Every week when I prepare my new blog post I get inspiration from somewhere regarding the subject of the post. Sometimes our orchard gives ingredients, sometimes a dish comes up in a conversation with somebody or I just get hungry for something. However, this week inspiration to cook fresh Hungarian home-made pasta with cottage cheese and bacon came unexpectedly and surprisingly in form of a box of fresh pasta. My mother called me and asked whether we would like to have some pasta with cottage cheese. Of course we wanted to. My sister and I were so lucky that we could eat fresh pasta in our whole childhood. My poor mother who always had an 8-hour or even 12-hour job tried to prepare this dish once with a pasta from the supermarket. We were so spoiled by her home-made pasta that we immediately noticed the difference and started to complain. “Mom, it is not the one we are used too…”
So my Mum kneaded, rolled and cut the fresh pasta in the last 30 years. I was watching her while she dropped the pasta to the boiling water and I was waiting impatiently for it to get ready, because I wanted to taste it right away, without any topping.
And now a box of cooked pasta is waiting for me in the fridge (it even tastes good when heated up afterwards) while I start kneading another dough, to be able to tell you the exact amount of water needed, since my mother told me to “add as much as the flour takes up”. I change the method according to modern age so the kitchen machine kneads the dough instead of me, and I roll it out with a pasta machine.
I bring some fresh sour cream and cottage cheese from my neighbor, Ani, and buy some delicious smoked bacon at the nearby butcher which I dice and fry so it will be crunchy.
I am standing in front of the pot of boiling water and waiting impatiently that pasta comes up to the surface. Then right away, I start to eat it with a wooden spoon. I must say, there is nothing better than fresh pasta. No question about it.
Hungarian home-made fresh pasta with cottage cheese and bacon
250 g all-purpose flour
50 g cake and pastry flour
approximately 100 ml water
sunflower or olive oil
50 g diced bacon
200 ml sour cream
250 g cottage cheese
Mix flour, eggs and water by adding water gradually because amount of water can depend on the flours. (I needed exactly 100 ml) Knead it to a flexible and soft dough then roll it out with a pasta machine. My machine has 7 grade, I rolled first on 7th, 6th and then finally 5th) Sprinkle a kitchen towel with flour and lay the pasta on it and let the sheets try for 30 minutes- 1 hour. Cut sheets lengthwise put two on each other and cut them julienne with a knife. Use your fingers to separate the ones stick together. Dice bacon and fry it in a pan. Boil some water, add salt and some drops of oil. Cook pasta in bunches in boiling water until it comes up to the surface. Use a small sieve to remove pasta and pour cold water on it to stop cooking process. Move sieve to remove any excess water and put pasta into another pot, mix with the oil so they don’t stick to each other. Season with some salt. For cottage cheese pasta add some cottage cheese and sour cream to it and top with the fried bacon cubes.