Homemade Spaghetti



Mom, can I have store-bought spaghetti?

In the time-honored tradition of your kids never liking what you cook: I told my son recently that he could pick out a treat at the store, and he asked me to buy store-bought spaghetti, instead of making my own at home as I usually do. It's true that commercial spaghetti has that marvellous symmetry and uniformity, and it's thinner than my noodles, but I have to say that unlike my son, I like my own noodles better. Plus, they're cheaper :)

How to make spaghetti:

As for crackers, mix three cups of flour, a cup of water, 1/3 cup of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out on to a floured surface, and knead the dough for about five minutes, until it is smooth and stretchy.

Put on a pot of water to boil, and divide the dough into two balls. Roll out one of the balls as thin as you can get it, about 1/16 of an inch thick. Use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel (but a pizza wheel is a lot easier) to cut the dough into thin noodles. They'll be uneven, but that's okay. Scoop up the noodles into a mass and repeat with the other half of the dough. When the water boils, toss the noodles in, cook for five minutes, and drain.

After some practice, this is faster than making commercial noodles, because the fresh noodles cook so much faster than the dried ones, and you were going to have to boil the water anyway.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Naturally vegan, and great when you put pesto or tomato sauce or ratatouille on it. If you don't mind meat, try the leek and pancetta sauce, too.