Sunday, April 7, 2013

Homemade Pasta with Sausage, White Bean & Roasted Tomato Sauce

I was given a hand crank pasta machine recently by a good friend of mine and I absolutely adore making homemade pasta with my family. We do it the old school way by making a flour well on the counter and cracking the eggs into it and then rolling out small pieces that get hand cranked through our machine 7 times each, till they are almost see through.

It's so exciting and satisfying to make dough and every time I do it the result is always different and we learn something new. The dough can be too sticky and not want to crank through the machine, or it can be too soft, or too tough but never fear because it's also very forgiving and any mistakes can be corrected quite easily. We like to make a whole afternoon of pasta from scratch, my daughter loves helping and it's incredibly fun, like playing with playdough!

I don't consider myself a, follow the recipe kind of girl but there are some basic rules one must follow when making pasta dough. My rules are: 1. always make a bigger batch then you think you need because there is almost always never enough, 2. make your dough a little drier than the recipe calls for, it helps "virgin" pasta makers to get it through a machine so much easier without stress or tears, 3. use semolina in your pasta dough, it makes for a textured final product that just loves to grab the sauce, 4. Have fun with it, it's dough and it's not going to bite! My dough recipe is pretty basic, we haven't played around with it at all, but I assure you that will happen at some point. If you don't have a pasta machine, don't worry you can still make homemade pasta at home, you will just have to do a little more work but it's so worth it!

Now let's talk sauce! My favorite sauce for a homemade pasta is one that is fresh and light. My local co-op had bags and bags of hydroponic, locally grown tomatoes going bad that were discounted and I bought them all up. I decided to roast them with herbs and olive oil which intensifies their flavor. Winter tomatoes are not exactly at their peak so roasting is definitely the way to go when they aren't in season. I then made these deep, intensely flavored tomatoes into a sauce with local sausage, white beans, white wine and a whole mess of mixed greens. The result was a light tomato sauce that was chunky and satisfying. It coated every strand of tender pasta making for absolute perfection!



2 Cups unbleached, organic, all purpose flour, more for work surface.
1 Cup semolina flour
4 Organic, farm raised eggs


7 or 8 Large, organic tomatoes, any kind will work.
Olive oil, for roasting tomatoes.
2 Fresh sprigs organic oregano, leaves only, chopped.
4 Fresh sprigs organic thyme, leaves only, chopped.
4 Pasture raised sausage links, casings removed, I used 5 knives sweet Italian from Vermont Smoke & Cure, click the link to see their other products and pasture raised piggies! 
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Large onion, diced.
6 Organic cloves of garlic, minced or grated.
1 Tbsp organic, dry basil
1 Tbsp organic, dry oregano
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 Cup dry white wine, I used a dry riesling but any dry white wine will work.
4 Cups organic, mixed greens, I used Olivia's Organics.
1 Cup white beans, I used Divina giant white beans in vinaigrette, but regular cannellini beans are fine.
1 Tbsp fair trade, organic, raw cane sugar
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste.



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut tomatoes in half and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Set aside.


On a clean work surface make a mound with the flours. Make a well and crack 3 of the eggs into the well. With a fork mix eggs up and slowly work the flour into the eggs, pulling from the well walls a little at a time till you start to get crumbles of dough, with your hands work the flour and eggs into a ball of dough, if your
mixture is too dry add the 4th egg and work it in. Flour your board and knead the dough till you are satisfied with the consistency and it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. If your dough seems sticky add flour while you are working and kneading it. Form a ball and cut your dough into 6 pieces.

Take a piece of dough and roll it out slightly, if you have a hand crank or electric pasta machine follow manufacturers instructions for rolling out your strips of pasta. Once you have a thin sheet cut into your favorite shape, I did a fettuccine size because it grabs the sauce well. If you do not have a pasta machine roll the dough out as thin as you can and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Sprinkle pasta with flour and lay on a cookie sheet to dry while finishing the other pieces. Repeat this process with the remaining 5 pieces. 

Bring water to boil in a large pot, salt water and add pasta. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, fresh pasta does not need long. Drain and drizzle with olive oil, set aside.


While waiting for your pasta to cook in a large sauce pan over medium high heat brown sausage in olive oil for 5 minutes. Remove, lower heat and add in onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute till soft, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let them brown. Add in dried oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and white wine and cook till the wine has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Add sausage back in and greens and continue cooking till the greens have wilted into the sauce. Add in white beans, sugar and taste for salt and pepper, season to taste.  Cook for 6 minutes to meld flavors, add in pasta and remove from heat.

Place in a large serving dish and mix well to coat pasta with sauce. Serve with parmesan or pecorino romano cheese grated over top!

Buon appetito!


  1. Yum! You are absolutely right about not adding too much moisture to the pasta flour, I too find the recipes come out too sticky if following the directions exactly. I add warm water a few drops at a time if it's too dry after kneading in the eggs. My favorite pasta shape is to take the rolled sheets and rough cut them with a pasty wheel to get little ridged edged rough cut pappardelle.

    1. Thank you! Yes we do the same thing, pasta making is def all about experimenting and having fun. We also love just making rough sheets of pasta and not using the cutter, and it's easier for the toddler to do too!