I've been wanting to make pasta forever, but the tiny little thing holding me back was not having a pasta machine. So I wrote it into my 37 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 38 list to give myself a nudge.
Turns out my buddy Greg owns one and happily let us borrow his.
My verdict: easy, fun, and extremely messy. Messy like flour all over myself, the counter, and the floor.
It seemed like every cookbook I have has a slightly different recipe for pasta and most of them are pretty vague on how long to knead the dough or how much flour to use when rolling.
I ended up using the recipe out of The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.
It's so simple. 2 cups all purpose flour. 3 eggs.
That's it. Put flour in food processor and run while adding one egg at a time through the feed tube. Once it forms a ball, turn out onto floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Then cover and let rest for 1 hour to allow the gluten to do its thing.
Now let me stop to ask (before you do)--what about fancy shmancy semolina flour or "00" flour? When making egg pasta, all purpose flour works fine. When making non-egg pasta, that is when you want to break out the semolina. And "00" is hard to find and expensive so don't worry about it unless you want to become a pasta expert.
I like egg pasta.
After your hour is up, divide dough into 5 pieces. Keep four covered while you roll out the fifth. Just roll it out enough that it will go into the largest setting of the roller. Not making the spaghetti yet, just rolling out the dough.
Start on the largest setting, roll it through. Fold in half and run through again. Repeat one more time.
Then gradually work down to the third smallest setting. (You could probably go even thinner, but I found this worked great for me)
Then liberally flour your thinnest dough and roll it through the pasta making part. I screwed this up a few times because I hadn't put enough flour on it and then the dough was immediately sticking to itself when it came out of the roller.
I ended up only making one piece of the 5 non-functional. The recipe suggested throwing some chopped herbs in the dough and I'll spare you the photos, but it looked disgusting.
So I boiled the pasta for about 3 minutes and it turned out perfect. Also, you should have a GIANT pot of boiling water because if you just have a normal amount for what you would use with dried pasta, it will cool too quickly when you add the fresh pasta and can make the pasta gummy.
This turned out so delicious, we both were amazed at the difference. I honestly don't know what the point of dried pasta is. If I can't make it fresh, I might not want to eat it at all anymore. And now I need to get my own pasta machine! I still want to make ravioli and semolina pasta as well.
Pictured below is what was left after we devoured our pasta.
Fresh Pasta with Walnuts and Roasted Garlic recipe to come tomorrow!