Made-from-scratch Pasta Dinner
Start to finish: 45 min.
4 tbsp. butter
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried majoram
1 lg. yellow onion, diced
7-8 med. tomatoes, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 c. semolina flour
1/4 -1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. balsmic vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Place lg. saucepan of lightly salted water over med. heat.
Halve baguette lengthwise, then cut ea. 1/2 into 2-6″ pcs. Spread 1 tbsp. butter over ea. pcs. of bread, topping that w/ 1/4 of minced garlic.
Reassemble bread, then wrap tightly w/ foil. Place in oven on center rack.
In lg. skillet over med. heat, combine olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano & majoram. When oil is hot, add onion & saute til just tender, about 4 min.
Add tomatoes & peppers, reduce heat to low & cook, stirring occasionally, til tomatoes break down, about 10-12 min.
Meanwhile, place semolina flour in med. bowl. Add 1/4 c. water & use fork to mix well. Once flour clumps like wet sand, begin kneading by hand inside bowl.
Continue adding water 1 tbsp. @ a time, kneading between additions, til dough is smooth, dry & soft. It should feel similar to Play-Doh. If you add too much water, simply knead in more flour.
Transfer dough to a clean, dry counter. Divide dough into about 6 equal pcs. Use your hands to roll ea. pc. into an 8″ rope. Use a knife to cut ea. rope into about a dozen equal pcs.
One @ a time, use your thumb to roll ea. pc. of dough across tines of fork, applying moderate pressure. The resulting pc. of pasta should be concave & smooth on 1 side & ridged on the other.
Alternatively, many kitchen shops sell ridged wooden boards that can be used in place of the fork. The technique is the same, but the board produces narrower, more uniform ridges.
As you make the pasta, be careful not to pile the pcs., as they will stick together. They also can be dusted w/ additional semolina flour to prevent sticking.
When you have nearly finished making the pasta, increase heat under the saucepan of water to high. Once water boils, add pasta & boil til all pcs. float, about 3 min.
Drain pasta & divide between 2 serving plates.
Stir balsamic vinegar into sauce, then season w/ salt & pepper. Top pasta w/ sauce, then remove garlic bread from oven & place pc. on ea. plate.