Fresh Basil Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

Homemade pasta is one of the best foods in the world. Don't argue.  

  
I've made it a number of times now, and the first few attempts were less than spectacular.  But I've finally figured it out!  It's as if Mario Batali himself taught me how to make pasta.  


Past attempts yielded stuck-together noodles (because I didn't use enough flour), oozing filled pastas (ravioli is hard), or gummy pasta (because I didn't roll it thin enough)... oh lordy.  

But the heavens parted and we were shown the light... the pasta-making light.  We were a well [olive]-oiled pappardelle-making machine.  We got the pasta rolled, cut, and cooked in about 30 minutes total, and the kitchen did not look like a state of emergency when it was time to eat. Win!


And the best part... the dish tasted amazing.  The noodles were the perfect consistency and thickness, and the sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper puree were a perfect complement to the fresh basil.  It melts in yo' mouth!

Printable recipe HERE.

Serves 4
  
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose or semolina flour (plus more for dusting)
3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil), chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup pureed roasted red peppers (or regular tomato sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the flour to a large bowl and crack the eggs in the center.  Sprinkle the minced basil on top.  Using a fork or your hands, mix together until dough is formed.  Add more flour if necessary to ensure the dough is not sticky.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes.

Separate the dough into 4 equal portions and roll out each portion into a very thin sheet using a pasta machine (or rolling pin if you're really talented).  Lay each sheet on a floured counter or cutting board and hand cut into 1/2"-wide noodles. To ensure the noodles don't stick together, boil immediately in salted water or hang them up to dry until ready to cook.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the garlic cloves, sun-dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 5 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with white wine.  Add the red pepper puree and mix together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the cooked noodles into the saute pan and stir to coat the noodles with the sauce.

Serve immediately with more basil and/or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.