An Early Fall Pasta Dish that Celebrates All Things *Red*
What’s not to love about October?
It’s the best of late summer *and* early autumn, with long, sunny afternoons that stretch into crisp, cozy evenings that are perfect for snuggling up with a blanket, a glass of wine and a comforting bowl of pasta. We asked Chef Fiona Ashfar, a true artist with handmade pastas to develop a cozy, October-worthy pasta recipe that would make the most of this perfect transitional weather. And the best part of it all? The pasta is infused with Avaline Red!
Warm, inviting and full of flavor, this Red-infused pasta recipe feels like an extra special tribute to the season (and to red wine!) but actually comes together quite quickly. Make sure to add plenty of Parmesan at the end, and pour yourself a glass of Red or Pinot for the perfect pairing.
What you’ll need:
For the Pasta:
- 2 cups 00 flour (plus more as needed)
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup Avaline Red, simmered down to 1/4 cup
5 eggs (2 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs)
For the Sauce:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cup cherry tomatoes
- Handful of fresh basil or Italian seasoning
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Parmesan cheese for the finishing touches
1. First thing’s first, pour yourself a glass of wine. Cooking is always *that* much more enjoyable with a glass nearby.
2. Start by placing two cups of flour in a mound on your workstation. Using the bottom of a cup or your fingers, form a well in the center of your flour, about 8 or 9 inches wide.
Meanwhile, in a high speed blender or a food processor, crack the 3 whole eggs and 2 yolks and top with the garlic, salt, wine and olive oil. Blend on high speed until everything is emulsified, then pour the egg mixture into the center of your well. Grab some extra flour to have ready nearby, throw on some music, and get ready to begin.
3. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour from the sides of your well into your egg mixture, about one tablespoon at a time. Make sure not to break the walls of your well or the egg will ooze out! As you gradually whisk the flour into your egg mixture, your dough will begin to take on a paste-like consistency. When the dough begins to hold its shape, feel free to break the walls of your well and continue adding flour. This should take you about 5-8 minutes.
4. When your dough becomes stiff and difficult to work with using a fork, switch over to using your hands. Begin grabbing what’s left of your flour and work it into the dough. Take your bench scraper (or a spatula if you don’t have one) and scrape underneath the dough, releasing it from the surface and bringing it together into a ball. Then, with floured hands, knead the dough by using your palm to apply pressure, stretch, and fold the dough back into itself until smooth. This will take about 10-15 minutes, so be patient. This is the perfect opportunity to top off your glass and turn the music up a little louder. Wherever the dough feels wet or sticky, just add a bit more flour, and soon your dough will be good to go. You’ll want your dough to feel smooth, elastic and springy.
5. At this point we’re sure your arms could use a break, and so can your pasta dough. It’s time to let it relax. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and let it sit on your kitchen counter for about an hour. You can also let it rest in your fridge and work with it tomorrow.
After the dough has rested, you can begin shaping.
6. Now we get to see our pasta dough magically come to life. Today, we’re making fettuccine, but if you prefer a different type of noodle, now’s your chance. Sheet out your pasta by running it through the pasta machine about 8 to 10 times, starting at the thickest setting and going down to a thinner setting, you want the pasta sheet to be thin like paper.
If you don’t have a pasta machine, have no fear! You can use a rolling pin or a wine bottle (wink wink) to roll out your dough. This might take a little longer, but it doesn't make it any less delicious!
Once you have your pasta sheet ready, dust it with flour and run it through the fettuccine cutter or use a sharp knife to slice the pasta to your desired width. Let it dry on a pasta rack or drape it over a hanger, chair, or any other thin object for 20 min before cooking.
7. While the Fettuccine is resting, go ahead and get the sauce ready. In a skillet, pour 3 to 4 tbsp of olive oil, then add the cherry tomatoes with a dash of Italian seasoning or basil, salt and pepper or chili flakes, and let it cook on a low simmer until the tomatoes start popping Add the garlic to your popping tomatoes and let it all simmer together for a few more minutes.
If we could offer one piece of advice, it’s this: double (or triple) this sauce recipe. It’s delicious on toast or with eggs, or eaten straight from a jar. Trust us, you’ll want more :)
8. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Don’t be shy about the salt, you’ll want the water to taste like the sea. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the fettuccine into the pot and cook for a minute or so. Since your pasta is fresh, it will cook much quicker than the boxed pasta you might be used to. 1- 3 minutes is usually plenty of time to cook!
Taste a noodle to test the consistency. You’ll want the noodle to *almost* be at your preferred level of al dente, we’re going to let it finish cooking in the tomatoes. Reserve about ½ cup of pasta water, then drain your noodles. Add the noodles to the tomatoes and simmer gently, adding the pasta water as needed. When ready to serve, top with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.