There’s a certain, dare I say – smugness, which comes from making pasta from scratch. And while the dried stuff in a cardboard box is perfectly acceptable for a throw-together meal, it doesn’t compare to homemade fresh pasta, pasta so good that all it requires is a rustic, uncomplicated walnut oregano pesto.
Whether you opt to make your own pasta, buy fresh from the store or use dried, I urge you to make this pesto. It’s light & fresh, wintery & comforting all at once, if that makes sense, but it’s all these things. And don’t baulk at the amount of oregano leaves in the pesto – I did initially but it was completely unfounded I promise you. This walnut oregano pesto has a wonderful balanced flavor even if it’s missing the vibrant green hue of its common cousin, basil pesto. Speaking of…here’s a really good recipe for making perfect pesto.
If you’ve never made pasta from scratch, & most people probably haven’t, it really is quite simple. My fresh pasta has three ingredients: flour, eggs & salt. It can be rolled by hand or as I did, rolled with help from my KitchenAid, or use one of those hand-cranked pasta rollers – any of these methods will work . Jamie Oliver taught me how to make fresh pasta a couple of decades ago. He just doesn’t know he did. But I’ve been making it ever since. My husband now makes it too after a series of brilliant lessons from moi. Once you’ve eaten homemade pasta, you’ll remember it. It’s like that.
Although relatively easy to make, I won’t lie, making pasta is messy. It is for me. Like a flour bomb has exploded in my kitchen. I’m a pretty messy cook. Frenetic if you may, but I find the art of pasta making almost cathartic. That probably has more to do with the time I make it, always making it ahead of time & not when I’m about to have guests arrive. That might test my sanity. Making pasta with a glass of wine at arm’s length makes the process more enjoyable (who am I kidding, wine makes all kitchen antics more enjoyable).
Serve walnut oregano pesto & homemade fettuccine with a simple salad of artisan baby greens tossed in balsamic & olive oil, crusty warm bread & your favorite vino.
Rustic & simple. Both the fettuccine & the pesto. I love food like that. Unpretentious & down to earth. This is one of those recipes. Cheers, Lovoni xo
A Pinterest pic to share
- HOMEMADE PASTA
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, approximately
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- WALNUT & OREGANO PESTO
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup oregano leaves, plus extra for serving
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- pinch salt & pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- Place flour, eggs & salt in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz until mixture just starts to come together to form a dough. Spill onto a lightly floured bench & press mixture together to form a soft, smooth dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap & let sit on counter (or in the fridge if your house is hot) for 1 hour to allow the dough to rest.
- Cut pasta into equal quarters. Run each quarter of the dough through a pasta machine on its widest setting. I use a KitchenAid so I start at #1 & go to 4 for fettuccine. Or roll on a lightly floured surface until a little shy of 1/8-inch (2mm) thickness. Cut into fettuccine wide noodles. Lightly toss noodles in flour to prevent sticking.
- To make the pesto: Place basil, oregano, walnuts, parmesan, juice, garlic, salt & pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz until very finely chopped. Scrape pesto into a medium bowl & gradually whisk in olive oil until well combined.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water for about 5 minutes until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta sticking & water boiling over. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Toss pasta, pasta water & pesto in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Spoon pasta into warmed serving bowls or plates. Garnish with extra oregano leaves, walnuts & cheese. Serves 4 to 6.
- There’s a certain, dare I say – smugness, which comes from making pasta from scratch. And while the dried stuff in a cardboard box is perfectly acceptable for a throw-together meal, it doesn’t compare to homemade fresh pasta, pasta so good that all it requires is a rustic, uncomplicated walnut & oregano pesto.