Monday, October 12, 2009

Fresh Pasta: I Double Dog Dare You

Have you seen one of these beauties before? I found this one at the Williams Sonoma Outlet in Leesburg, and had to buy it. The good thing is it was only $25-ish, so it was a good girl splurge. *pat on back*

Anyway, yes! You guessed it. A pasta maker!

It has sharp, shiny teeth for making spaghetti and fettucini. And cutting fingers. Don't worry- that was last time, and it's been disinfected.

Now. You best get excited, because I'm about to show you how to make your very own fresh pasta.

You're welcome!

Take your rings off. This is going to get messy.

I won't bore you with pictures of making the dough, because it's super-duper simple. Here's how:
1. Get out your food processor

2. The ingredients are just eggs and flour. For every cup of flour, add two eggs. Two cups of flour makes 1 pound of pasta, which feeds about four people. Or two if you're really hungry.

3. Process the flour and eggs until they come together in a big beautiful dough ball.

4. Knead the dough with plenty of flour until it comes into a nice smooth ball. You'll find that the dough is wonderfully stretchy and sticky.

5. Let the dough rest for at least 1 1/2 hours. You can leave it overnight if you want. Put it in an airtight container, or cover it in plastic.

When you're ready to make your noodles, pull it out, and it should look like this:

Cut it into four pieces.

Begin rolling it through your pasta maker by starting on the widest setting, and gradually getting smaller. Sometimes I'll roll it through on the same setting a few times to make sure it's smooth. You'll want it to be well-floured so it doesn't stick.

You'll end up with a bunch of sheets that look like this. You could stop here and make some Manicotti (my fave!) or cut some circles and make tortolini or ravioli. The possibilities are endless.

This picture just makes me laugh. Justin took it without telling me I was in it. I guess some day I'll look back and say I wish I still looked like that, so to heck with feeling embarrassed about a bad picture for once. It's funny because I look so bored, but my hand is obviously turning that pasta maker at an incredible rate. I'm awesome. And this is more exciting than I make it look.

Then you cut the noodles. For me, the fettucini setting is the way to go. It's easy, yummy, and it always turns out. 3 times out of 4 the Spaghetti turns into a glob on its way out, so I avoid that frustration.
Also, this is the part where you must fend off the husband, who happens to have an affinity for any kind of dough, in order that you might have some pasta left over for, say, dinner.
Did you know I'm a contortionist too? Just kidding. Totally.
You'll want to separate the noodles out to dry a bit while you aren't using them. I suppose that you could just throw them right into the pot if you wanted, but I've always let them dry out a bit first. It would help if I had a rack to dry it on, but I don't, so Justin spread them across the counter, and I flipped them over a few hours later so they could dry on both sides. By the time I got to this point, we both decided we weren't really hungry, so I'll just dry them out and use them for dinner tomorrow.
So there you go! Homemade fresh pasta. It's good. Different then store bought, and definitely worth the effort. And the effort is sorta minimal if you have a pasta maker... and even if you don't, it's not that bad. Justin's mom used to make pasta, and he talks about it all the time. He loved it as a kid, and it brings back good memories for him now, so it's very fun for me to make for him.

By the way... do you have one of these? If not, please treat yourself to one. It's the miracle of the kitchen.
Now, cleaning up flour is easy, and it doesn't ruin your sponge.


  1. hey amanda!
    i love looking at your blogs, you are so brave for making fresh pasta. it inspires me to attempt such a thing. so is this your craft/cooking blog?

  2. Can I come over for dinner? A pasta party would be great right now....

  3. I have always wanted a pasta maker. You go girl! You live out my dream.