Matsata Makaronia

Plain Pasta Ribbons

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes 1 pound ; for

    3 or 4

    servings

Appears in

ON FOLEGANDROS, the most popular dish served at tavernas is ribbons of fresh pasta, rolled out on the spot with a long, thin rolling pin and served simply dressed with tomato sauce and the local cheese. Women usually make the pasta with a combination of flour from the very hard starenio wheat and some commercial all-purpose flour. I have used fine semolina instead of the hard-wheat starenio flour. The sheets do not have to be rolled very thin, so this is a pasta you can make without a machine.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • Salt
  • About 1 cup water
  • Grated hard myzithra, kefalotyri or pecorino Romano cheese
  • Basic Tomato Sauce, warmed

Method

Place the flour, semolina and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. With the motor running, slowly pour in enough water to make a firm but not hard dough. As soon as the dough forms a ball, turn off the processor and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Process for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Knead the dough briefly, sprinkling it with a little more flour if needed, until very smooth. Cover and let rest for about 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface as thin as possible. Let the pasta dry for just 5 to 10 minutes; it should still be soft enough to fold without cracking.

Sprinkle each pasta sheet lightly with flour and roll it up loosely like a cigar. Cut into ⅓-inchwide slices to make strands of pasta. Carefully untangle the strands and let dry on a kitchen towel for 1 to 2 hours.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender; drain.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and serve immediately.

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