Welcome to October – definitely one of my favorite months of the year. I think we all love the change in weather – the end of the heat….Ok so it was 97º yesterday but it is amazing how after five months of 100º heat anything under 100º feels cool.
What I love most about the fall and spring months here in Arizona is you can open things up and I love making a fire, having a game on and doing some cooking. Anyone who knows Isabel and I – we both love to cook, especially together. And we have some cooking on the calendar this spring including the start of the Mark and Isabel Supper Club which we will say more about in blogs to come.
Of course Isabel and I both love design and we are having so much fun working together both on design and in the kitchen. Design of course takes months and many times, years, while cooking can be accomplished in a few hours. Both are about beauty, taste, and bringing delight and when we can do both cooking and design with a project it is absolutely heaven. I love the reaction we get to our cooking posts and I get it – not everyone can live in a Candelaria Design home, or go on a Candelaria Design Tour to Italy, but everyone can enjoy a Candelaria Design meal!
With that concept in mind we are proud to announce our new Candelaria Collection®!!! Our Candelaria Collection® is nothing more than a way to share our passion for good living in a way that is attainable and affordable for everyone. It is our way to share our recipes that we have learned from our travels, our clients, family and many friends who own marquis restaurants across the country.
So what would we start the Candelaria Collection® with but one of my favorite gadgets in the kitchen – a Pasta Machine! Ok I know – it’s just so much easier to just grab a bag of pasta, dump it into a pot of salted boiling water and in 9 minutes your pasta is done…..and that’s it – it’s done. The experience is over. Very American – 9 minutes and it’s over. It is no different that grabbing a magazine filled with floor plans off the rack at Safeway’s and starting construction – done. No, making pasta is about the experience – both making it, tasting it, and enjoying it. There is nothing like the taste and delicacy of fresh pasta.
Our pasta machine is beautiful and practical as the attachments for fettuccini and spaghetti are permanently attached to the main pasta roller. Like anything, the more I make pasta the better I get at it and the more comfortable it becomes which then pushes me to try more and more spins on the basic recipe. As with everything in life, the more you push the boundary the bigger the horizon gets. Pasta making is endless. What I love about making pasta is how it gets everyone involved – especially kids. They love it – it’s like a big playdough party that you get to eat!
Isabel and her Earth and Images team and Damon Wake and I from my office all got together to use the Candelaria Collection® Pasta Machine at the kitchen and home we designed in Silverleaf. The entire afternoon and dinner was captured in the October issue of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine currently on the newsstands. What fun to make pasta and share the experience with our clients, their friends and the team from Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine! What a wonderful afternoon and magical evening. Our Pasta Machine is now available and can ship in just days just in time for the Holiday season. You can order yours now at http://www.candelariadesign.com/candelaria-products and it makes a fantastic gift.
So once you have your machine how do you make pasta???? Well here is a recipe adapted from several recipes but mostly the recipe from my good friend, chef and author, Elizabeth Wholey. https://www.amazon.com/Sustenance-Food-Traditions-Italys-Heartland/dp/8890746106 Enjoy!!!
Making the pasta:
The chef’s in Italy at our farmhouse like to make the pasta with two flours: two-thirds (Type 0) white floor and one-third semolina flour, made from durum wheat.
The ingredients are simple: flour and eggs. The quantities of flour to eggs will be adjusted as you go so you must mix the pasta by hand. The idea is to create a dough that doesn’t stick to your hands or the board you’re working on. If it’s too dry you add another egg; if it’s too wet you add more flour. Always dust your pasta board and your hands with floor so the dough does not stick to your hands or the board. You will use this technique all the way down the line.
Fill a large pot at least 5 inches deep with water. Cover and put on the stove to boil; add one heaping tablespoon of coarse salt.
To make the pasta, start out with 4-1/2 cups of flour and six eggs. On a large flat board pour out the flour and shape into a mound. Make a valley in the middle of the mound – create a volcano! Break the eggs into the volcano and beat them with a fork. With a fork, begin to cover the eggs with flour, and continue little by little mixing in just enough flour so that the dough eventually sticks together uniformly. Flour your hands and knead for eight minutes until it is shiny and elastic. To test its readiness, stick your finger into the middle of the dough. If it comes out clean, the dough is ready for the pasta machine. If the dough is still sticky, knead in a little more flour.
Important: let the dough rest for at least 10 – 20 minutes. It can also be wrapped well and refrigerated at this point to be rolled out the next day.
I then cut the dough ball into quarters or slices which then are easy to roll. Start with the dial on 1 and keep rolling the dough through adjusting the setting higher and higher until you get to the pasta thinness that feels right for whatever you are making.
Once your sheets are made to your desired thinness then you can either mover forward making ravioli or run the sheets through the fettucine cutter or the spaghetti cutter. Flour the cutters before you use them so the dough does not stick. Do not let the pasta sheets dry before you use the fettucine or spaghetti cutters. Once your fettucine or spaghetti is cut you can swirl them in mounds on a lightly floured tray.
Once made you can drop the pasta into the boiling water and the fresh pasta will cook quickly – about 3-4 minutes and it will be done. Don’t overcook – you want to pasta to be firm but cooked – el dente. Drizzle with olive oil and or butter and grate some parmigiana-reggiano cheese and you have the basics….. From there you can endlessly explore. Trust me you will be in pasta heaven!!!!
I will be adding more recipes in the weeks and months ahead from raviolis to special recipes from friends, and chefs so stay tuned.