Sur La Table: Cooking with Kids
Its cooking class program is one of the largest in the nation, with a lot of classes for kids!
Our friend, Gail Churinetz, is the resident chef at the new store, the first of its kind in Memphis!
Fresh Pasta Dough
Yield: 4 servings
Fresh pasta dough is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you never did it before. If you can find Italian “00” flour, use it to make very delicate, yet chewy pasta. If not, all-purpose or bread flour works really well.
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) Italian-style “00” or unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Semolina flour, for dusting pasta and surfaces
To make dough: Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Make a “well” in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs and oil. Using your fingers, blend the eggs into the flour mixture, stirring the flour in from the sides of the well and working outwards. When the pasta dough is thoroughly mixed, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and flexible but not sticky, adding small amounts of flour as needed; about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour at room temperature.
To roll out and cut dough: Secure a pasta machine to the edge of a long countertop. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into 3 pieces. Keep extra dough covered in plastic wrap while working with one piece. With a rolling pin, roll the piece of dough into a rough rectangle that will fit inside the widest setting of the pasta machine. Roll the dough through the machine, catching it with one hand as you roll with the other. Take the dough and trifold it like a letter. Turn the dough so one open end faces the machine and roll it through on the widest setting again. Fold, turn, and roll once more on the widest setting.
Continue rolling the pasta through the machine without folding, adjusting the rollers to a smaller setting each time, until the desired thickness is reached. If the pasta sheet becomes too large to handle, use a bench scraper to cut it into more manageable lengths and continue rolling.
Cut sheets to desired shapes and sizes, toss with semolina flour, and set aside covered with a clean kitchen towel. The pasta can be cooked immediately or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before use.
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Homemade Meatballs
Yield: 4 servings
You can make meatballs days ahead and freeze them until needed.
1 recipe Fresh Pasta Dough rolled into semi-thin sheets (second thinnest setting on pasta roller) and
passed through the cutter attachment for spaghetti.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
10 ounces ground beef
10 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
To prepare sauce: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. With a handheld immersion blender, puree sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. A small amount of water can be added to thin the sauce if necessary.
To prepare meatballs: In a small bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the meatball ingredients with the soaked breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. Take a small spoonful of the meatball mixture and fry it in a small skillet with a little oil until cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt if necessary. Roll meatballs to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, transfer cooked meatballs to the sauce. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until meatballs are tender.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and stir in basil leaves.
To cook pasta: Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Generously season water with salt. Add pasta to the water and stir to prevent spaghetti from sticking together. Boil until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve about one cup of pasta water and drain pasta through a colander. Transfer pasta to the skillet with the sauce and meatballs and mix well, using pasta water to loosen sauce and coat pasta as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve: Transfer to warm pasta bowls and garnish with parmesan.