Confession: I’ve been having a love affair all summer. With pasta. More specifically, with fettuccine and fresh tomato sauce.
Many of you who follow me on Instagram have been begging to know the recipe ever since I posted a photo of this dish over a month ago. Well, today is your lucky day! Since my friend Rebecca was generous enough to share this fresh tomato sauce recipe that she learned in Italy, I’m sharing it with you! How’s that for a Monday?
Fettuccine with Fresh Tomato Sauce
The beauty of this fresh tomato sauce? It gets better the longer it sits. You can prepare this sauce up to a day in advance, but it’s still just as tasty if you make it 15 minutes before you devour it.
To start, place the following in a pestle or bowl and pound into a paste:
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
Scoop zee garlic paste into a large bowl and add:
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons jarred pepperoncini juice (or red wine vinegar)
- 3 heaping cups of diced, fresh tomatoes
Stir until well combined. Set aside while you cook the pasta or cover bowl tightly with plastic and allow to set overnight in the refrigerator.
Just before tossing the fresh tomato sauce with your pasta, chiffonade a large handful of fresh basil and stir it in.
I’ve dubbed this summer: THE SUMMER OF PASTA! Why? Because I finally got the gumption to pull out my never-been-opened pasta roller I bought at my friend Molly’s garage sale, uh, *coughcough*, last summer. Gah! What took me so long?? Fresh pasta is AMAZING!! In fact, I’m never buying fettuccine or papperdelle again.
Lemme just say that your fresh tomato sauce (though perfectly delicious with packaged pasta) will bring a tear to your eye and inspire sonnets when tossed with a batch of fresh pasta. You might even start speaking Italian. No pasta roller? Put it on your Christmas wishlist. Then purchase a package of fettuccine. It’s not worth hand-rolling yourself into early arthritis.
STEP 1: MIX
Begin by adding 2 cups of all-purpose flour to a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack in 3 large, room-temperature eggs.
Cook’s Note: It’s imperative that the eggs be room temperature. Otherwise, your dough will be as tough and stubborn as an old boot.
STEP 2: TEST
Stir the eggs into the flour until all of the flour is incorporated. Next, grab a piece of the dough and squeeze it between your fingers.
STEP 3: KNEAD
If the dough is sticky or tacky, then add another 1/2 cup flour and knead it in until all of the flour is incorporated. If dough is still tacky, repeat with another 1/2 cup of flour.
Dump dough out onto a flat surface and knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
STEP 4: REST
Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and allow dough to rest at room temperature for at least 1-1/2 hours.
Sometimes I’ve cheated and waited only 30 minutes, but the dough is SO much more manageable after a full rest.
STEP 5: ROLL
Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Keep the other 3 pieces wrapped in plastic so they don’t dry out.
Take one piece and mush it into a rectangle with your fingers. Then:
- Roll once through the thickest setting on your pasta roller (for me it’s 7).
- Fold the strip of dough in half and then in half again and roll through again on “7.”
- Set thickness to a “5” and roll strip of dough TWICE through this setting.
- Set thickness to a “3” and roll strip TWICE through this setting.
STEP 6: CUT & HANG
Send your strip of thin dough through the fettuccine setting. Place your hand under the noodles to keep them from piling up and sticking together. Place noodles on a towel placed over the back of a chair to dry a little before boiling. Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining dough pieces.
STEP 7: BOIL
Bring a 6-quart pot of water to a boil. Place all of the noodles into the water along with a pinch of salt. Cook 8-10 minutes or until “al-dente.” Check pasta doneness after 8 minutes. Strain pasta and toss with fresh tomato sauce.
Cook’s Note: I usually start heating the water right before I start rolling the pasta. By the time I’m done rolling and cutting, the water is ready.
Mmmmm, nothing like the magical aroma of hot pasta hitting fresh tomatoes and basil! This is what summer is all about.
Top your glorious creation with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan and serve.
Commence happy dance!
Enjoy your new love affair!
Fresh Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic and Olive Oil
This pasta is even tastier the next day. You can also prepare the sauce the day before to allow the flavors to meld.
- FRESH TOMATO SAUCE
- 5-6 large cloves of garlic
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or jarred pepperoncini juice)
- 3 heaping cups diced fresh tomatoes (about 10 medium tomatoes)
- Large handful fresh basil, chiffonade
- Fresh parmesan
- FRESH PASTA
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (to start)
- pinch of salt
- FRESH TOMATO SAUCE: In a pestle, pound garlic and salt until you create a fine paste. Scoop into a large, non-reactive bowl. Add pepper, olive oil, vinegar and tomatoes. Toss well. Allow to sit while you cook the pasta. Add fresh basil and parmesan cheese and toss with warm pasta. Serve.
- FRESH PASTA: In a large bowl add 2 cups of flour and make a well in the center. Add 3 large eggs into the well and mix until the dough comes together. If the dough is tacky or sticky, knead in another 1/2 cup flour. When dough becomes manageable, knead on a flat surface for 10 minutes until dough is smooth. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least an hour. Cut dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into thin sheets and cut to desired shape. Cook pasta for 10 minutes in boiling water until al dente. Drain. Toss with fresh tomato sauce.