Laila Gohar’s Recipes for Self-Quarantine: Homemade Pasta

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Homemade pastaPhotography by Laila Gohar

In her second column for, Laila Gohar shares a recipe for making fresh pasta with just your hands

In trying times, food can be a salve. Laila Gohar, a conceptual New York-based artist who has created food installations for clients including Comme des Garçons, Simone Rocha and Frieze Art Fair, has provided comfort with an Instagram account espousing the simple pleasures of cooking, from beans to chicken soup. Here, in her second column for AnOther, she offers a meditative recipe for homemade pasta – “good food takes time” – as well as spotlighting a cause to support as the food industry enters a new, uncertain future.

Good food takes time. Time doesn’t necessarily mean difficult. It just means dedicating yourself to something for a definite period. And working for your food – dedicating your time to nurturing – is one of the most gratifying things on earth. Make pasta. Involve anyone around you – young or old. It’s natural for us to make things with our hands.

Here’s a basic pasta dough. We made orecchiette – ‘little ears’ in Italian. You can make whatever shape you want.

Step one: Get two cups semolina flour and one cup all-purpose flour and a little salt. Make a pile of each flour and swirl together with your fingers. Bring the piles together into one big mound.

Step two: Make a well in the centre and pour half a cup of warm water. Mix to combine with your hands. Add a little water at a time – you may need up to another half cup – until you have a firm dough.

Step three: Knead the dough for ten minutes or so until it’s elastic. Keep your surfaces and plate floured. For orecchiette, take a pea size amount in your palm, then using your thumb press hard in the middle. There, a little ear.

Step four: When you’re ready you can boil in lots of salty water for about five minutes. Or you can keep them outside to dry overnight, and then store in a container once they’re dry. I made puttanesca for ours. Plum tomatoes, capers, black olive, and anchovies. Fantastic four.

More than ever, I think it’s important to support all small businesses, and especially food businesses, so I will use this space to highlight one cause or entity with each recipe.

I’d like to encourage you to look into ROAR, an organisation advocating for relief opportunities for restaurants. Restaurants employ 15 million people in America alone, and all of them are now out of work. You can donate if you have the means, but there are also plenty of other ways to be of service – check out @roar.ny or their website to find out more.