How Flour + Water Restaurant Inspired Me to Make Homemade Pasta
My journey to pasta dough passion by way of Flour + Water Restaurant in San Francisco
2 cups flour + 2 large eggs + 3 egg yolks + a pinch salt + a tablespoon olive oil + some finger scratching and kneading and boom! YOU HAVE DOUGH.
No, not this kind of dough:
THIS kind of dough:
When did I become fixated on making homemade dough?
Well, it starts in 2015 when my ole college buddy, her long time friend from high school and I met up in San Francisco for a girls night out. The three of us are all foodies, so the number of food venues on our to-visit list was nothing short of fabulous: Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, Sausalito tapas and Chinatown delicacies.
After a long day of site-seeing / food-tasting activities, it was time for a second dinner. We rolled into Flour & Water at 10:00pm for dinner #2 (literally rolled, as dinner #1 had been just a few hours before).
Rumor has it that several tech giants in San Fransisco frequent Flour + Water faithfully. I can see why. Within 20 minutes of sitting down, there were four pasta dishes for the three of us, and no shame. We engorged.
The pasta specials change regularly but I remember fondly pappardelle with a creamy fresh pea-based sauce and a meaty rabbit tomato red sauce.
All pasta here is done the right way, handmade.
It was only the next day, when shopping with my friend that I discovered the flour + water cookbook.
So, my splurge of a trip had its final finale with yet another credit card charge to Amazon. Only a few weeks after getting home, the flour + water cookbook arrived at my apartment.
Only one obstacle remained: I had no pasta-making apparatus.
Delicious recipes. And no dough. When I went home over Thanksgiving I was possessed. Within my family’s home stands one of the most well-stocked kitchens one might ever come across. Its drawers are filled with treasures, stashed from years of collection, a deep-rooted family cooking tradition and long-established family recipes. Cooking has been in my veins since I was born.
It was not long before I dug the Atlas pasta maker out of the cupboard along with several pasta attachments. Still in its original box & mint condition. A food-based Antiques Roadshow would have had a field day.
When I returned back to my New York apartment it was time to take my pasta maker for its first spin. I went through the motions. I sourced my recipe from several places and watched countless YouTube videos. It was time for the truth.
To my horror, the first time I ran my dough through it came out in stringy clumps. My first pasta had failed. With fear and sweat running down my brow, I felt I may have finally met my match. Was there a recipe I could not tackle?
But within a few minutes, the elasticity of the dough built and VOILA! beautiful smooth sheets of molecular carbohydrate.
Add some homemade Bolognese, a-la Vodka, or Alfredo, and bon appétit!
Have I ignited your pasta senses? I warn you, it’s just a short fall down the rabbit hole.
Find your inspiration (or just go and eat some really delicious pasta):
Flour + Water
2401 Harrison St
b/t 20th St & 21st St
Logan has also written a foodie’s one-day guide to Philly and where to find delicious Algerian/Tunisian/North African food in Boston.
Also published on Medium.