At the suggestion of my dear friend, Jean, we started a tradition that we now call 'Easter eve' dinner. After their first Easter visit, we decided it would be more enjoyable to have our big meal on Saturday night. We would follow that with a nice breakfast/brunch on Easter morning, so they could drive home at a reasonable hour. At our first Easter eve dinner I made homemade bow-tie pasta and that has become a holiday tradition.
Homemade Bow-tie Pasta with Asparagus, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Homemade Pasta (2 batches of pasta dough will yield enough for 8-10 servings)
(I always use organic vegetable if they're available)
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed and peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces (slice diagonally as they look nicer)
1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes
6 leaves of fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons
Salt and pepper to taste
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Steam the asparagus until just tender. Place in an ice bath to cool, then strain and set aside. Roast the cherry tomatoes in a 400 degree oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast until they just start to shrivel. Cut your basil leaves into thin ribbons and set aside. Place a tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter into a saute pan and add the asparagus. Saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add a tbsp of white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and the basil and cook for another minute. Set aside. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving a little bit of the pasta water, and add the pasta to the saute pan with the vegetables. Add a few tbsp of the pasta water, stirring gently to heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in a pasta bowl and garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Prepare two batches of pasta dough:
Roll out into a sheet about the thickness of thin cardboard:
Slice into 1 1/2 inch strips:
Trim the ends to make them even, reserving the ends and cutting into small pieces to freeze for later use:
Take the strips and cut into pieces so they are about an inch and a half wide by an inch high:
Using a fork dipped in flour, imprint the edges:
Dip your finger in water and place a dot in the center of each piece:
Take a piece, and using your index finger to hold down the center, pull the sides into the middle and then remove your index finger so you can squeeze the pasta into the bow-tie. (Please note: I actually took this picture before I had forked the edges.You should do that first):
Place the bow-ties on a baking sheet with parchment and flash freeze:
Once frozen, place them in plastic bags and back into the freezer:
Pasta pieces are delicious in soups. Just place in plastic bag in the freezer to use later, or you can do what I did:
I decided to cook the pasta ends to reward myself for all my hard work. After cooking them, I just tossed with butter and a little Pecorino Romano cheese:
Enjoy! Homemade pasta is a very special treat and one your guests will greatly appreciate. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite holiday traditions.