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Handmade Pasta - Tomato Pasta in Garlic - Coriander Oil

Tomato pasta in Garlic oil sauce

We are big fans of Iron Chef America. It's so cool to see all the awesomely creative stuff that the chefs come up with. Every time they lay out their creations on judges table, I seriously wish I was one of the judges, so I could just taste a wee bit of those glorious dishes.

I have digress a bit here and rant... One would think, that these chef's restaurants would give you opportunities to taste some of the brilliance that they display on TV, would you not?! But, sadly, I have been disappointed every time. There is such a huge disconnect between what is actually on the restaurant menu and what is promised on shows like Iron Chef. :( Morimoto is pure genius out there but his eponymous restaurant did not stand up much to his reputation. Babbo is all about pasta and very little about Batali numerous other culinary skills

That is not to say, I have a problem with pasta. I LOVE it! And, every time Batali's team rolled out pasta on the show, I would automatically start drooling. It's not just the filling; the process of making the pasta in different shapes is such a comforting thing to watch (Am I crazy?! tell me if anyone feels the same.. Mr.FSK thinks I'm weird!)

Cut tomato pasta

So, last week, I decided to make pasta at home. I dreamt of what pasta to make and the flavors I wanted in the dish. Somewhere during the REM zone, one cold night last week, my mind decided it would be Tomato Pasta. That was the thought that was stubbornly lodged in my mind when I woke up. Now the conscious brain had to come up with a sauce that would go with that.

I did a bit of googling and couldn't believe how easy it was to make pasta from scratch. ofcourse, I don't have a pasta machine. So, it took a bit of arm strength to make the thin threads but it was pretty easy. If you are used to rolling out any kind of dough (especially Indian rotis), it isn't so bad, really. And, very therapeutic, I must, add; Let your mind wander and dwell on random things while your hands work away in a repeated synchronised motion.

Tomato pasta in Garlic oil sauce -2

To add the tomato flavor in the pasta, I just added a dollop of tomato paste (told you, super easy). Now, if you see my photo, it isn't bright red like a tomato. And, I must say, the pasta itself had just a slight hint of the tomato flavor. Next time, I am going to add more of the paste, perhaps double the amount. I would say, that would be a general rule for any fresh flavoring you want to add to the pasta. The recipe below is my assumed correction.

Since, I wanted it to be all about the pasta, I chose a simple garlic and coriander olive oil sauce. This simple sauce is super easy to make and fabulously flavorful and highlights the pasta wonderfully.

While you are thinking about comforting pasta and such, I just wanted to let you know that the Hand for Haiti e-book has been published and ready for purchase. As I mentioned before Lauren has put together a wonderful effort by collecting together 87 recipes from 71 food bloggers around the world. My Cashew Burfi is one of the recipes in there. The book is available for purchase here, for as little at $10 (you can donate any amount you want over $10). And, it gets better. The Canadian Governement has promised to match all contributions made until Feb 12 and Lauren's parents are matching upto a sum of $1000! So now people, think about all those people in Haiti who would love to have some pasta. GO.. BUY... HELP!

UPDATE: YIPEE!! My Pasta made FoodBuzz Top 9. Thanks so much!!!!!!

Handmade Tomato Pasta
(3 appetizer portions)

3/4 cup AP flour + 1/4 cup for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 T tomato paste
1 T olive oil

For the sauce:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro + more for garnish
grated cheese
1/3 cup light extra virgin olive oil

Make a pile of the flour on your work surface. Make a well in the center with walls of about an inch and a half. Whisk together the tomato paste, oil and egg. Pour into the well. Using a fork, whisk the liquid slowly pulling in the flour from outside. Continue incorporating until you get a workable dough ball.

Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough until you get a supple and pliable dough. Lightly oil your hands and knead to make a neat ball. Place on a lightly floured surface and invert a bowl over it and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes which will make the dough easier to work with.

When ready, roll the dough as thin as you can, flouring liberally as needed to ensure that the dough doesn't stick or tear. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, make strips of about a 1/4 inch or whatever thickness you desire.

it gets thin
That's how thin I managed to get it..

Bring a pot of water to boil and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook for about 5 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil on low with the garlic and cilantro till the flavors release. Do not burn the oil or the garlic. Add the cooked pasta and toss for two minutes.

Serve immediately garnished with some coriander and grated cheese.

Cut translucent pasta

Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK