Just over a week ago, Marlini and I decided to make the most of having to follow the very sensible guidance and stay at home during the awful Coronavirus pandemic, and put out frustration to better use – the kitchen. So often have we complained to each other for not having enough time, too tired, or whatever, we predominantly spent our extended Easter break in the kitchen making things which we never tried before. One project was to make fresh egg pasta from scratch. I would gladly reveal what else we conjured up, but do not want to introduce a spoiler alert ;o)
Over a year ago, I was enticed by a Black Friday Deal on Amazon to purchase a Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine and convinced myself that I would be whipping up fresh pasta every weekend for life. It arrived, then took a prominent place on my dumping ground (half my kitchen table which is not used for eating when just the two of us) – and was a reminder to unbox and use. A few weeks passed by. Then a few more. I rearranged the larder to make space for it, and there it lay hidden and unused for the best part of a year. Every so often, we thought about its debut in our kitchen but the idea of using quality dried pasta just seemed quicker and far less effort.
Then, Covid-19 happened. Panic buyers emptied the shelves of pretty much every possible permutation of pasta, irrespective of brand – it, like toilet paper, became a rarer find than the Dead Sea Scrolls. Purely by chance, I had bulk bought a few bags of ’00’ flour a few weeks before, and we had a dozen eggs in the Fridge. The equation was simple:
zero dried pasta at home + we have flour + eggs = make our own!
My initial intention was to incorporate into this the whole ‘how to make fresh egg pasta from scratch‘, but came to the conclusion that making pasta itself needs to be a whole separate post. As Marlini and I started to get into the process and grow in our confidence that the output of our endeavours would not be a chewy lump of dough, we started to experiment. We have tried and (loved) Squid Ink pasta – next on the list will be Spinach. Anyhow, I digress.
As we dried and refrigerated our very first batch, the guidance we read was to consume within 2-3 days. We had a quick scout through our rapidly depleting food supplies and found exactly what I thought was sufficient to whip up a really quick and easy lunch whilst working from home. The other condition I set myself was that I wanted to minimise unnecessary washing up (I must admit I can work my way through a lot of pots, pans and utensils when cooking). I settled for doing this all in a single large saucepan – a discipline I really want to keep for future dishes.
I have now made this Fettuccine, anchovy, garlic, and lemon pasta recipe three times, each with a very slight variation and have settled on the below as the preferred. Note of caution: please be aware that heat in chilli, either fresh or dried can vary significantly. So much so, the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) Scale is used to range chilli pepper heat from mildest to hottest (0 – 16,000,000) – do careful with what you buy. I am still working through a bag of dried chilli Flakes we bought in Sicily three years ago, and even though I do not know the Scoville scale score, I can tell you that you will know that just one heaped teaspoon of this is in it.
Finally, whist this recipe suggests using Fettuccine pasta – the initial reason was because this is what we made. Similar dishes with suggest Linguine, but based on the huge shortage everywhere during the Coronavirus pandemic, please do adapt. Fusilli, Spaghetti, Penne – or pretty much anything you can find at the moment should be absolutely fine – though I do draw the line at sheets of lasagna ;o)
This is a really quick and easy dish which you can whip up from scratch in 15 minutes or so and should hopefully keep hunger at bay at lunch or when in need of a quick evening meal.
Fettuccine with anchovy, garlic, and lemon
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, heaped
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely sliced and chopped
- 1 tin anchovy fillets in oil, drained, fillets separated, and chopped
- 250 grams Fettucine pasta, fresh, if possible
- 1 zest whole lemon, unwaxed
- 2 tsp non-pareil capers, heaped
- 1 bunch large flat parsley, chopped
- Bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to the boil, add the Fettuccine pasta and cook until al dente. Strain paste in a colander and set aside.
- Reduce to medium heat, then add olive oil to the same saucepan, add the chilli flakes, lemon zest, and stir through for a minute or so.
- Next add the chopped garlic to the olive oil and garlic, and stir for a further 2-3 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add the nonpareil capers, chopped anchovy fillets, and stir through for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat, add half the strained Fettucine, mix through thoroughly, followed by the second half of the pasta, and the chopped parsley making sure that everything is evenly stirred through.
- Transfer to warmed pasta bowls, add a generous grind of black pepper, and add shavings of fresh parmesan cheese.