s ready to be rolled. John’s blog, which was started back in 2010, is a treasure trove of Italian family recipes, stories and travels that truly delight the senses. If you haven’t already paid him a visit, please do so soon, as you’ve really been missing out!
Now I’ll admit that there is certainly much room for improvement with my pasta technique and I’m sure there must be a way of keeping the flour from dusting the entire kitchen in the process, however the flavour of this pasta really was spectacular… silky and smooth… so if that improves even a little over the coming months/years, this home-made pasta really will be ‘out of this world’! I send heartfelt thanks across to John in Chicago for his wonderful posts and also for his very kind encouragement to push beyond my previous failures!
This is one happy girl, breathing a sigh of relief that her pasta finally worked…
Half of the linguine was cooked for our dinner last night and the other half has been frozen for another night… hmmm, I’m already tempted to pull it out of the freezer tonight! This pasta is such a delight to eat and sooo much better than the fresh pasta you can buy from the supermarket. Now I know what I’ve been missing out on! Grazie mille John!
* Please visit John (and Zia) at ‘from the Bartolini kitchens’ for the original recipe for this fabulous pasta dough and also for a great many more delicious recipes and stories.
John’s blog is great, isn’t it? I’ve tried lots of his family recipes, and they are always delicious. He is also such a thoughtful person. Anyway, your fresh pasta looks great! So glad that you persevered. Practice makes perfect — you will keep getting better at it and it will take less and less time. After having made fresh pasta for 15 years or so, I now even make it sometimes when I come home after work.
😀 It’s encouraging to hear that Stefan! It’s still quite a lengthy and messy procedure for me at the moment… but I’ll get there eventually, I’m sure! I’ve been missing John’s presence in the blogging world lately. He really is a kind and thoughtful soul! Cheers, Margot
Great effort on the homemade pasta Margot. They look really good! I am tempted and building my courage to try it out. Best wishes, danny.
Thank you Danny! Please do give it a try using John’s recipe and tips – it’s really worth the effort to be able to enjoy fresh pasta on your dinner table! 🙂
I will Margot. I’ve already marked down this page 🙂
The pasta looks absolutely perfect and delicious. There is nothing like homemade pasta, it stands above anything you buy in the store. I have the very same pasta machine. I looked at the recipe and like that some water is added to the egg to equal a cup of liquid, That would make the dough easy to work with. Yay for you, good work and wonderful that you persevered.
It’s a fabulous recipe Suzanne and worked perfectly the first time I tried it… though I think what was more important for me, was reading John’s step-by-step process on what to be looking for at each stage and how long to allow the sheets to dry before cutting etc. Almost like he was here in the kitchen giving a tutorial! The trouble is, that I now want fresh pasta on the table EVERY week, instead of dried! 😉
Fantastic effort Margot, if anyone’s method for making pasta could be trusted it’s John’s!!! I love reading the Bartolini cooking archives and it’s great to see someone’s result using the tried-and-tested method. Love your step-by-step photos, too!
Very sweet of you Laura – thanks so much! 🙂 John’s posts really are such a joy to read!
First, Bravo, Margot! Excellent work, and you will get better and better at it. Attempting what John Bartolini make, you are courageous!
Second, I know the feeling of putting an effort in cooking something, which doesn’t turn out right. You succeeded in your pasta making, but today, I made a ‘disaster cake’. I think I tried too hard. 😦
congrats on making your own pasta! Well done!
I cant deny that fresh pasta is so much better than dried ones.. and definitely worth the effort as long as you have time on hand.. Great that you got your hands on some ’00’ flour. I just make mine with plain flour and I already love it. Need to get my hands on some of that ’00’ flour.
What I’m loving about this post is that I’m getting glimpses into your kitchen – not that I’m especially nosy or anything! Does look swanky, though. Funny that we don’t see much of peoples kitchens. As the food is all-important. Hmm, maybe not. Anyway, regardless of how thrilled I am that you’ve found this method I still can’t see myself doing pasta for one. But I will keep this bookmarked, just in case!
Do keep the recipe on hand Johnny… you just never know when the desire to make fresh pasta might hit you! That’s so true about not seeing much at all of food blogger’s kitchens – usually the photos are very staged with props placed purposefully to highlight the food. I’ll keep in mind that from time to time it might be nice to stand back a bit while photographing, to show a little of what my working space/happy place is like… 🙂 Hope you’re well and having a great week.
Ooh you are indeed a great cook. I cant even imagine making fresh pasta at home. Bravo dear! 🙂
Oh Sadia, you should try it sometime! Sooo much yummier than store bought pasta! Thanks for your very generous comment.
I just love John over at Bartolini’s Way. Your pasta came out superb. You’ve given me courage to finally make my own pasta and try out his recipe.
That’s so wonderful to hear! You won’t regret it… and if you follow John’s recipe and method, I really don’t think you can go wrong. Love to hear how it goes! 🙂
That photo of the pasta in the pot of boiling water says it all, Margot. Well done! I bet your family loved your linguine. For a real treat, use your homemade pasta to make lasagna noodles. You’ll have to par-boil them before putting them into the lasagna tray but, guaranteed, you’ve never had lasagna taste so good. The homemade pasta really elevates the dish and I’ve not used store bought lasagna noodles in ages.
I’m really glad things went so well for you, Margot, and thanks so much for your generous comments. That was very kind of you.
