Making fresh pasta from scratch sounds impossible on harried weeknights, when even boiling water for a box of spaghetti can feel like a strain. But not only is it possible, it's ridiculously easy. Enter frascatelli: Italian semolina dumplings that resemble classic German spaetzle.
Frascatelli are considered one of the many simple dishes that make up la cucina povera, or the frugal country cooking that originates from central and southern Italy.
No eggs are required and no fancy pasta machine is needed either. Just semolina flour, water, and your own two hands. It's also a fun pasta to make with kids. But the best part? It takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Start by spreading semolina flour out in an even layer in a square baking dish. Fill a small bowl with water then dip your hands into the water, gather your fingertips and thumb together, lift your hands from the bowl, and splatter the water over the semolina, creating nickle-sized drops.
Grab a slotted spoon and turn the dumplings that formed over to coat them in semolina then lift them out, shaking them gently in the spoon to remove the loose flour before transferring them to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the process a few times until all or most of the semolina flour is used up.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a slow boil-a rapid boil can cause the fragile dumplings to break. Cook the frascatelli until al dente, about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet.
Then add them to your sauce of choice. Browned butter and wilted greens is always a win but a simple basil pesto or light tomato sauce is also great. Or toss them with eggs, crispy pancetta, and cheese and call it carbonara. Whichever you choose, you just whipped up fresh pasta from scratch in no time, without breaking a sweat.