It’s so much fun to come home on Saturday to whatever delight Victor has come up with.  It just never fails to delight my gastronomic senses.  And it pretty much delights the rest of my senses, as well.

Tonight I walked into the house to the smell of fresh-baked focaccia and squid ink pasta drying.  Ya shoulda seen the smile on my face!

Victor has the pasta-making down to a complete science.  I will probably never make homemade pasta again in my life.  His is perfect.

For the squid ink pasta, he just takes his basic recipe and adds a drop or two of the ink.  We keep it in the freezer – a little goes a long way and it doesn’t freeze solid so it’s always at the ready!  This is enough for two good portions.  Double or more for however many you’re cooking for.

Victor’s Pasta

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon squid ink
  • up to 1 teaspoon water, if necessary


On a clean work surface, mound flour and form a well in the center. Add egg and egg yolk to the well. Using a fork, gently break up yolks and slowly incorporate flour from inside rim of well. Continue until liquid is absorbed, then knead for 10 minutes. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 3 pieces. Cover 2 pieces with plastic wrap. Flatten remaining dough piece so that it will fit through the rollers of a pasta machine.

Set rollers of pasta machine at the widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 3 or 4 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine.

Roll pasta through machine, decreasing the setting, one notch at a time (do not fold or turn pasta), until pasta sheet is scant 1/16 inch thick.

Cut sheet in half widthwise; dust both sides of sheets with flour. Layer sheets between floured pieces of parchment or wax paper. Cover with paper and repeat with remaining dough.

With the short end of 1 pasta sheet facing you, loosely fold up sheet, folding sheet over two or three times from short ends toward the center. With a large chefs knife, cut folded sheet into ribbons, a scant 1/4 inch wide. Unroll strips and lightly dust with flour; spread on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets.

To cook the tagliatelle, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta, transfer to a large serving bowl and toss with sauce.

For the sauce, he sauteed garlic in olive oil and butter.  In went jumbo shrimp and he cooked until almost done.  He added a good squeeze of lemon juice, zest from half a lemon, a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes, and about a quarter-cup of grated grana padano.  He took it off the stove and added one chopped tomato and then stirred in the cooked pasta.

It rocked.  Conversation consisted of “Umm.”  “This is great.” “Mmm.” “Burp.” “This is great.”

We both cleaned our plates.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.



  • 3 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  pkg.  active dry yeast
  • 1/2  tsp.  salt
  • 1  cup  warm water (110°)
  • 2  Tbsp.  olive oil


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, the yeast, and salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
  2. With dough hook in place, knead  to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Lightly grease a large bowl; place dough in bowl and cover with a towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until double in size (30 minutes).
  3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16×12-inch rectangle. Place in a greased 16x12x1-inch baking pan.  Let rise 20 minutes.
  4. Top with toppings of choice and bake at 375° about 25 minutes.

This is another great no-fail recipe.

And there’s grilled peaches for dessert!