Make: Nelli Tombor's Potato Pasta
600g potato (approximately 2 pieces)
300g yellow onion (app. 1 piece)
2 tsp Hungarian paprika (ground Hungarian red pepper)
Salt (about ½ tbsp)
Pepper (1/2 tsp)
3 tbsp canola oil
And about 500 g water
Directions: Peel the onion and chop it finely. Heat a rondeau pan, add oil and onion, and sweat it on medium heat, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, peel potatoes, cut them into quarters then to little slices (about dime size pieces). When the onion starts to turn golden brown, add potato and red paprika, mix it well, add salt, pepper and just enough water to cover it. Let it cook, the water will evaporate and you will have an almost mushy-like potato stew, taste it and adjust seasoning to your senses. Set aside.
3 medium eggs (you may need one more)
A pinch of salt
Directions: Place the flour on the work surface and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well, add salt. With a fork, begin to gently beat the eggs in a circular motion, incorporating approximately half of the flour. Bring the entire mixture together with the aid of a bench scraper. Knead the dough with your hands for 3-4 minutes. At this stage, the dough should be soft and pliable. If the dough is too dry and won’t stick together, add a 1/2 tbsp of beaten egg, if it’s too sticky, sprinkle it with a bit of flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 pieces, and recover the dough with plastic wrap. Remove one piece of the dough at a time from the plastic wrap and knead through the rollers of a pasta machine set at the widest setting. (If you are rolling by hand like me, just roll it until it’s about 1mm thin.) Fold the dough like a business letter to form three layers, pressing out all the air. Turn the open end of the dough to the right (like a book) and repeat the rolling process. Continue the folding and rolling process five times on this setting.
Repeat the folding and rolling process for the three remaining pieces of dough. Roll a piece of the previously kneaded dough through the pasta machine, reducing the setting with each roll until reaching the narrowest setting. Do not fold the dough between each setting.
When all sheets are ready, cover them with kitchen towels while you are working on each sheet. Stack them on each other, cut it into a rectangle, then 2 cm wide strips, finally cut them into 2x2 squares. Make sure you sprinkle it with a bit of flour so that the it doesn’t stick together.
Finally, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tbsp salt and the pasta. Let it cook for about a minute (taste it after 30 seconds, it needs to be al dente) then strain it and mix it with the potato stew.
(If you are using dry pasta, cook it as indicated on the packaging!)
Chef's tips: It’s even tastier the following day, heat it up in a frying pan so that part of the pasta-potato mixture gets a little crunchy. (In Hungary, some households use a tbsp of duck fat when reheating the pasta.) Those are the best bites. Serve it with sour cherry compote or pickled cucumber.