My family moved eight times growing up, always within “the city,” so there were many addresses in Manhattan that I called home. My parents first had us in the West Village—where they faced challenges like explaining to toddlers why one leather-clad man was walking another man on a leash—before moving to the Upper East Side.
My parents were into health food, which I didn’t particularly mind (except when my mom tried to replace chocolate with carob or Cheerios with “Oatios”). The familiar wheatgrassy smell of the health food store on Prince Street is one of my earliest memories. Their precocious commitment to Whole Foods might have inspired my regular patronage of Joe, the hot dog vendor on our corner. When my parents first heard Joe and me greet one another by first name, they put the kibosh on that indulgence.
My mom wanted food to be healthy and homemade. We even had a fictitious cooking TV show called Julia Child and Julia Mommy (I was just painfully literal, I had no clue who Julia Child was). As per the following recipe, hit episodes of the “show” included pasta-making, where we draped fettuccine on coat hangers and placed them all over the house to dry.
My mom is an artist, and her kitchen is just an extension of the studio. It is here that we play, discover new materials,and express the inner workings of our minds and our love for others. —Julia Sherman
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C semolina flour, plus more for dusting
- + salt
- 2 t extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 C hazelnuts
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
- 10 leaves basil
- 1/4 t coarse salt
- 1/4 t ground nutmeg
- 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 1/4 C grated parmesan
Start by roughly chopping the hazelnuts. You can chop them even more finely with a coffee grinder or a blender, but don’t go so far that you make a paste. Once you have the texture you like, put the nuts, herbs, salt, spices, and garlic on a cutting board and chop them together to form a coarse paste.
Timing is important in this section. Cooking pasta and assembling the dish takes only about 5 minutes, so only do this part when everyone is ready. Cook the pasta in boiling water, about 3–4 minutes. Drain the pasta, but not too much—you still want some pasta water clinging to it. Return the pasta to the pot over high flame. Quickly stir in the olive oil, add the herb/nut mixture, and remove from heat. The herb/nut mixture should not be cooked. Toss the pasta in the sauce until well combined. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, to taste.
On a stone, cutting board, or steel surface, make a mound of the two flours and a pinch of salt. Create a well in the center and add the olive oil and eggs.
Using a fork, mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, a little at a time; you want to stir in a circular motion, as if you were scrambling eggs. At this point, the dough will be quite sticky.
Split the dough into 2 equal-sized balls. Flour your surface. Knead each piece by pushing the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, folding the dough over itself, and turning it counterclockwise. Continue pushing, folding, and turning until the dough begins to feel elastic and holds its shape without flaking or sticking.
Wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and dust with flour. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a sheet, turning it occasionally to keep it in a circular-ish shape. Let dry about 10 minutes.
Dust the top of the sheet of dough with semolina and cut it into sections that will fit into your pasta machine. Roll it through the flat section of the pasta machine. Once you have thin sheets, put it through the part of the machine that cuts them into ribbons of tagliatelle.