I feel like I was an Italian woman in my past life because whenever I’m in the kitchen, I always want to cook Italian food! I love how simple and rustic Italian food is but somehow it’s always so full of flavour. Taylor, myself and his family visited Italy last summer and I have never ate so well in my entire life. I’m convinced I came back 15 pounds heavier from all the pizza, fresh pasta and gelato we consumed. It was all worth it though. Coming back, Taylor and I were inspired and started making fresh pasta together!
When Taylor and I first started making pasta, the thought of it was daunting. I thought it was going to be time consuming and super challenging. So why bother making fresh pasta when you can just buy a box of ready-made pasta for under $5. Well my friends, number one.. you haven’t lived until you’ve tried fresh pasta and number two.. it’s so rewarding eating something you worked so hard at that it just tastes that much better. Fresh pasta also has a different mouth feel, it’s tender and springier than dried pasta. I’m telling you, it’s life-changing and totally worth it!
SO when the PC Black Label June box dropped and there was PC Black Label “00” Farina for Pasta, I knew I had to make it for you! In the box, there were also the PC Black Label Roasted Cherry Tomatoes in Oil with Garlic, Oregano and Basil which sounded delicious and were soaked in olive oil (obviously, I was adding this to my pasta dish) AND there was also a jar of PC Black Label Sambal Matah Sweet Chili Condiment which is a sweet chili condiment.. but don’t let the name fool you because I tried it on it’s own and it was flavourful but not the kind of sweet I was thinking lol, I immediately ran to the fridge for a glass of milk.
Here’s what you’ll need.
- PC Black Label “00” Farina
- Extra large eggs
- 2 hot Italian sausages
- 1 cayenne chili pepper
- 1 bunch of rapini
- PC Black Label Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh mozzarella
- Parmesan cheese
This fresh pasta is made up of only 3 ingredients: 00 flour, salt and eggs and you don’t need any fancy equipment to make orecchiette either! Just your hands, a fork and a butter knife!
Making the Pasta Dough:
Start by making a large well in the middle of the flour and sprinkle some salt over top. Separate the egg yolks and add the eggs into the well. With a fork, beat the eggs until it’s well beaten and start incorporating the flour into the egg mixture. When the dough starts to form, that’s when you can start getting your hands dirty! Continue to work the dough until all the flour is worked in. It might feel like there’s not enough moisture in the dough but there is! Just keep kneading it. I worked the dough for a good 10 minutes (it’s a great arm workout, haha). Don’t be afraid that you’re overworking the dough, that’s the whole point!
Once the dough comes together, you have two options. You can throw the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and let it go on low for 8-10 minutes. OR you can continue to knead the dough by hand for 15-ish minutes, if you really want to get your workout in! Either way, you’ll end up with the same result. You just want the ball of dough to be smooth and elastic-y.
Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.
It always surprises me the colour when I come back to the dough after 30 minutes. When you see your ball of dough is a rich egg yolk colour, it’s beautiful and smooth, I start talking to myself like.. wow I actually made that!
At this point, you can make whatever pasta shape you want but how cute are these orecchiette shapes! They translate to “little ears” in Italian! Cut your dough in half and then into 8 equal pieces, wrap any dough you’re not currently working on in plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.
Lightly flour your surface and roll into 1cm thick logs and cut into 1cm squares. With your butter knife (not serrated) push down firmly on the square and drag the dough towards you until it wraps around the knife. Then push your thumb through the centre of the dough to flip it inside out and you have orecchiette!
I must have tried with 30 pieces of dough before I started to get the hang of it and then the rest was easy peasy!
This orecchiette pasta isn’t a saucy one but it’s full of flavour! I love the combination of the spicy Italian sausage with the sweetness of the roasted cherry tomatoes. (I also cooked the sausages in the olive oil the tomatoes were soaking it.) The fresh and bitterness of the rapini, the saltiness of the parmesan and the creaminess of the mozzarella.. pretty much a sensory overload but I promise you’ll love it!
I love making this orecchiette pasta for weekend family dinners because it’s easy to make a big batch of it and it’s always a crowd pleaser!
Easiest Fresh Pasta Recipe
How to make the best fresh pasta.
- 2 cups PC Black Label Farina "00" flour
- 2 extra large eggs
- 4 extra large egg yolks
- 1 tsp salt
On a large clean surface, add the flour, sprinkle the salt and create a large well in the centre. Add the eggs and the egg yolks to the well.
With a fork, carefully start beating the eggs until it's well beaten. Start incorporating the flour into the centre to mix with the eggs. Keep mixing until the mixture starts coming together.
Use your hands to knead the dough until all the flour has worked into the dough. At first, it may seem very dry as thought it may not come together but keep working the dough and it should come together.
You can continue to knead the dough by hand for 15 minutes or throw it in a stand mixer with the dough attachment and set it on low for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic-y but not sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
After the dough has rested, cut the dough into 8 pieces. Start with the first pieces and keep the rest of the dough wrapped in plastic so it doesn't dry out.
Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into about 1 cm long log. Cut the log into 1 cm squares. Using the side of a butter knife (not serrated) push down on the square and drag the dough towards you (firmly but not too hard, you may tear the dough), until the dough wraps around the knife. Then push turn the dough inside out using your thumb.
Sprinkle lightly with flour and place on parchment paper to dry out.
Repeat those steps for the rest of the dough. Make big batches and freeze them for another time!
This recipe was adapted from Serious Eats.
Sausage, Tomato and Rapini Orecchiette
Delicious orecchiette pasta with spicy sausage, rapini, and roasted cherry tomatoes.
- 2 hot Italian sausages taken out of the casing
- 1 cayenne chili pepper sliced
- 2 cups rapini roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella diced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 jar PC Black Label Roasted Cherry Tomatoes in olive oil
- 1 batch fresh orecchiette pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, boil water for the pasta. When the water has boiled, add salt until it tastes like the ocean. Add the orecchiette pasta and cook for about 8-10 minutes until they're soft and spring-y but still al-dente. Set aside 1/2 a cup of pasta water.
In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil from the jar that the roasted tomatoes are soaking in.
Take the sausages out of the casing and break it up into the pan. Cook the sausages until they are nicely browned. Add the sliced cayenne peppers and sauté.
Stir in the roughly chopped rapini, cook for about 3-5 minutes until they're soft but still have a bite to them. Add about 1/2 of the roasted tomatoes for the jar.
Toss in the cooked orecchiette pasta, add the diced mozzarella and parmesan and heat through.
Add a splash of the pasta water if the pasta starts to look a little dry and finish with a drizzle of the roasted tomato olive oil.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Have you ever tried making fresh pasta from scratch before? Does this recipe inspire you to #PlayWithYourFood? If you guys do make this recipe, make sure to tag me on Instagram (@my.miaou), I’d love to see!
If you liked this recipe, check out my other delicious PC Black Label recipes:
For more inspiration and if you want to check out more PC Black Label Collection products, visit pc.ca/blacklabel. Happy Cooking!
This blog post was sponsored by President’s Choice. All opinions and suggestions are 100% my own.