All forms of pasta from ancient Chinese noodles to iconic Italian iterations have been a huge part of human history, and they still feed many cultures. As long as pasta has been around, cannabis has been there, too, though until today’s big consumables boom, they weren’t always combined.
Today you can find weed pasta at swanky private events and consumption celebrations in legal states, but predominantly it’s a DIY affair. This is at least until Ronzoni’s board of directors encounters a blunt and decides to offer this brilliant bit of comfort food on the common products market.
Pasta is really just flour and water, and sometimes eggs and oil, with herbs and seasonings added on occasion, even squid ink in some regions. This product is often dried and hardened, but in it’s freshly made form, it cooks in a fraction of the time and tastes incredible. We developed dried pasta in the past to preserve wheat harvests for as long as possible, as breads don’t keep as long, and flour used to be hard to protect from pests.
Cannabis pasta doesn’t have to come from a $100-plus dinner plate with unknown amounts of THC when you can simply create an oil and egg dough with the exact dose you need.
Cannabis Infused Handmade Tagliatelle
Danielle Guercio, 2018
Estimated 10mg of THC per plate, serves 4
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp cannabis infused olive oil*
2 cups flour, semolina or all purpose for dough
½ cup all purpose flour for rolling and dusting
Pasta dough can be made with either a machine or your hands, in all of its steps, but it has a basic process of knead, rest, roll, dry, then cook. Whether you used a machine to form the dough, shape it, or even dry it, you can and will get your hands dirty in the process. Each step that can be done by a machine was traditionally done by hand, and is not so difficult to do if you practice. It can be helpful to make notes on your batches, such as how sticky the dough was, any shrinkage that’s occurred when cooked, the all-important development of sufficient gluten (to achieve al dente greatness), and ultimately the most important part: the taste.
Create a dough to bread machine or stand mixer machine specs depending on what you use, or make it by hand with the well technique. Heap your flour on a work surface, dig out a well (like with mashed potatoes), and pour in the eggs and oil that have been whisked together. Using a fork or your hands, gently stir more and more flour into the central well until a sticky dough begins to form. Fold and knead this dough in layers like an aggressive version of biscuit building, you want to pack down the gluten with little air to create the dense chewy noodles you crave. Add a pinch more flour if the dough feels too sticky. Let it rest for 15 minutes, making ahead of time if need be, rolling out just before cooking.
Using a rolling pin or pasta extruder, work ¼ of the dough at a time, sprinkling with flour generously, until it’s a thin, nearly translucent sheet. Keep it even by working out from the center in all directions. When the sheet is thin enough, roll vertically to create a tube, then use a sharp knife to cut ¾” segments, creating a long pasta strand. Sprinkle with more flour and use your open fingers to rake up and gently shake out the noodles. Drape over a floured surface and allow to dry for a few minutes before cooking.
To prepare your pasta, bring a large heavy bottomed pot of water that’s generously seasoned with salt to a vigorous boil. Drop in a test noodle to determine your ideal cooking time and the salinity of the water but 1-2 minutes is usually sufficient. Do not oil the water as this will block the sauce from absorbing after the pasta is ready.
Serve with a creamy porcini sauce or a rich tomato sauce, you want something hearty to stand up to the pasta. Swirl the drained noodles around in your sauce in a pan for 30 seconds to help it absorb into your tagliatelle before sprinkling with cheese and serving up.
*Cannabis Infused Olive Oil
Decarboxylate 5 grams of finely ground cannabis or .5 gram of concentrate. Add cannabis and ½ cup olive oil to a mason jar (with lid) or vacuum sealed bag. Heat in water bath just under boiling for at least 1 hour. Strain and allow to cool down before using in recipes
Photos by Maria Penaloza