Friday, June 08, 2007

butterflies and bowties

this will be the second part to my earlier post this week about orecchiette pasta. this dough, however, is made with eggs and is the standard [fortified] pasta dough of northern italy. while the dough for the orecchiette can be used as a substitute, the egg rich dough is more yellow due to the yolks and the texture a little different.

the dough, in this case, was used to make farfalle, or little butterflies. these easy to make shapes are also know as bowties and used in a haimishe (home-y) jewish comfort food dish called kasha varnishkes or kasha with bowties. left to sit out over a day or two to dry, if not cooking the same day, the pasta can be stored indefinitely for later use. the fresh ones can also be frozen after sitting out and drying a bit.

admittedly, this shape is a little more work than the orecchiette. the satisfaction you will get from having made your own, though, is well worth the hour or two of effort it takes. it is also a good project to involve kids with as they actually get to see where REAL pasta comes from!

i, again, use a combination of durum semolina and regular all purpose flour for this dough but it can be made with just all purpose or a combination of all purpose and whole wheat. i would only use a 1:1 or 2:1 combination (ap & wholewheat respectively) for a whole wheat version. too much whole wheat flour would make it impossible to roll out by hand.

farfalle or bowtie pasta


1/4 c durum semolina*
3/4 c + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg mixed with 2 tbsp water

-extra flour and water, as needed

*you can omit and use only AP flour or whole wheat


mix flours together with salt.

make a well in center of flour and add egg with water.

beat the egg in the center and slowly incorporate flour.

trying not to break the well until as late as possible, gather up the dough and start kneading.

either add more flour or a bit of water at this point to make a kneadable dough. it really depends on how much the flour absorbs and the humidity in the air.

take note: though some people say it's the opposite, i feel it is better to err on the side of adding too much water than too much flour initially. it is much more difficult to hydrate a dry dough than it is to add more flour to a wetter one.

the dough should be fairly soft yet firm.

cover the dough well and let rest for at least an hour. it can sit for a few hours.

cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. cover the other two pieces to prevent drying out.

on a large, very well-floured board, roll out the dough to about 1/8" thick.

you will need to take your time and flip the dough over quite a few times, rolling and reflouring each time. with practice you will be able to get it quite thin. this is important or the pasta will end up too thick.

roll the dough from north to south and then flip it and roll from east to west to try to expand it as much as possible.

with a fluted cutter (you can also just use a knife), cut around the periphery of the dough close to the edge to make either a rectangle or square. place the scraps with the remaining dough and work them in when you roll the next batch.

now cut the dough into rectangles which are approximately 2 inches by 1 1/4" inches. you can make them the size that you want really but these dimensions make a nice bowtie.

take one of the rectangles and with your two fingers start to push on either side of the 1 1/4" part.

with your pointing finger, on either on the same hand or your other one, place it in temporarily the center and press the edges together tightly, removing your finger!!

do this over and over again until all the farfalle are formed. important note: if drying these, do not close them up too tightly or they won't cook through to the center well. not a good 'mouthfeel' ;P. you want to close them at their centers so they retain their shape.

you can now either cook them or let them dry on a tea towel for a day or two, depending on your weather. flip them over after several hours so they dry on each side.

do not store them unless they are completely dried or they will grow mould.

cooking time depends whether they are fresh or dried. i don't think i need to tell you how to do that! and remember, well-SALTED water!! none of this 1/4 tsp business. 1 to 3 tsp depending on how much water you use.



aria said...

omg burekaboy, your homemade pasta's are perfection! do you deliver?

burekaboy — said...

hi aria :) - if u were closer, i'd surely deliver :))

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Cute little pasta! Very professional looking!
Those farfalle remind me of my childhood, because they were one of my favorite pasta. I should eat this kind of pasta again. For some kind of reason, I haven't bought any of those since centuries...
They seem not too difficult to make.

Vcuisine said...

You are really very creative. Viji

burekaboy — said...

rosa - thank you :D i think a lot of kids ate these; one thing is for sure, you remember the shape! they are easy to make but in the end, it's a lot of work....probably easier just to buy.

hi viji - LOL, thanks. not so sure about the 'creative' part, but i do cook a lot.... i'll gladly accept the compliment, in any case.

Pam said...

Why do I crave kasha every time I read your blog?? ;) This is turning into our theme. You bring the bow ties, I'll make the kasha and varnishkes.


burekaboy — said...

pam - LOL, you won't have to make it; it's already done (upcoming post) -- had to use these up so guess where they went? :D hope you're doing well :)

yum said...

Wow, very impressive! They look so beautiful, I can only imagine the taste :)

burekaboy — said...

hi yum - thank you :) they are always best when fresh, perhaps better knowing you made them yourself! thanks for the comment and visit :) hope to see you again.