Palms for Palm Sunday. My cousin’s family has a long held tradition of making a wide fresh pasta shaped like ‘palms’ for Palm Sunday. So for the holiday this year, I decided to add it to the menu and give it a go as I look for any excuse to make fresh pasta. I used my favorite pasta recipe and spent a fun morning rolling out and cutting the palms. The pasta is extremely light and takes just a few minutes to cook. I served them with my ricotta and parmesan meatballs (see Recipes page). They were a hit with the family! Buona Pasqua, tutti.
Palm Pasta for Palm Sunday
About 2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup semolina
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of water
1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour and semolina.
2. Combine the eggs, olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.
3. With the machine running, pour the wet ingredients into the feed tube and process until a ball forms (about 10-15 seconds).
4. If the dough still looks crumbly, add another tablespoon of water. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth and elastic.
6. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes prior to rolling.
7. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remainder covered. Lightly flour the piece with which you are working.
8. Using a pasta machine, flatten the piece and roll through the widest setting. I usually fold the dough over and pass it through the widest setting again to make it really smooth and elastic.
9. Continue passing the dough through progressively smaller settings until very thin.
10. Lay the pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface. Trim edges to make it rectangular in shape. Make sure both sides of the pasta are floured so it does not stick to itself. Fold the two ends in to the center of the sheet, fold in again. Cut the pasta sheet into 1/2 or 3/4 inch wide strips. Gently shake off excess flour and lay on cookie sheets to dry.
11. Fresh pasta will keep about 12 hours refrigerated. I also occasionally freeze my pasta if using in a week or two – allow to sit until dry but still pliable. Stack 6 or 8 strips and wrap around palm of hand. Place in a plastic bag and place in freezer until ready to use.