Enjoy Truly Homemade Pasta and Sauce this Summer
There’s not much that’s more delicious than a steamy plate of pasta. You can toss it with fresh vegetables or coat it in cheese. You can stuff it with meats or smother it in oil and garlic. You can boil it, bake it, or sauté it. You can serve it hot or cold. The possibilities are endless. You could literally eat pasta every day of your summer and not eat the same dish – and you would be satisfied by what was on your plate each time.
The best pasta is often the freshest pasta – made on the spot with ingredients that were freshly harvested. You don’t need to live on a farm in Italy to get those kinds of results. Here’s how you can enjoy delicious, homemade pasta and sauce this summer:
Choose Your Pasta Flour
You can make pasta out of a variety of flours. The most common choice is semolina flour, which creates a “white” pasta with a delicious taste. You can make any type of pasta with semolina flour, and it provides a nice base that will pair well with any sauce or toppings.
Wheat flour is growing in popularity for its perceived health benefits. It has more fiber, which makes it more nutritious but also makes it bulkier and changes its flavor profile. Wheat flour makes the pasta denser, and gives it a more distinct flavor that not everyone enjoys.
Other possibilities include rice and potato flour, which are good for those who need a gluten-free diet. Again, these flours change the way the pasta cooks and tastes, so it is important that you experiment a bit before you decide on these.
Plant Your Garden
There is still time to plant the veggies and herbs you need for your pasta, depending on where you live and what you want. For example, you can’t plant winter squash right now unless you live somewhere that has cold weather right now.
Everywhere else, you should be fine to plant what you need for some delicious sauces and toppings. You’ll want to plant tomatoes, garlic, and perhaps some onions and leeks. You should plant a sampling of herbs, including basil, oregano, and thyme. Consider also planting veggies such as sweet peppers, summer squash, eggplant, and even cucumber for your cold pasta salads.
Plant some big batches so that you can make enough sauce for the summer. You can bottle your sauce and freeze it for later use.
Source Cheeses and Meats
You don’t have to start your own farm to have delicious homemade cheeses and meats for your pasta. You can find a local farm from which to buy these items. You can buy meat as soon as it’s been butchered and cheese as soon as it’s been made. If you’re feeling really brave and have gotten a bit of training, you can even buy an animal to butcher yourself. Fresh, humanely raised and butchered meat will make for a much better pasta.
Gather Your Equipment
You don’t need much special equipment to make your homemade pasta or sauce. You need a pasta maker, which presses your dough into the noodles. You can even buy a pasta maker as an attachment for your stand mixer.
You also need canning equipment so that you can store your sauce, which would go bad within a few days otherwise. The most basic method for canning requires only that you have clean jars with sealable lids. Mason jars will do just fine. However, you can also invest in a double boiler or canner if you don’t trust your abilities as a beginner.
Besides that, you will only need your basic pots and pans, knives, and other dishes and utensils for your prep.
Do all of this, and you will have enough pasta and sauces to last you all summer. You can easily cook for your family or for guests. All you have to do is make a batch of fresh noodles and grab a jar of thawed sauce. You can have dinner ready in under a half hour, but it will seem like you worked on it for hours. Pair it with some delicious, artisan bread and a nice wine, and you’ll have a wonderful summer dinner.