This recipe comes from Braise Restaurant and Culinary School in Milwaukee. I had the opportunity to visit Braise for a second cooking class during a press trip to Milwaukee a couple weeks ago. Chef Dave Swanson – in addition to being a pioneer in the farm-to-table movement in Milwaukee is also a master at pasta making. I took careful notes and the result was a delicious, simple and memorable lunch we all made together as a class. For FSR magazine, I wrote about Chef Swanson and his restaurant and Restaurant Supported Agriculture program.
For the pasta:
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
For the puttanesca sauce:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
6 garlic olives, peeled, chopped
8 anchovy filets
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 or 6 whole heirloom/beefsteak tomatoes, roasted, peeled (or 1 35-ounce can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand)
Pinch of sugar (optional)
2 basil sprigs
½ cup chopped oil cured olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To make the pasta, mix liquid ingredients together in a large bowl. On a table or a large chopping board, mix dry ingredients and form into mound. Make a well in the center of the mound. Pour 1/3 of the egg mixture into the well and incorporate flour into egg mixture using a fork. Continue to add 1/3 of egg mixture at a time as needed to form a shaggy mass. With hands, work the dough together to form a ball. Knead until dough resembles the texture of play dough, about 5 minutes, to activate the gluten. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough to form a ½ thick rectangle. With a knife, divide the rectangle into 4 equal pieces. Set a hand-crank pasta machine to the No. 7 setting. Roll a rectangle through the machine. Set the machine to 6; roll the same rectangle through. Set machine to No. 5; roll through machine. Set machine to No. 4; roll through machine. Fold dough into thirds like an envelope. Set machine to No. 1 and roll through; set aside. Repeat process 2 more times.
Cut long rectangles into 1 ½-inch strips for tagliatelle. Gently nest or bundle the strips in separate piles on a sheet tray. Dry for at least an hour. For longer term storage, transfer to freezer in separate bags.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic, anchovies, onions and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until caramelized. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Stir in sugar, if using, along with basil, olives and capers. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper if needed. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic before serving.
Bring a large stockpot of heavily salted water to a rolling simmer. Cook pasta in batches until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes per small batch of noodles. Drain well.
To serve, toss the pasta lightly with the puttanesca sauce topped with freshly grated Parmigianino Reggiano or other good quality, aged hard cheese and more chopped fresh basil, if desired.