Homemade Garganelli Pasta, in a roasted chestnut, sage and brown butter sauce, is as Italian as it gets for National Pasta Day.
Homemade Garganelli Pasta For National Pasta Day
While many of us are thinking about pumpkins and apples in October, it also happens to be National Pasta Month; October 17th!
This nationally recognized day only started in 1995, we know that some form of a pasta is enjoyed around the world.
Many of us recognize that America is the melting pot of many cultures and cuisines. This, of course, is the result of immigrants leaving their country of origin and making America their new home.
We have a huge number of Italian immigrants to thank for bringing some of the finest cuisine in the world to America.
I think pasta day was created by the mob in NYC saying, “e il nostro giorno” (it is OUR day)!
While the ingredients of most boxed pastas you buy in the grocery store are made from flour and water, I encourage you to try making your own pasta.
Homemade Egg Pasta is simply egg and flour and rather easy to make. The trick is just rolling the pasta thin enough to make a variety of shapes.
With a pasta roller or a heavy weight rolling pin, pasta can easily be made.
I’m all for the ingredients of real pasta; several egg yolks and some flour.
This technique couldn’t be easier;
- Simply make a mound of flour on a countertop
- Add a sprinkle of salt
- Place several eggs (often just the yolks), into the center.
- Continue by mixing with a fork
- Then, work the dough by hand until it comes together into a sumptuous dough.
Forming Pasta Dough To Shape The Garganelli Pasta
Pasta dough is rolled out as thin (often 1/32 inch), as you are able, or use a pasta roller. Some kitchen appliances and mixers, have a pasta attachment for rolling the dough to various thicknesses.
There are other table top pasta machines will roll the pasta beautifully for a fraction of the cost. Of course there is always a marble rolling pin and marble slab to roll out the pasta just the way Nonna did!
In a word, there is one primary trick to beautiful pasta ‘ROLL’ roll, roll, and roll out that pasta several times.
Did you know that’s a thing? Yep, apparently the finer the grind of the wheat into flour, the smoother the pasta will turn out.
Bread flour or baking flour will work just fine but ’00’ flour is the best for a smooth pasta. Semolina is also a flour used most often in pasta making.
It is a flour made from durum wheat and is much higher in gluten than regular flour, which, ‘sorry gluten-free folks’ but gluten really helps the pasta to hold it’s shape.
Like bread making, once you become familiar with the texture the dough should be, the easier the process will become and you won’t have to second guess what you have done.
Have you ever heard of it? While we are all familiar with the various types of straight pasta – Spaghetti, Linguine, Pappardelle and Angel Hair – there are so many beautifully shaped pastas to make.
Garganelli is my favorite because it is not so difficult to shape. It looks beautiful and since it has lots of ridges in it, any sauce you use, sticks between the cracks rather than rolling off.
Once you feel confident in making your own pasta, you simply must venture out and try making my Chocolate Chili Pasta!
Chocolate Chili Pasta is a spicy savory pasta, and once it’s rolled out, it too can be shaped into garganelli pasta!
Garganelli Board or Gnocchi Board
Garganelli Board or Gnocchi Board is an 8 inch by 3 inch wooden board, often with a handle, and has ridges in the board to imprint ridges into the dough.
It creates these lovely grooves in the dough so the sauce has some place to hide. A perfectly agreeable board can cost as little as five dollars or as much as forty. An affordable tool to add to your kitchen!
While there are a multitude of sauces you can serve with the Garganelli pasta, my most favorite and very Italian sauce is Roasted Chestnut Brown Butter and Sage Sauce.
Trust me, this is very Italian!
Fresh Sage is easily found year round in the grocery store and often remains alive throughout the winter in a home grown garden.
- Fresh sage
- Salt and pepper
- Garganelli board
- Boiling pot
- Saute pan
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Slotted spoon
Homemade Garganelli PastaCourse: PastaCuisine: Italian
Homemade Garganelli in a roasted chestnut, sage and brown butter sauce is as Italian as it gets.
- Pasta Ingredients
Whole eggs – 2
Egg yolks – 4 (don’t forget to save the white for macarons!)
Salt – 1 teaspoon, plus more for salting the water for boiling
Flour – 2 cups, plus more for dusting
- Sauce Ingredients
Roasted or Canned Chestnuts – 1 cup, chopped – walnuts or pine nuts can be substituted
Cream – 1 cup
Shallots – 3 large shallots, chopped fine
Butter – 6 tablespoons
Fresh Sage – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Pasta Preparation
- On a clean work surface (marble is nice), pour the flour and salt into a heap. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs together and then carefully pour the eggs into the center of the well. Using a fork, mix carefully the egg and the flour until gradually the flour is incorporated into the eggs. A sticky dough will form at first but will smooth out as you work with it.
- Continue to work the dough by pressing the heel of your hand into the center of the dough, pushing it forward and folding it over. Continue to knead the dough, adding sprinkles of flour if too sticky or sprinkles of water if too dry.
- Roll the smooth dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and allow to rest on the countertop for 30 minutes.
- On a floured countertop roll out the pasta to 1/2 inch thick. Begin passing it through the pasta roller several times. Fold the dough after each passing through the roller, by folding each end to the center, then in half again. Roll again and again in this way.
- Once the dough is a nice long strip about 5 inches wide by 30 inches long, cut the pasta into 3 inch by 3 inch squares. Starting from one pointed end of the square, roll up diagonally on the Gnocchi/Garganelli board to make a long skinny roll with ridges. If you don’t have the board, substitute by rolling the dough with a round chop stick in the center, hold the rolled dough still on the chop stick and use a fork to imprint ridges, then slide the chop stick out.
- Once the pasta is shaped, toss lightly on a flour surface and allow to dry out for 30 minutes while you make the sauce.
- When ready to cook the pasta, Simply bring a large pot of water to a boil with a little salt, shake off excess flour from the pasta, drop the pasta in and boil for just a few minutes, 3-4 minutes should do it. Drain and toss immediately in the prepared sauce.
- Sauce Preparation
- In a large pan, melt the butter. Leave it in the pan until it starts to turn a golden brown but watch so it doesn’t burn.
- Add the chopped shallots and stir them into the brown butter for about a minute to sweat out some of their juices. Add the sage, cream, salt and pepper and let simmer on low for 5 minutes. Do not boil, just keep it on a low simmer.
- When ready, add the cooked pasta, stir gently and serve.
- The addition of cooked bacon, pancetta or quick baked rosettes of prosciutto can be served on top.