How to Make Beautifully Simple Fresh Pasta for Valentine’s Day
Whoever said fresh pasta is hard work, clearly did not enjoy Play-Doh as a child. We won’t pretend this is a Monday-night-level easy recipe, but it’s absolutely doable for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a fun date activity, a delicious dinner AND a cozy night in with your boo, I highly recommend this surprisingly simple fresh pasta recipe. And while there’s no shame in a jar of Prego, we’ve also thrown in a simple, but classic tomato sauce recipe to round out the whole “OMG we made that from scratch” sense of accomplishment. Ready to get rolling? So are we.
For the pasta
Pasta Making Supplies:
For the pasta
For the classic marinara sauce
For the marinara
MAKING THE PASTA DOUGH
Crack two full eggs into a bowl. Then separate the yolks from two more eggs and add just the yolks to the bowl, setting the whites aside.
On a clean countertop, make a large well with the flour and fill the middle with the eggs and a pinch of salt. Carefully whisk the eggs and salt in the middle with a fork, and slowly incorporate the flour into it as you mix. Use your hands to keep the flour well barriers up to prevent the egg from spilling out as you mix.
IRL FAIL: Okay guys, I’ll be honest. I let the egg escape from the well! It spilled out onto the counter but I quickly scooped it back up into the remaining flour and mixed it up with my hands anyways! So if all egg breaks loose, you’ve still got this!
When almost fully combined (but probably still sticky), knead the dough with your hands and continue adding flour until it is no longer sticky and resembles a smooth (but not cracked) ball of Play-Doh. Flatten your dough into a one-inch-thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for one hour.
Grab a glass of wine and chill out for an hour! Or… start preparing your sauce with the following recipe for a killer classic marinara!
MAKING THE SAUCE
Crush the tomatoes and the juice that comes in the can in a large bowl using a metal spatula or potato masher and set aside.
Peel, crush and mince the garlic (or put it through a garlic crusher) and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a deep skillet (this will cook faster than in a saucepan), and then add crushed garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, stir in the tomatoes, salt and red chile flakes, and then place a whole sprig of basil on top of the sauce. Let simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened. Remove and discard the basil before serving on top of fresh pasta.
ROLLING OUT + CUTTING THE PASTA
When the hour is up, unwrap your pasta dough and cut into fourths with a knife. Sprinkle with some extra flour so you can work with it without sticking to the counter top.
Roll out one quarter at a time with a rolling pin until it forms a wide oval that is about 1/4-inch thick. Wrap the other three quarters of your dough back in plastic wrap so they don’t dry out while you work with the first fourth.
TECHNIQUE 1 — PASTA ROLLER: You can now feed your 1/4-inch thick oval through on the widest setting (usually number one). Roll it through that setting 2-3 times and then roll through once per setting until you reach number six. Set your flattened pasta sheet aside on a floured surface and repeat with the other three fourths of your dough!
Once you have all four sheets ready to go, switch your roller to the spaghetti or fettuccine attachment and feed it through to cut your noodles.
Check out that beautiful waterfall of carbs!
TECHNIQUE 2 — ROLLING PIN: No roller, no problem! Grab your go-to rolling pin (or heck, a wine bottle works), and roll your fourths of dough into long, thin ovals. Keep rolling until your dough is just a couple of millimeters thick (about 10 minutes’ time, if you’re putting some muscle behind it).
Then cut your pasta sheets lengthwise into noodles (at whatever thickness you’d like!) using a knife.
Any way you slice it, your noodles will now need a good toss in flour so that they don’t stick together. Carefully toss with your hands, and once they look lightly coated in flour, spread them out onto a floured cookie sheet and either leave on the counter to use immediately or stick in the fridge, uncovered, to use later. Covering them will trap moisture and cause them to get sticky and gross, so let ’em breathe!
You know what to do! Cook your fresh pasta in boiling water for 5-7 minutes (fresh cooks fast!), or until al dente, and then drain before serving.
Top off those noodles with sauce and garnish with a fresh sprig of basil and grated Parmesan or fresh mozzarella cheese, as desired.
This pasta makes a seriously fun date night at home or fun activity to do with friends or kids.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and dig in!
For more delicious recipes and date-night inspo, follow us on Pinterest!