Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chili Lemon Fettucini

One of my favorite things to buy at the Marin farmers market is the fresh, meyer lemon pasta from Phoenix Pastificio in Berkeley. It is so amazing that I used to wake up early on Sunday mornings to get there before they'd sell out. I've been wanting to make fresh pasta, so I figured I'd try something lemony.

I found this recipe on and the base dough he used is from the Alice Waters cookbook, The Art of Simple Food. You could easily make this without any fancy pasta making equipment. The end result was deliciously chewy, lemony pasta with a slight kick. Serve some buttery, garlicky shrimp with parmesan cheese over top and you will be pleased.

Chili Lemon Fettucini
Recipe courtesy of Urwin Brake at

(I would say this serves about 3 people. Definitely doube the recipe if serving a crowd.)

1 tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups flour (He used 1 cup semolina, 1/2 cup all-purpose, 1/2 cup fine ground whole wheat and I thought it was a good combo.)
2 egg
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Mix the first 4 ingredients (lemon zest, red pepper flakes, black pepper, flour) together in a bowl. Make a crater in the middle of the dry ingredients mixture. Combine the 2 eggs and 2 additional egg yolks in a separate small bowl.  Pour them into the crater in the dry ingredients.

Pour in the lemon juice and begin lightly beating the eggs with a fork, grabbing small bits of flour as you mix.  Gradually work more flour into the liquid.  Once the dough starts to come together, you will probably need to switch to mixing with your hands.  If the dough is too dry, add a little bit of water a few drops at a time until all the flour is incorporated.  If it is too wet, add small amounts of flour until you get an even consistency.  Move the dough to a countertop and knead for a few minutes. The final consistency should be smooth and not very wet or tacky at all. Again, it should only be wet enough that the dough does not crack and feel dry.

Form the dough in to a disc and wrap it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for at least one hour.

After the rest period, cut the dough into a few pieces. Whether using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, working with somewhat smaller pieces will make it easier. If it seems too wet at any point, just rub a little flour on the sheets of dough.

Once each piece is rolled out, flour it and then you can cut it into whatever shape you like. Since there are pieces of chili in the dough, it is best to make a thicker pasta. (Fettucini or linguini are great.)

After rolling and cutting, let the pasta dry out for a little bit.  I hung the noodles over a large wire rack. In the past, I've even slung them over the back of some dining room chairs.  Whatever you use, just be sure there is enough flour on the pieces so they won't stick too much.

To cook, boil in water for 3-5 minutes until al dente.