November 15, 2011

Pasta With Sage & Pinenuts

November 15, 2011
Some years ago I saw a documentary film about student life around the world. The students lived in various establishments, had different hobbies and hairstyles. But there was one thing that united them: pasta! In every nook and corner of the planet, the younger generation is nurtured by it. It is economic and effortless to make, and it fills the belly. In Italy it may be served as the first course of a dinner but, for the kids, it is the dinner. In fact, it often is the breakfast, lunch and dinner!
pasta1pasta2
There are countless types of pasta for sale. None of them competes with the home made one. The taste of grain dominates fresh pasta. It is soft, round and comforting. It doesn’t have to be soaked in a spicy sauce as a shy decoration. It has a strong character. Once you try it, there is no return to the mass produced one. A conveyor belt won’t ever replace a human touch, even in making pasta! Most likely there isn’t a jolly Italian mamma pushing a slab of dough through the machine.

To make pasta from scratch is simple. The dough can be made in advance and stored in the fridge. A small family doesn’t need a pasta-maker. To roll and cut two to four portions by hand is a small and fun task. Feeling the grains on the fingertips makes us rooted in the moment we live. It is an experience of now. What a transient resource at this day and age!

Italians may be strict about making pasta from durum wheat flour and semolina, but the rest of us can relax. We may use wholegrain spelt or wheat, rye, buckwheat, millet, chickpea flour or combinations of them. As long as the dough is pliable, it will be fine. There is no limit to creativity regarding the shapes or lengths of pasta. The only important point to remember is not to overcook it. Those of us who always thought al dente means to give a call to a dentist; it is time to shift the paradigm. It means firm to the bite. Or, something like that :-)!
pasta5Pasta-re1pasta4Pasta-re2
pasta3pasta-sage
Sage-R1Sage-R2
Thanks.
A new feature on the blog: by clicking the recipe it will open as a printable document.

28 comments:

  1. Beautiful story, photos and a delicious looking pasta recipe! So drool-worthy that I'm convinced enough to make pasta from scratch... Soon, I hope :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree, if i go back home to India my sisters two kids love pasta and if I look to my daughter i think she so much oftne makes pasta for dinner in her place ( she is in college).
    Delicious looking pasta.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful presentation! And hing in a pasta - that's a unique touch!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hah, hah...Divya Yadava, you'd be surprised where I don't put hing :-). We don't use onions or garlic, and have figured out that hing does a good job in giving an edge whenever it is needed. It is not a dominant taste, but a supporting one. Italians would faint if they knew :-)!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Who else can make pasta look so gorgeous and sexy?! :-) Love the addition of Sage!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's been far too long since I've made pasta. I think it's time that I do something about that.

    Lovely recipe, photographs... your site is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have a gorgeous blog! the pictures are stunning!
    I like the addition of hing in pasta, something I could never come up with.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have made whole wheat pasta at home by hand (and blogged it) and I loved the whole experience!

    Once again... beautiful photos :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am sooo making this delicious and healthy looking pasta as soon I get back to my home in December. Love, love, love your blog Lakshmi.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the sense of humour in your responses and your take on life in general. Actually , I saw this first up in the morning when there were still no comments yet but was stuck in the morning rush...making our huge south Indian breakfasts and couldnt respond! Am awestruck at the simplicity and elegance of this dish! Fantabulous creation!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You have read a kid's mind. My girls LOVE pasta:)Who who else can dry pasta on a branch other than you Lakshmi:) Really unique styling! and creative of course. Simple and delicious with a sprinkle of gorgeousness.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I imagine you as one of the elves in fantasy land spinning stories and here you are making pastas!! Yes, we make it too but not these, but the Indian dal dhoklis which I imagine is a kind of pasta too.:)

    As always great piece of writing! Lakshmi, you know? Now even my daughter looks up your blog!! You are getting addictive.:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Harini: :-) Greetings from the Elfland to you and your daughter! And now I will tiptoe to sprinkle some dream-dust to my husbands eyes, so that he will sleep well tonight....

    ReplyDelete
  14. So beautiful! Making pasta at home is one of my favorite things and I always try to mix it up by using a variety of different flours. I'm adding this to my must-try list.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ohh my mmy... gorgeous lakshmi... Hanging Pasta like this... :))

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pictorial representation of making pasta from scratch, wonderful! Very nice clicks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your pasta is beyond gorgeous. I never would have thought making rye pasta--such a good idea! The most creative homemade pasta I've ever made was with chickpea flour. It was very interesting, nice texture, and very filling from all the protein.

    Love the print feature! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. hing in pasta seems like just the thing to do to make it Desi. Gorgeous pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Refreshingly healthy! perfect with some wine!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's like you read my mind! I was just thinking of delving into making home made pasta. This is just the push that I needed :) You mentioned chickpea flour - is this something you've tried before? I'm in India for the next few months and still getting used to flour substitutions so whatever suggestions you'd have would be helpful. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Would you happen to remember the name of the documentary? It sounds very interesting!

    Lovely post, I'm excited to try this out on my family as well.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Aaisha, I've tried chickpea flour mixed with other flour, not alone. Sevian noodles are made with chickpea flour, but they are crunchy. I would imagine you could make pasta out of khandvi dough. That would be creative! To be honest with you, if I were in India, I wouldn't bother with pasta! There are so many wonderful local preparations to cook.

    Jessi, sorry, I don't remember. It was a Finnish film.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I made pici a few times by hand, but it was a pain. Then I got a pasta maker for my birthday and now I make whole spelt pasta all the time. It's so fun! I always use eggs (1 egg per 100 grams flour) which I don't really like to do, so I'll definitely try this the next time.

    I'm one of those people who like to overcook pasta. I like it really overdone. I read that this is bad because the pasta loses a lot of its nutritional value but crunchy pasta just isn't very tasty. Oh well. Thanks for the recipe! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh and the pictures are super amazing, but I guess that these words mean nothing from me because I say them on every post of yours. But it's true. They're really breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
  25. You have taken the fear out of making pasta from scratch for me... I will give this a try. I love your blog! Beautiful presentation and photos!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Val-paL - Great! Making pasta is simple. Do it once or twice, and you'll grasp the idea. Sooner than you realize, you will be making ravioli and lasagna!

    ReplyDelete
  27. i just made this tonight. it smelled and tasted so wonderful! thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete