Sometimes I’m skeptical when it comes to certain ingredients. Like store-bought pesto against homemade pesto or vanilla beans and vanilla extract. Is one really better than the other? I have the same argument with pasta and I’m sure some people would scream that fresh is way better than dried, but personally I think it has more to do with the process of making your own pasta or pesto.
Homemade pasta with mozzarella
Just before Christmas my wife attended a friend’s pasta party and everyone made pasta with a chef. She swore it tasted way better than regular dried pasta and we had to buy a pasta machine. I, on the other hand, had visions of it never being used and gathering dust in a cupboard beside the left-handed pizza cutter.

I eat my words…

Actually, fresh pasta does taste fantastic. But I’m not going to knock dried pasta. There’s just not enough time to mix up a fresh batch every time. It’s not just the flavor of the fresh pasta, but the fact that it’s something made by you! A bit like making bread, you start from scratch and mix, knead, roll and mold until you eventually get to enjoy it on your fork. It’s a labor of love, but that’s how cooking is sometimes. From a gumbo to a coq au vin and even the Thanksgiving turkey, we take the extra time cook like this because this kind of flavor can’t be repeated from a box.

Fresh homemade pasta dough
Did you know King Arthur Flour doesn’t just make regular old flour? They have a huge range of products from gluten free flour to pumpernickel. They also have an organic flour line – check them out here. King Arthur sent me a sample of their perfect pasta flour – yup they even have a pasta flour. It was easy to use and with only three ingredients to mix together – flour, eggs and water – it’s almost foolproof. I kept it simple by adding some fresh mozzarella balls, olives, cherry tomatoes, basil and pecorino romano. 
You can try making your own pasta since King Arthur Flour have offered to send some to one special person. Along with a cool dough whisk and a bench scraper. I added a jar of Dave’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce so you have no excuses but to make the perfect meal!
Fresh pasta hanging to dry
 
 
Dried fresh pasta
Pasta sauce
 

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Recipe for homemade pasta-

1 1/2 cups Perfect Pasta flour blend
2 large eggs
3-4 Tablespoons water

3 Tablespoons or more extra virgin olive oil
1 cup small mozzarella balls
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half and squashed gently
1/2 cup fresh basil, ripped or chopped
4 ounces fresh pecorino romano
Salt and black pepper

Lay your flour in a mound on a large cutting board or clean table. Using your fingers make a well in the middle so it looks like a volcano.

Crack the eggs into the center of the flour and mix gently into the flour. You can use the dough whisk or your fingers for this part. As the dough gets stiffer, add some of the water until it all comes together in a ball.

Pat it into a disc and wrap in a zip lock bag. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After it rests follow the instructions for your pasta machine.

Once you have used all of the dough, let the pasta strands dry for about 30 minutes. You can cook it now or cover it with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.

I cooked about half the pasta I made and added the rest of the ingredients after it had cooled (about 10 minutes) Toss well and grate lots of fresh pecorino romano cheese over the dish, serve at once.

King Arthur Flour provided me with a bag of Perfect Pasta blend and other accessories. All opinions and ideas are my own.

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