Cold, dreary, windy, blergh. That’s how I feel about winter. It’s not exactly the perfect weather to be out and about in, but what it is perfect for, is a cosy romantic date night snuggled up at home. This doesn’t have to be a romantic date night either, I would happily recreate this with a best friend for a fun girlie night in.
So what pray tell I am talking about? Pasta making of course! I have always wanted to make my own pasta, but it has always appeared so daunting. I can’t believe, in hindsight, how easy it was. Fiddly and time consuming yes, but oh so simple in terms of the actual process. The perfect activity to giggle, drink and enjoy with another. I grabbed my other half, and rolled up my sleeves. Here’s how we went.
What you’ll need
- Rolling pin (we used a wine bottle, which worked just as well!)
- Beautiful bottle of cab sav (of course)
- Marjoram or oregano
So the night should always start with the pouring of a glass of red, and a good Italian sound track for inspiration. Obviously.
Next, prepare yourself a nice clean surface, we opted for the coffee table.
Pour yourself and your partner two cups of flour each and sculpt into a little mound, create a little indent in the middle, and crack in two eggs.
Gently fold the egg into the flour and start kneading the dough together.
Grab your rolling pin, or in our case wine bottle – which was all the more comical – and start rolling out the dough. Use flour to lubricate where needed.
Roll, roll, roll. And continue rolling until you get your dough to just a few millimeters in width.
We wanted to recreate the most incredible pasta we had while living abroad ( found in London would you believe). Quick shout out to Padella in Borough Market, for opening our eyes to the magical world of pici cacio e pepe.
The technique to creating the pici shape is, cut off small slithers of your pasta which should be looking like this around about now:
And then roll the 2mm long strip into a circular tube.
Once complete, it will look a little bit like this:
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt.
It’ll take about 4-5 minutes to cook your pici through.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil and about 2 bulbs of garlic in a pan.
Add a generous slick of butter, black pepper and a tablespoon of oregano along with a splash of pasta water.
On a low heat, let the ingredients melt into one another and when your pasta is ready, drain, and add to you frypan.
Add the cheese, but don’t stir too much, let it melt into the pasta to avoid it getting stringy and clumpy.
One it’s melted, stir away! It should end up looking something like this:
Aka, UM YUM.
In conclusion, we got flour everywhere, we belly laughed our way through so many versions of “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin, and our wrists got sore from so much dough rolling. But the end result, was a delicious cheesy bowl of pasta. This date night isn’t for everyone, If you don’t enjoy cooking in the first place, It probably isn’t your idea of fun. But we are both wannabe chefs, so this was right up our alley.
Next time we’re thinking something a bit more intricate, perhaps ravioli.
Happy winter dating friends.