Thanks so very much John – I really do appreciate your encouragement. The only problem now is that I want to have fresh pasta on hand all the time… so, perhaps this weekend I’ll try and make up 2 batches – one for lasagna (which sounds fabulous by the way!) and the other to be made into linguine to freeze. Hope that all is well with you and that you’re having a good week so far. Cheers, Margot
How depressing to go through all the pain of pasta only to find the packet stuff would have been better – so glad you’ve found a failsafe recipe. Your pasta looks fab. Must admit that I run my dough through the pasta machine a few times instead of kneading it – maybe I should put a bit more effort in.
By the way – your self saucing butterscotch pudding has been a huge success in our house. I quite often add fruit to the mix and last night I mashed in two bananas which was probably the most successful so far. I’m so happy that I discovered your recipe.
Anne, Banana Butterscotch Pudding sounds delicious – I’ll have to try that variation myself on one of the odd coolish days that we still seem to be getting. Thanks for letting me know… I’m so pleased that you’ve been enjoying it! As for the pasta, it’s such a relief… I seem destined to have to go through a succession of painful cooking experiences to crack some of the classics. It was the same with scones and sponge cake! Not sure why… as none of them contain many ingredients and SHOULD be the easiest recipes in the world to get right. All good now though! 🙂
Wow! I feel at home today Margot… you did an amazing job! I’ve been using the same brand of flour, I used to buy the same when I was living in Italy they also produce a special one for the homemade pasta, which contains semolina, I strictly recommend to try it out! Hope you had a great we!
I feel very humbled by your lovely comment Margherita! Thank you. I still have much to learn and practising will certainly help, but at least I’ve now had a glimpse of how wonderful fresh pasta can be – can’t wait to try it again! How fabulous to know that you use the same brand of flour! 🙂 I’ll keep an eye out for the one with semolina and will let you know if I find any and give it a go. Hope you had a fabulous weekend too!
Beautiful pasta Margot, I’m glad you find “Bartolini Kitchens” recipe. Fresh pasta is definitely worth the time and yours look very tempting 🙂
So kind of you Linda – thank you! I’m so happy to have found the Bartolini family recipes too! 🙂
Chicago John has us all in his thrall. You’re right, you feel as if you’re standing in his kitchen having a chinwag when you read his posts. Glad he saved your pasta making pride…
Thanks Sandra! I don’t think my pasta making pride could have got much lower, so yes… I’ll be forever grateful! 🙂 The remaining fettucine, that I froze on Saturday, only lasted 2 nights in the freezer – it was devoured for dinner tonight!
I must try to find this flour! Where do you source it from?
Hi Stacey! The Italian ’00’ flour is fabulous – I use it for pizza dough and general bread-making as well. Our local supermarkets stock it here in Australia, which makes life pretty easy… otherwise, you might need to try and find an Italian or European-style grocer/deli. Hope you manage to find some! 🙂
Oh interesting to see your recipe! I find I can do no wrong with the simplest ratio of 1 egg per 100g 00 flour. I’d be really intrigued to try your recipe with the varied quantities and water, very interesting! Glad to see you’ve found one that works for you. Pasta making is so rewarding, worth the effort!
Great to hear from you! That ratio is really quite similar to what I used here… just the addition of a tiny bit of water to bring it up to 250mls. I think that John’s thought is to always keep the volume of liquid exactly the same, as eggs will often vary in size, as well as different brands of flour being slightly different in the way they mix with the liquid. It worked really well and I found that the 415g of flour was pretty close… just needed a dusting of flour when I started kneading the dough. You’re right – it really is worth the effort! 🙂
Love John’s blog – it’s so inspiring! So glad you enjoyed the pasta, I try to enlist helo when I make a batch so that one of us can feed the pasta into the machine and the other can turn the handle and collect the pasta 🙂 Much easier!
It is indeed Tanya! Next time I make this pasta I’ll definitely get the kids helping – I think they’d enjoy it too! Also thinking that while the kitchen is covered with flour and I’m in the groove of pasta production it might be worth making up a second batch to freeze at the same time…
I think every one has a misguided first attempt at pasta. I found using my stand alone mixer with hook and paddle attachments takes away about 90% of the frustration. Your pasta looks beautiful!
Thanks so much Bri! Nice to think that my misguided attempts at pasta are (fingers crossed) now behind me! It was the making of ravioli with 3 different fillings that nearly broke me, when it turned out tasting terrible! 🙂 I’m all inspired again now thankfully!
Wow the fresh pasta looks delicious, beautiful results!
Such a kind comment… thank you!
Fresh pasta is most certainly worth the effort to master! The flavour and texture are so much better than dried pasta I think, and the protein from the eggs balances out the carbs from the flour. Yours looks perfect…well done! 🙂
Thanks so much Sam! Is fresh pasta something you make with the kids at school? My youngest child’s school has been getting a kitchen garden up and running over the past year and they’ve recently added chickens into the mix – pasta would be such a great hands-on activity for them to be doing with some of the fresh eggs!
Absolutely Margot! The kids love making all different types of pasta. Last week we did a French menu as they study French as their language and they made Gnocchi Parisienne using choux pastry which is put into a piping bag and squeezed out over boiling water, snipping the lengths of dough off with scissors. So much fun!
That sounds fantastic Sam! I’ve never heard of Gnocchi Parisienne… but sounds like I need to find out more and give it a go.
I’ve been following John for a while now. A lot of culinary wisdom on his site, for sure. Lovely pasta btw.
Cheers – it’s lovely to hear from you Conor! I think it’s the way John writes his posts (as if you’re standing there in his kitchen having a chat over a glass of wine) that give me the inspiration to try many of his recipes. There’s certainly a relaxed, no-stress feeling about the way he goes about things.