Tag Archives: Dough

Black Pepper Pasta

This weekend I was reminded how simple it is to make fresh pasta.  As I was flipping through Mario Batali’s The Babbo Cookbook for inspiration, I decided to use his recipe for a variation on a basic pasta dough.


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

4 extra large eggs

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper

Mound the flour in the center of your work surface.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs, olive oil and black pepper.  Beat the eggs, oil and pepper together with a fork, then incorporate the flour starting from the inside rim of the well.  Expand the well by continuing to incorporate flour while making sure to retain the shape of the well.  As the dough comes together, knead with the heels of your hands.  Push aside any floury bits that do not incorporate, sprinkle more flour on your work surface and knead for about 5 minutes.

Pasta Dough

The dough will be slightly sticky but should not stick to your hands.  Place the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Pasta Drying

Roll out the dough into your desired shape…We rolled the dough through the thinnest setting on our pasta machine and then rolled it through the fettuccine attachment.

This recipe makes about one pound of pasta.  Half of this recipe was more than enough to serve as a side to a braised rabbit for two.

My new goal – enjoy a homemade pasta once a week.  Abbondanza!

Rough Winter Tart

Try this tart with fruit that you have on hand on a snow day.  I used apples, jarred Bing cherries, clementines and raisins, and the combination proved to be a good one!

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 stick chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

Filling Ingredients:

2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (Pink Lady preferred)

12 Bing cherries, pitted (Tillen Farms preferred)

Small handful of candied pecans, roughly chopped

Small handful of raisins

2 clementines, cut into segments

2 tablespoons maple sugar

1 egg beaten

Tart Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Mix the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for several hours until it is firm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough into a circle until it is about ¼ inch thick and place it on a baking sheet.

Tart Filling

Arrange the apples in the center of the dough, leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of dough uncovered.  Arrange the other fruit on top of the apples.  Sprinkle with maple sugar.  Fold up the uncovered outer edge of the dough and pinch so that it stays overtop the fruit.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Remove the tart from the baking sheet and place it on a cooling rack.

Rough Tart When ready to serve, slice and plate standing alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Dough Ball Pizza

1 Dough Ball = 2 Thin Crust Pizzas or 3 Thinner Crust Pizzas

My friend Vino makes the best thin crust pizza – it’s crispy, bubbly and cheesy.  This summer I practiced Vino’s process of dividing a dough ball into smaller dough balls to create the desired “thinness”.  This recipe will make two or three pizzas, depending on your definition of thin.


1 ball of pizza dough

1 box of Pomi strained tomatoes (or tomato puree if Pomi is not available)

Several colorful heirloom tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 package of mozzarella, grated

1 wedge of Gruyère cheese, grated

1 bunch of scallions, chopped

Fresh basil

Extra virgin olive oil

Fresh ground black pepper

Sea salt

Like Vino, I buy dough balls at Serpes Bakery in Elsmere, Delaware.  If Serpes is not in your neighborhood, you should be able to find similar dough balls at your local Italian bakery.

Divide the dough ball into two or three pieces, and form the pieces into smaller balls.  Let these rise under a kitchen towel to three times their original size.  At this point, “punch” down the balls and use a floured rolling pin to roll out each ball into a round crust about 12 inches in diameter, incorporating flour and stretching the dough as you roll.  You can store these pizza crusts in the freezer for later use.  In fact, the crusts slide off the pizza peel more easily if they are frozen.

To make the marinara sauce for the pizza, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and three cloves of garlic in a pan over medium heat until the garlic is pale gold.  Add the strained tomatoes, and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add some freshly chopped basil and stir with a wooden spoon.  Bring the sauce to a bubble and then turn down the heat to simmer.

Place a pizza stone on the grill or in the oven and preheat to about 550 to 600 degrees.  When the stone has reached the desired temperature, remove the crust from the freezer.  Place the crust on a pizza peel that has been dusted with flour to ensure that the pizza slides onto the stone.  Ladle sauce over the crust, then top with the mozzarella and chopped scallions.

Slide the pizza onto the stone and cook the thinner crust for about 5 minutes and the thicker crust for about 7 minutes.  The pizza is done when the crust is crisp, bubbled and browned.  Remove the pizza using the peel and place it in a large round platter to slice.

Repeat with the second crust, but top this pizza with sliced tomatoes and a combination of mozzarella and Gruyère as well as scallions.  If there is a third, consider a combination of sauce, mozzarella, Gruyère and any other cheese in your cheese drawer – Manchego, perhaps?

Crispy heirloom pizza

Crispy heirloom pizza