I can feel the end of summer. I can sense the change in many aspects of my life. In the types of clothes that I’m starting to reach for. In the foods that I am craving. In the air that blows through our open windows. Summer is ending, but it’s not gone just quite yet, and I plan to cherish my favorite things about it – especially the food – for as long as I can.
This pasta dish is definitely a testament to that. The tomatoes – a symbol of the part of me that is still holding onto summer, and the homemade noodles – showing that the first signs of fall have me slowing down, desiring long days in the kitchen, with cool air coming through windows and a glass of wine (not beer, like summer) by my side.
This was my first time making homemade noodles because I’ve been intimidated by it for a long time. I don’t have a pasta roller and I just didn’t think that a rolling pin could roll homemade pasta dough thin enough. Recently though, something in me told me just to go for it and I’m awfully glad that I did. Just like my success with homemade gnocchi, these noodles were a pleasant experience. I plan on doing this regularly now, especially through the winter months.
So since I am just a beginner noodle maker, let me show you the resources I used: The Pioneer Woman, The Kitchn and Better Homes and Gardens. Thank you to those wonderful sites for giving me the knowledge and wisdom to smoothly get through my first noodle making experience. My advice, from one beginner to another is this: just to do it. Give it a go. Enjoy the slowness + comfort this season has to offer and make some noodles! I do understand though, that for most people, who are busy on the regular, this is a Saturday or Sunday type of meal. Not a weekday meal, and that’s okay. Save it for a special day. Make homemade noodles, dress them simply and enjoy every bite of your hard work.
We were lucky enough to get a bunch of tomatoes recently from Greg’s vacationing coworker’s CSA share and from Greg’s mom and stepdad. So, for this particular batch of noodles, I simply tossed them with pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes. A meal just right for this time of the year. Consider making it even without the homemade noodles.
Even if you don’t have the time and/or desire to make homemade noodles at this time, I encourage you to enjoy what is now. Enjoy the last of what summer has to offer and if you’re like me, embrace the “slowing down” feeling that comes with fall. I’m enjoying it thoroughly and this dish represents that perfectly.
Below the photos, I typed out just what I did. I also suggest in the recipe section that if you do decide to make noodles for the first time, to read through what I have as well as look at my photos, but to also study the sites that I linked to above. Be prepared as possible and enjoy the process! Leave any questions in the comment section. Enjoy!
Late Summer Pasta: Homemade Noodles with Pesto + Tomatoes
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
1-2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup of your favorite pesto
Salt and pepper
For the noodles, I followed methods from the Pioneer Woman, The Kitchn and Better Homes and Gardens, all linked above. I will describe what I did, but before making the noodles, I recommend also studying the pages I linked to above.
For the noodles: Into a large mixing bowl, measure three cups of all-purpose flour. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack six eggs into the well. Using a whisk, gently whisk the eggs, incorporating a little flour into the well at a time, and continue whisking until the dough starts coming together. Dump the dough and any remaining flour in the bowl onto a clean, floured surface and begin kneading the dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until dough is no longer sticky and the surface is smooth (The Pioneer Woman post shows a good photo of this). Using a large, sharp knife, cut the dough into four equal parts. Gently knead each part for several minutes, just to be sure the dough has been kneaded thoroughly. Let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
While dough is resting: Place tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until slightly blistered. Turn the oven off, tomatoes can remain in there until noodles are done.
While you roll out your noodles, begin to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
After 30 minutes, roll your dough. Using a rolling pin, on a well floured surface, roll out one segment of the dough at a time, as thin as you can get it. Mine was extremely thin but also very pliable. Once rolled out, sprinkle each side of dough with flour. Gently roll the dough, jelly roll style, and using a knife, cut thin strips (as shown in photo above). Once cut, unroll each strip. You have noodles! Repeat the rolling out, rolling up and slicing with each of the remaining three segments of dough.
To cook noodles, place in salted, boiling water and boil for approximately five minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your noodle, so start checking them after two minutes. Mine took a full five.
To make the pesto + tomato pasta: Add pesto to a large saucepan over medium heat, along with a ladle-full of the noodle cooking water. Add the cooked + drained noodles and toss. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes. Add more noodle cooking water, to thin the sauce, as needed. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and enjoy!
The amount of noodles made with this recipe lasted Greg and I over 2 meals. We each had a large serving for dinner, the next day for lunch, with leftovers yet.
I didn't make enough noodles to freeze this time, but plan to for next time and will follow the directions on the Better Home and Gardens blog, linked above.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
*Noodle recipe/techniques from The Pioneer Woman
, The Kitchn
and Better Homes and Gardens