Making homemade pasta is really one of the easiest things you can do as it doesn’t take a lot of time, or ingredients. If you have a mixer it is even easier. I had an Italian friend when I was growing up and I remember going over to her house on pasta day and helping her mom make strands and strands of linguine and fettuccine and laying the strips on drying racks all over the house to dry all night. Our process was much easier, and super tasty especially with a rich tomato and pancetta sauce.
Homemade Linguine with Tomato, Capers, Pancetta and Herb Sauce
Ingredients for the Pasta:
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon salt
In a Kitchenaid mixer combine all ingredients and mix together with the paddle attachment on 2. Start with 1 tablespoon water and add more if necessary. When the dough starts to come together fold out on a board with a little flour and shape into a ball. Set aside and let rest for about 15 minutes. When ready to form your pasta you can either crank out with a hand pasta machine into sheets, and then cut the thickness you would like, or use an electric attachment to the mixer.
We opted for the attachment, but still had to cut the pasta into strips as ours was sticking a bit. We liked it though, it made a much more organic and free for all pasta. Set pasta on a floured sheet and dust lightly with flour, then cover with a damp cloth until ready to use. Fluff the past about every hour just to make sure it isn’t sticking together.
When ready to cook fill a stock pot with water and salt well (you almost want ocean water salty) and bring to a boil. When the water boils drop the pasta and bring back up to a boil. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until just under al dente. Scoop out about 1 cup of pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce a bit. Drain and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the pasta to prevent it from sticking together and add to the sauce.
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion – minced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup sundried tomatoes – chopped
3 Roma tomatoes – chopped
6 oz chopped pancetta – cooked and set aside
3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons fresh parsley – chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil – chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano – chopped
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat and begin sauteing your onion for about 3 minutes then add the tomatoes and garlic and cook until tender and the onions and garlic are golden. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, pepper and salt and cook until all the flavors begin to meld together, about 5 minutes. Add the sundried tomatoes, capers, pancetta and half of the fresh parsley and basil and all of the oregano. Cook for about 3 more minutes on medium then turn to a simmer until ready to add the pasta. When pasta is ready add to the sauce with 1/2 cup parmesan and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick add a bit of pasta water, about 1/4 cup at a time to get the desired consistency. Pour into your serving dish and top with additional herbs and cheese.