Ok, full disclosure...I don't have a pasta drying rack. I could rig one together, but I just don't make enough homemade pasta enough for it to be a worthy purchase....plus counter space. However, I wanted to surprise Jordan with a homemade pasta dish from the Kristen Kish Cookbook called Kristen Kish Cooking, Recipes and Techniques. If you haven't heard of this chef, please take a moment to look her up. She's brilliant and my guess is you'll want to buy her cookbook once you see what she can do.
The recipe is Tagliatelle with a Champignon Sauce. Now, some of you might be asking...what the hell is tagliatelle? It's a lovely ribbon like pasta that's wider than almost any other. It's delicious and can envelope sauces and vegetables within it for a lovely, perfect bite. This recipe calls for whole wheat pasta dough, that means it mixes whole wheat and all purpose flour together.
What I've learned about pasta making is that it needs to be a slow process. Make what they call a "well". This means you mix all the flour, dump it in a pile on your clean, flat surface and then you push the flour to the side forming a volcano where you can see the flat surface and it's surrounded by flour. That's when you add the eggs....and I cannot stress this enough...slowly add the flour from the sides of your well until you've eventually mixed all the flour with egg together and a perfect dough ball forms. Then you have to rest it.
Once rested, I rolled out the dough super thin and then hand cut my pasta into the ribbons, coating them in semolina flour and laying them to dry on a cookie sheet. Because I didn't have a pasta roller, it wasn't exactly uniform, but it worked well for what I had.
In the mean time I prepared the champignon sauce which comprised of white button mushrooms, grapeseed oil, salt and I added shallots as well. The most important thing about this is to first, cut things evenly. Don't hack at the mushrooms otherwise they won't cook evenly. Second, make sure that you start cooking the shallots (if you choose to add these) first so that those gorgeous mushrooms absorb all that lovely flavor.
While this was cooking up, I salted a pot of water and started boiling it so that I could cook my pasta. Something else you should be aware of, fresh homemade pasta takes 2 min to cook. Dried, store-bought pasta takes a lot longer to cook. Once the water came to a boil, I submerged my handcrafted pasta into the water for 2 min and then pulled it out and added it immediately to the mushroom portion of the dish and finished cooking it for another minute in there.
Cheese additions were up to the eater, in this case Jordan, so I simply left it at that but it was such a delicious dish. I intend to work harder at my pasta cutting, maybe use the new pasta roller we got for our wedding, and then trying this again!