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Homemade Pasta

September  13, 2016 - Radio Kitchen - Homemade Pasta

To say that we are living under an avalanche of fresh Maryland tomatoes is quite an understatement.  They are everywhere, and each year we see more and more varieties. 

One way of storing away this abundance is to put up tomato sauce, something we have talked about on this show before. 

And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino, of Schola Cooking School has noted, if we're going to talk about home made tomato sauce, sooner or later we're going to have to talk about home made pasta.

Jerry distinguishes between pasta that is made in the typical roller machine, like the Atlas, and the tubular kind of pasta that is made by an extrusion machine.  He has both recipes below.

                                    The Art of Making Pasta

                    Chefs Amy von Lange & Jerry Pellegrino

Pasta, one of the most satisfying foods in the world, is rarely made at home fresh anymore.  We typically buy the dried version in the store, which is a good substitute, but certainly different from its fresh counterpart. 

Pasta Sizes – from thinnest to widest:

  • Vermicelli
  • Capellini (Angel Hair)
  • Spaghetti
  • Linguine
  • Fettuccini
  • Pappardelle

Basic Pasta Recipe


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 4 eggs

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the eggs and olive oil and mix until the dough has been formed.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and kneed for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough and cut it according to the pasta maker’s directions.

For herb scented pasta: purée 3 tablespoons of your favorite fresh herbs with the olive oil.

For Porcini Mushroom flavored pasta: remove three tablespoons of floor and add 3 tablespoons of porcini powder.

Extrusion pasta basic recipe – this works great in all types of extruders and for every shape.


Basic Ratio - 1kg dry : 330ml wet : 10gr fine sea salt

The salt is for the chemical reaction only, not seasoning and we never us kosher salt to make this pasta because it’s loaded with anti-caking chemicals

Dry should only be semolina or 70% semolina 30% “00”flour (we’ve used AP flour and it works just fine) But, never less than 70% semolina

Wet can be eggs, puréed veggies, squid ink, water, etc. – we like to use 3 large eggs with the balance being made up with water.

There is no reason to put oil in extrusion dough.

You can try to mix this dough in a bowl, but we find it easier to just add the dry ingredients to a food processor fit with the chopping blade and add the wet while the machine is running.

The dough is going to be very dry and that’s important.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and forcibly need it into a dough ball.

Allow it to rest for 15 minutes then push it through an extruder according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bolognaise Sauce


  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb. ground beef or beef short ribs
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper and sugar

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot set over medium high heat until just smoking. 
  2. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper and rosemary.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook with occasional stirring until the onions begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the meat and cook until brown.
  5. Add the cans of tomatoes and two cans of water.
  6. Bring to a boil with regular stirring making sure nothing burns on the bottom of the pot.
  7. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the sauce until the desired consistency is reached.  Stir the sauce regularly.  This may take many hours.
  8. Adjust the seasoning with salt pepper and sugar.

Alfredo Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup Béchamel sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 cup heavy cream or as needed
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and white pepper

  1. In a sauce pan set over medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
  3. Add the béchamel sauce and warm gently. 
  4. Gradually add enough heavy cream to reach the desired thickness.
  5. Season with salt and white pepper and serve warm over pasta.

Béchamel Sauce

  • 2 cups milk or half & half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thick slice of onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour

  1. In a sauce pan, gently heat the milk, bay leaf and onion. Remove from the heat just as it boils and allow it to steep, covered, for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the milk though a china cap and discard the flavoring ingredients.
  3. Melt the butter over low heat in a sauce pan.
  4. Add the flour and stir briskly until the mixture is smoothly blended, but without allowing it to change color.
  5. Gradually stir in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Season with salt and white pepper.

Fresh Tomato Cream Sauce


  • 8 ripe tomatoes, seeded, peeled and puréed in a food processor
  • 10 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. “Hang” the tomatoes in a china cap set over a stock pot in the refrigerator for at least two hours or up to over night.
  2. In a large sauté pan set over medium high, heat the oil until just smoking.
  3. Add the onions and garlic and cook with constant stirring until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes
  4. Add the lemon juice, zest and white wine and reduce the liquid until only about two tablespoons are left.
  5. Add the tomatoes and heavy cream and cook just until heated.
  6. Add the basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve over warm pasta immediately.

Puttanesca Sauce


  • 10 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 4 anchovy filets or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, broken up and drained
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

  1. In a large sauté pan set over medium high, heat the oil until just smoking.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook with constant stirring until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. Add the lemon juice, zest, white wine and tomatoes.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until warm through.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve over warm pasta.

For the Goat Cheese Ravioli Filling


  • 2 cups fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Black pepper, freshly ground

  1. In a large bowl, cream the goat cheese with the back of a large spoon.
  2. Stir in the chives and black pepper.

Spinach Pasto


  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper

  1. In a small sauce pan set over low heat*, cook the whole garlic cloves in the olive oil until aromatic and soft, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a blender, add the spinach, pistachios olive oil and garlic cloves. Turn on the blender. Add additional olive oil if the pesto is too thick. Pour into a mixing bowl and whisk in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

*Extra Virgin Olive Oil starts to loose it’s aromatics at temperatures above 140°F. We’ve found that poaching the garlic in the olive at 160°F allows the garlic to cook and the olive oil to retain most of its beautiful aromas and taste. We use a digital induction burner to hold the temperature ay 160°F for one hour and the results are amazing! You can use a candy thermometer to try and adjust the heat on the burner to stay around 160°F.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.