Free-for-All Friday: Homemade Pasta

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.

Homemade pasta in the late afternoon sun. Is there anything more beautiful?

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.

Make a well

Drop in your eggs

Then mix...

and mix until the eggs disappear!

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.

Hmm....

But then I kneaded it into submission and it turned into this:

Did you all gasp?

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.

Waiting for a butterfly-esque transformation. It didn't happen.

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.

Antique your pasta!

Then you let the pasta rest for about 10 minutes to let it dry a little before putting it through the cutter.

You look like you've been through the roller! Have a rest.

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.

Dad held the pasta up and the machine steady. Mom guided the pasta as it came out. I snapped pictures and turned the knob.

Like a pro

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.

See how it's clumping? Yeah, the cutter wasn't really "cutting" it

Grr

But back to the less fickle, more attractive fettuccine.

Beautimus

Ah. Be still my beating heart.

Fresh pasta doesn’t need a lot of time in the water to cook—about 3-4 minutes.

Loose as a noodle

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!

Homemade pasta and shrimp, Cajun-style

So you can see the pasta

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!

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About Melissa

I am a 26-year-old journalist who loves food and blogging about it.

Posted on March 2, 2012, in Food for Thought, Pasta Dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this
    blog’s posts everyday along with a cup of coffee.

  2. OMG!!! AGAIN! what?? this is soooo great and your pictures are sooooo great! Love the lighting on the pasta maker, with “mom’s hand” – ha! pro!! hummmm??? any chance that could make it over here on Sunday????? wow!!!!! I’m so impressed and I really need some lessons to get back into this thing called cooking!!! One day. I keep saying. The season will come again.

    • Yeah, I got some pretty pictures with this one because of the time of day I decided to make it and it was gorgeous outside. Best pictures so far!

      If you wanna do a pasta dish on Sunday for John’s birthday I can definitely bring this bad boy over! We can get all the girls in the kitchen and cook up a storm :)

  3. how weird that mom and i commented at almost the same time….

  4. BAHAHAHA my favorite part was what you did while you were waiting for the pasta….picking split ends! LMAO. perhaps i shall register for a pasta roller! oh yeah and i also liked all the captions. mom and dad, those fools! HAHAHA

    • Perhaps?! No, register for one. Don’t even contemplate it. Just do it.

      Also you and mom are so alike it’s scary.

  5. Parental suckers – I see – I get no respect. LOL

    • LoL if you notice, the picture of you guiding the pasta out is labeled “Like a pro.” If that ain’t respect, I don’t know what is.

  6. I have always wanted to make my own as well, but never got around to getting a machine and blah blah…. This looks beautiful and SO yummy!

    • Tenaya, I command you to go out and buy a machine this weekend. It’s delicious. And even though the spaghetti was less aesthetically pleasing, I liked the taste better! (Maybe it was the garlic…) Either way, you gotta try it out.

  7. Great job! Isn’t home-made pasta the best?! Once I started making it I can’t bring myself to buy it in the store, it tastes too good home-made. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks! It really is. I can’t wait to experiment more. It truly puts store-bought to shame. I need to buy some more cutting attachments! Have a wonderful weekend, as well!

      Best,
      Melissa

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