During a busy week, I love when Adam and I come home, make big bowl of homemade pasta, open a bottle of wine and just relax. There is something so comforting about the process of making the noodles, it’s one of our favorite kinds of evenings! And when, in the midst of the crazy week, you stumble across this gorgeous locally-grown bunch of purple basil at the market, you know that, one, the week is looking up and, two, this is going to be some goo-ood pasta! While regular green basil will work just fine, I encourage you to seek out the freshest and most beautiful basil you can find. (Especially if that means looking in your own garden!) You want vibrantly colored and utterly fragrant basil- that’s your mission!
Now, we made this with homemade lemon and black pepper noodles (yum!!) but there are some amazing dried noodles available that I’ve tried, either a lemon herb or lemon black pepper pasta will do. That way, you can enjoy this dish in less than half the time. No shame! My favorite is Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle, reviewed here. Also, Nashvillians, City Pasta is at the East Nashville Farmer’s Market every Wednesday with super creative freshly made pasta for sale.
We have posted our recipe for homemade pasta before. You can click over to the recipe, or I’ve included it at the end of this post. Notice a few adaptations from last time: whole wheat flour works great, but I used unbleached all purpose flour for these noodles. You get a smoother consistency in the dough. Also, you’ll want to add zest of one lemon and 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper to the food processor when making the dough.
Purple Basil Pesto (vegan): 1 cup packed basil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 2 T olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 2 cloves roasted garlic, 1 T pine nuts
Add the basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and pine nuts to the food processor. Place a small skillet over high heat to quick “roast” the garlic. With the skin on, place garlic in the hot skillet. Turn it over a few times. The skin will turn brown/black and the garlic will feel soft. Carefully (it’s hot!) peel away the skin and add the fragrant garlic to the food processor. As you blend everything together, slowly drizzle the olive oil in through the spout. You may have to stop and scrape the sides a couple of times. Then, the pesto is done!
While the noodles are drying and being cut by Chef Adam, I’m going to set the table. I love incorporating herbs from the yard into any arrangement I do. I just quickly added some lavender and some purple basil in with other clippings from the yard. Light a few candles, pull out all things purply from from the pantry and you’re ready. The pasta boils for just a few seconds. After draining in a colander, drizzle some olive oil over the noodles. To serve, fill a bowl with fresh noodles, top with a solid dollop of fresh pesto, then generously add cracked black pepper and lemon zest. You cannot beat the fragrant freshness of this dish. It’s comfort food, it’s I-can’t-believe-how-fancy-we-are-food, it’s fresh food- it’s all kinds of good!
1 3/4 cups Un-bleached All-Purpose Flour, reserve 1/4 cup for adjusting dough consistency
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 Large Brown Eggs
1 1/2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
Directions: (adapted from The Pasta Book)
Add 1 1/2 Cups Flour and 1/4 Teaspoon Salt to food processor. Pulse to mix. Crack 3 Eggs into separate mixing bowl with the 1 1/2 Teaspoons Olive Oil. Add Eggs and Olive Oil to food processor, and process until thoroughly moistened. If too sticky, add 1 Tablespoon of the reserved flour to the processor at a time. Flour a work surface and flatten ball of dough into a disk. Knead dough for about 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth. Let the dough rest and cover with a bowl for 15 minutes. Set up the pasta machine. Cut ball of dough into 3 equal pieces. One at a time, flatten dough into a disk. Begin feeding into pasta machine, set at the widest setting. Continue to feed each piece through, narrowing the setting every few runs. For fettuccine, roll out to 1/16 inch width. Cut pasta into workable sheets which will then be fed through the pasta cutting attachment. Allow pasta to dry for 15 minutes on a pasta rack. To cook, bring salted water to a rolling boil. Add fresh pasta and cook for about 30 seconds to minute, stirring gently, until pasta is al dente. Drain immediately.
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