I’m a little giddy about this recipe because it combines three things I adore – basil, garlic, and pasta. Brian and I have made semolina pasta dough for years now, but hadn’t ever tried flavored pasta until 2014. It was a bit of an experiment, but it worked out beautifully and we now have an addition to our pasta repertoire that we’ll have made again and again.
I shared this recipe first on a food blog I ran for a while, but since most of my focus is on Frugal Novice, it only seemed fitting to share it here, too.
This basil & garlic fettuccine is flavorful – you don’t even really need more than a light butter sauce to go along with it – and the flecks of basil in the dough really make the pasta pretty, too.
As with so many recipes, homemade pasta was one of those things that seemed really overwhelming to me until we gave it a try. Several years ago our friends Kit and Peter came over one Saturday with their pasta machine, and we were immediately smitten with the process (and end result!) of making pasta from scratch. You know you’ve found kindred spirits when you have friends who want to spend the weekend cooking!
Making homemade pasta is something we really enjoy doing, and the kids love to help with it, too. We have a pasta machine we purchased and absolutely love. It’s hand-cranked and easy to set up wherever you’d like to use it – we just mount ours to the dining table – and it comes with an attachment that lets you cut the pasta, too. I would highly recommend buying one if you think you’ll make pasta more than a couple of times (you will, by the way – it’s addicting!).
Here’s what our pasta machine looks like – and you’ll also get a glimpse of our sweet yellow lab/golden retriever, Sally. She likes to hang around under the table when we make pasta because she knows we’ll inevitably drop a piece here or there. Smart dog.
Making pasta from scratch is really fun to do with friends, too – we make the dough ahead of time and then when friends come over we do the rolling and cutting with them. Fresh pasta cooks really quickly, so we’ll just have the sides, sauce (if we’re using any), and bread all taken care of ahead of time, and then once our group finishes the pasta we can get to cooking it – and eating it – almost immediately.
We use our KitchenAid mixer to make our pasta dough, so it is just as easy as making cookie dough or cake batter. Once your dough is ready, you’ll want to let it rest for 30 minutes in a large ziploc baggie. It’s essential to let your dough rest so you end up with a pliable dough that doesn’t tear when you’re running it through the machine, and I like that it gives me time to work on other elements of my meal.
After 30 minutes has passed, cut off small pieces of dough (for reference, a piece big enough to fill about 1/3 cup) to work with a little at a time on the pasta machine. You’ll make quite a few sheets of pasta with this recipe! By the way, you can make this by yourself, but Brian and I always make pasta together because a) it’s much more fun doing this with someone, and b) it’s a lot easier to work as a team when you have longer sheets of dough to run through.
The pasta dough starts off fairly thick, and the concept behind the pasta machine is that it gradually thins out the dough as you run it through. First we run the piece dough through the rollers on the first setting (which is “1” on our machine), fold it, and run it through on the same setting again. If you see the knob in the picture below, that’s what you turn to adjust how far apart or close together the rollers are. The #1 setting has the rollers the farthest apart.
After running the dough through on the first setting, we work our way down to each setting – 2, 3, 4, & 5 – until we end up with thin sheets of pasta. We usually run the dough through two times on each setting. Once we’ve completed our sheets of pasta dough, they need to dry for about 8-10 minutes, so we let the sheets lay on our lightly floured table while we work on rolling out other sheets.
After the sheets have dried for the 8-10 minutes, we use our machine to cut the dough. It has rollers, but there’s also a separate piece that we use for cutting the noodles.
You can tell your dough is ready to cut when it is no longer sticky to the touch; if it’s too sticky it can get stuck as we run it through the cutter. You don’t want to let it dry too much, though, or it can become too brittle to run through the machine. Our pasta machine can cut spaghetti or fettucine, but we always go with the fettuccine because we like the wider noodles.
Once the pasta has been cut, we hang it on our drying rack. You can totally improvise and make your own drying rack using anything from wooden spoon handles to thick hangers, but the drying rack we bought was cheap and it works really well to hold a lot of pasta. It also easily disassembles so you can store it flat in its box, which is always a plus to me since I can tend to fill up my kitchen cabinets quickly.
This recipe makes LOTS of pasta, enough for our family of five to eat it for 5 meals. I love the way pasta looks draped over the drying rack – so pretty, isn’t it?
We leave the pasta on the drying rack until we’re ready to cook it, dry it, or freeze it. We usually only cook the amount we know we’ll use for one meal, and we dry some to cook and eat the next day. We can freeze other portions to have on hand for later, or give extra to friends. Homemade pasta is always welcomed with open arms, I’ve discovered.
If you do decide to gift pasta (which I totally recommend), I’ve created a handy set of printable gift tags – click here to go to the download!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- In your mixer bowl, combine the all-purpose and semolina flour and salt.
- Break the eggs into a medium bowl and add the minced garlic. Use your immersion blender in this mixture to pulverize the garlic and beat the eggs. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can pour the eggs and garlic into a regular blender to achieve the same result.
- While your mixer is on medium-low speed, pour your egg/garlic mixture into the flour mixture gradually until it is well incorporated.
- Add the olive oil and continue to mix. Then add the dried basil to the mixture and mix on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the mixture seems too sticky, add all-purpose flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth.
- Place the dough into a large ziploc bag, pressing out all air. Seal and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut off small portions of the dough (about 1/3 cup) and either run them through your pasta machine or roll them out with a rolling pin until the sheets are very thin; no more than 1/8″ thick.
- Let the sheets dry on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. If you’re using a pasta machine you can now run your sheets of pasta through the cutting rollers. If not, use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut noodles to your desired width (fettucine noodles are usually about 1/4″ wide). We have – and love – this pasta drying rack that we hang cut pasta on until we’re ready for it to cook.
- Cook your pasta in water brought to a rolling boil for about 3 minutes. Once the noodles are removed from the pot, toss them with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking. Serve with a light butter sauce and fresh shredded parmesan.