I don't remember what compelled me to start making pasta, but it's become a sort of obsession of mine. There's nothing quite like the taste, of course, but there's also something addicting about the pasta-making process itself. It's all-consuming yet meditative; you get lost in the act. And have you seen the tons of shapes out there that are possible for even us home cooks to make? Like these farfalle for example.
Pasta is actually pretty easy to make by hand. I recently got married and was fortunate enough to receive a pasta roller as a wedding gift. But I made this farfalle before that, and it came out perfectly. Just remember, as long as you put some muscle into your roll, you'll be fine. —Linda
Mix the all-purpose flour and semolina flour together, then make a volcano-like mound of flour on your work surface. Crack the eggs into the hollow and sprinkle with salt. Then, using a fork, gently stir the eggs, incorporating the flour from the walls of the volcano little by little. Once the dough has become workable by hand -- a fair amount of flour will have been worked in -- use your hands to incorporate the rest of the loose flour. When the dough has come together smoothly, knead the ball for about 5 minutes. If it's feeling moist, incorporate some more flour into the dough. You want to end up with a ball that's not sticky, but still soft. Cover the ball of dough and let it relax for about 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into four pieces. Keeping the unworked dough covered, take a piece and begin rolling it out with a rolling pin, keeping its shape roughly rectangular. You want it to end up thin, about 1 millimeter in width. Using a sharp knife, slice the pasta into pieces that are about 1 1/2 x 1 inch. Along the long side, pinch each rectangle in the middle very hard. Congrats, you just made pasta! Place the farfalle on a baking sheet liberally dusted with flour and keep it covered. Continue in the same fashion with the rest of the dough. If you want to dry out the pasta, simply leave it out overnight covered with a dish towel.
The fresh pasta should cook up in about 2 to 3 minutes. The dried pasta will take about the same amount of time as the stuff you get at the grocery store.
My family's from Sichuan, so I have an unparalleled appreciation for Chongqing-style hot pot, fuqi feipian (room temp beef and offal dressed in a really spicy sauce), and pretty much anything doused in red.
I also like tart foods. More lime juice please.