One of the unique advantages of homemade pasta is the ability to add additional ingredients to the dough, such as herbs or vegetables. I decided to add basil tonight in hopes that the strong and spicy flavor of the basil would enhance the taste of the pasta. Well, the basil flavor was much more subtle than expected. The basil did little to change the flavor of the actual pasta, however the green specks in the pasta definitely looked very appealing. In the end, I believe that the addition of basil was worth it, even if it only added to the appearance (and because "basil fettucine" sounds cooler than "plain fettucine").
|Notice the green specks of basil.|
This recipe is very flexible and can be tweaked in many ways. The exact amount of each ingredient is very flexible (the ratio of flour:egg in dough must be consistent). The amount of dough can be increased easily by using 2/3 cup flour for one large egg.
Fresh Basil Fettuccine with Herbs, Chorizo, and Cherry Tomatoes
Basil Pasta Dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
15 basil leaves (more or less)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh herbs, minced (oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, etc. I used oregano, basil and thyme this thyme)
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (more or less)
1/3 pound chorizo sausage (more or less)
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 basil leaves, sliced thinly for garnish
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Coarsely chop the basil leaves. Pulse the chopped basil and 2 tablespoons olive oil in food processor until the pieces of basil are very small. Add flour and eggs and turn processor on until the dough comes together into one ball (about 30 seconds). The dough should barley stick to the sides of the food processor. Add a couple drops water if the dough is too dry. Add 1/2 teaspoon flour if dough is too wet. Cover dough ball with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes. Dough can sit in refridgerator up to 24 hours.
Remove casing from sausage. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Cook sausage in pan over medium heat until just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside on paper towels.
Roll pasta using a pasta roller with the cutter set to fettucine.
Bring 4-quarts water to full boil. Salt water liberally with kosher salt before adding pasta (do not skip this step). Cook pasta until just al-dente, about 3 minutes for fresh fettucine.
Cook the onions with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until translucent over medium heat in large sauté pan, about 8 minutes. Add sausage, garlic, and herbs. Cook until garlic begins to turn slightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add cooked pasta. Toss the pasta with the sausage and onion mixture. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and serve immediately.