Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homemade Butterflies (Farfalle Pasta)

Today I made farfalle pasta, or what is commonly called "bow-tie" pasta. Farfalle, I learned, is actually the Italian word for "butterflies." I think I like calling it butterfly pasta rather than bow-tie... Who's with me?!
First of all, you should know that I tried a new pasta dough recipe. It's a marriage between the basic and semolina pasta recipes. It uses half semolina, half all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, a few eggs, and a blurb of olive oil. Want the recipe? Check out the new "Pasta Dough Recipes" page.
(Also, I have to make a confession because I promised to share my success and failures in this pasta-making journey. Not everything went entirely smoothly while making the dough. I combined the flours, and made a well in the middle. Then I mixed the wet ingredients, and poured them in the middle. So far so good. Then I used my fork to begin mixing the flour from the sides with the egg mixture in the middle. But before I could get very far, the sides of the levee gave way and an eggy tsunami began charging toward me and the edge of the table. Picture me trying to block, scoop, and plead with the eggs, all the while pinning my cellphone between my ear and shoulder talking to my dear husband who was trying to tell me about his morning. I would have loved to take a picture of it for you, but my hands were a bit busy - and messy. And I considered pretending like it all went perfectly, so I didn't want evidence proving otherwise.)

Anyhow, near disasters aside, I love this recipe. It was SO easy to work with - very soft and pliable; easy to roll out.
Now, onto the butterflies.
I rolled out one sheet of pasta at a time on the thinnest setting (you don't want it to dry out before you get to it). Then I used my pizza cutter to cut the sheet into 1" strips. A knife also works just fine, but I find my pizza cutter to be especially quick and easy.

On a lightly floured surface I then cut the strip of dough into 1-1/2" segments. (This is where a ravioli cutter wheel would come in handy to make pretty zigzag edges, but I have yet to buy one.)
To form the farfalle, the index finger goes in the middle of the piece of pasta, with thumb and middle finger on the top and bottom edges. Then just pinch the dough together, removing the index finger as you go!
We already ate lunch and have plans for supper, so I'm going to dry my butterflies and then cook them at a later date. My farfalle certainly look "homemade," but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt!


  1. So, are you saying that making pasta can sometimes give you butterflies in your stomach?!

  2. I did not know that - I know a new Italian word now! Love your blog! I haven't seen you in forever but this makes it seem like you could be just around the corner. :)

  3. They look so pretty!! And by the way, you're blog isn't only informative, but really funny! I love how you write!