Homemade Fettuccine and Marinara
A box of spaghetti, a jar of sauce, and some powdered Parmesan can make for a cheap, easy weeknight dinner when you’re in a pinch. But if you have some free time on a cool, crisp September afternoon, then making Homemade Fettuccine and Marinara is the perfect way to spend it. There’s something so cozy and therapeutic about simmering a pot of marinara sauce while you cut fresh pasta by hand with some quiet music in the background. Or maybe I just romanticize cooking and autumn a little more than the average person…but that’s okay too! 😊
Making Vegan Fettuccine
Making homemade pasta can sound a little intimidating and often has an extra challenge for vegans or those who can’t have eggs. Most homemade recipes do call for eggs which I’m sure give it a lovely flavor and texture. However, pasta can also be made with just flour and water! It still tastes amazing and is so much better than store-bought.
Two types of flour are used in pasta making: semolina and all purpose or Tipo 00. Semolina is critical as it has a very high gluten content which makes it chewier. For the remaining flour, all purpose or Tipo 00 both work. I used all purpose since I had it on hand, but Tipo 00 is much more authentic. I haven’t tried it yet, but hope to soon. Tipo 00 is an Italian flour that’s milled very finely and used in traditional pasta and pizza dough. Along with the semolina, it helps keep the pasta a bit chewier.
When it comes to actually making the pasta, if you have a pasta roller, great! Use that to roll out the and cut it into uniform pieces. If you’re like me and don’t have one, it works just fine by hand too. Section off a piece of dough and place it on a well-floured surface. Roll it as thin as you can and use a pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough into thin strips. Lightly toss the pasta in flour and spread it out flat while you work with the remaining dough. It’s important not to make the mistake I did and put it in a bowl–it all stuck together even though I coated it in flour!
Unlike dried pasta, fresh noodles cook in about 2-3 minutes! Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and add the fettuccine. The best indicator that they are done is when they start to float. Depending on how thick you cut them, they could take a little more or less time. You can also adjust the cooking time if you prefer pasta al dente or well done.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce is a breeze to make! Plus it’s much more flavorful and has less sugar than pre-made sauce. Personally, I choose not to add any sugar to my marinara, but you could add a tablespoon if it suits your fancy.
To make the sauce, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute until they start looking translucent. Then add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, empty the can of San Marzano tomatoes (with the liquid) into a medium sized bowl. Even though regular tomatoes work in this recipe, the San Marzano variety is the best for authentic Italian sauces. High quality tomatoes have a much bolder flavor and contribute a lot to the dish.
Using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces. It’s okay if the mixture is chunky because there will be an option to blend the sauce later.
When the onions and garlic are ready, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Parmesan, basil, oregano, thyme, and salt. As a side note, be sure to buy a block of Parmesan and grate it yourself. The pre-shredded kind is full of cellulose and anti-caking agents that you don’t want in your sauce! Bring the marinara to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until it reaches your desired thickness. If you like a smoother sauce, transfer it to a deep bowl and blend with an immersion blender. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, feel free to skip this step.
When both the sauce and pasta are done, serve the marinara over the fettuccine, top with freshly shredded Parmesan and basil, and enjoy with a crisp salad on the side. After trying this Homemade Fettuccine and Marinara, you may never want to buy boxed pasta again!
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