There is nothing better than Homemade Pasta! My mother and grandmother had 3 foot square pasta boards to roll out their pasta dough and these boards covered half of their tabletops. Their husbands made their boards for them. Their husbands also made rolling pins for them that they made out of wooden broomsticks that were 3 feet long. They could roll out huge pieces of pasta dough as large as their pasta boards!
They would roll out their dough very thin. Their rolled out dough would cover their pasta boards! Then they would roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it accordian-like into layers about 4 inches wide. Then they would cut the long folded edges on both long sides of their folded dough. So now they had layers of pasta dough where each was 4 inches long. When they cut the pasta, the noodles would be 4 inches long.
My aunt Maggie said that my grandmother would get a very large sharp knife to cut the pasta. As she held it in one hand, she would run the fingers of her other hand down the dough as she cut it very thin for soup. She used this same technique when cutting wide noodles for pasta with sauce. Aunt Maggie said that she did it so fast that when she watched her mother do it she was always afraid she would cut her fingers! But, she never did!
After she cut the pasta noodles she would separate them and lay them on a large cotton towel on her bed to dry before cooking them. I see the noodles drying on a towel on my mother’s bed too. I also do that and so does my daughter. It’s just the way we do it.
***“Cucina Povera” means poor kitchen. It is amazing how many people you can feed by making your own pasta with just a few cups of flour, a couple eggs, a little salt and some water! This is just one more way to make your money go further and make a truly delicious homemade meal!
Makes about 1 1/3 pounds of pasta dough
Makes 4 – 5 servings of wide noodles with sauce or other toppings
Thin sliced noodles for Sicilian Chicken Soup Recipe
3 c. flour + more to roll out dough
1 c. warm water
Measure the flour and put into a large bowl. Add the eggs and a ½ cup of the water and mix by hand or with an electric mixer on low using the dough hook. Continue adding water until you have a dough that isn’t sticky and forms a ball. If it is a little sticky, add a little more flour and continue mixing.
Separate large ball of dough into 3 smaller balls. Cover them with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out while you are rolling out each individual ball of dough.
Sprinkle dough board with flour. Place a ball of dough on the floured dough board and sprinkle flour on it. Start rolling out the dough from the center going out to the edges. As you roll the dough, pick it up as it gets larger and turn it making sure it isn’t sticking to the board. Add additional flour to the board or dough as you continue to roll it out. Roll each ball into a circle about 16 inches round and as thin as you can. Let it dry for about half an hour before cutting it.
Cut the 16 inch circle of dough into 4 inch strips. Stack the strips on top of each other. With a sharp knife, starting at one end, cut the pasta into 1/8 inch wide strips for soup noodles and 1/2 inch wide strips for noodles with sauce or other toppings. Repeat this with the other balls of pasta dough.
Separate the slices of pasta and lay them on a cotton towel and let them dry for a couple hours before cooking. You can cook it soon afterwards or you can cook it within a couple days. You do not need to cover or bag it.
To cook noodles:
Fill a large pan about ¾ full with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Put in the pasta and stir it so it separates. Lower heat to a slow boil. Cook soup noodles for approximately 5 minutes. Always cook soup noodles in water, separate from the soup broth. Cook wide noodles about 10 minutes. Drain water from noodles.
Add soup noodles to broth, stir in and serve. Sprinkle soup with Pecorino Romano Cheese.
Serve wide Homemade Pasta with Sicilian Sunday Sauce or top with Ricotta Cheese, black pepper and Pecorino Romano Cheese.