Free-for-All Friday: Homemade Pasta
Posted by Melissa
I’m super excited about this post. I’m finally sharing my pasta-making adventure with you all!
I’m proud to say I made my own pasta twice this week. Twice! That’s how easy it is.
That’s not to say I’ve mastered it—I haven’t. But it’s pretty fool-proof.
My pasta machine is Weston and I got it from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Unfortunately, our table and counter don’t really agree with the clamp that hooks it on and makes it steady, so I had to have my parents hold down the machine while I rolled. The good news is, they found it really fun. Suckers.
I just used a simple recipe that came in the instruction manual of the pasta machine. It called for 2 1/2 cups of flour and three eggs. You simply make a well inside the flour, dump in the eggs and mix with a fork until combined.
Since I had never done this before, I had no idea what the dough was supposed to look like. I ended up adding water because the mixture was dry…like it was in competition with Lindsay Lohan’s hair.
But then I kneaded it into submission and it turned into this:
After you knead it, you let it rest under a damp paper towel for about 15 minutes. So I picked some split ends and dusted some flour off my pants, chewed a nail, whined and generally contemplated the meaning of life while I waited.
Now here’s the fun part. The actual rolling of the dough. The machine has different settings, so you can control the thickness of your sheet of pasta. The settings are 1-7, with 7 being the thickest (meaning the rollers are as wide open as they go.) Each turn of the knob makes the rollers closer together, resulting in thinner pasta.
I rolled it out through the 7 a couple of times then changed to a 6. Each time after you roll, you fold the pasta in half. And make sure you cover it in lots of flour. Pretend you’re in college again antiquing your
least favorite roomie.
Then you let the pasta rest for about 10 minutes to let it dry a little before putting it through the cutter.
I have two cutting attachment for my pasta machine: Fettuccine and Spaghetti. The first go around I used the fettuccine setting, since reviews were less than positive about the spaghetti one. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, the clamp that secures it to the table/countertop didn’t fit with either of those things in my kitchen, so I rounded up my parentals and we all got in on the action. It truly was a family affair.
The second time I made pasta I used the spaghetti attachment just for the hell of it. Ugh. Bad idea. Reviewers of this pasta machine were true to their words. It was a disappointment, filled with stuck-together pasta and an overall mess. But that didn’t stop me from eating it.
But back to the less fickle, more attractive fettuccine.
Ah. Be still my beating heart.
Fresh pasta doesn’t need a lot of time in the water to cook—about 3-4 minutes.
Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff right there, regardless of what Kenny Chesney sings.
I made the roasted cauliflower pasta with the fettuccine (click here to see the recipe) and with the spaghetti and I made a type of Cajun shrimp pasta with a stellar cream sauce. Oh, and I added pressed garlic cloves to the pasta mix, so it was, in essence, garlic-flavored pasta. Winning!
Also, homemade pasta blows boxed out of the water. By a lot. You have to taste it to believe it. It also tends to be more filling and slightly heavier, which is fine because it makes you eat less!
I plan on trying more types….lemon pasta, spinach, wheat. My kitchen is going to be seeing lots of flour this year…I’m the works of hiring someone to clean up after me. Inquiries can be directed to my email under Contact Me ;)
Have you ever made homemade pasta? Are you a pro? Tell me in the comments!