Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bowties optional

So I tried my hand, so to speak, at making pasta yesterday. After reading some recipes, tips, and discussions online, I decided that while it looks so cool when Mario Batale makes the pasta using his fingers, I am not a trained chef who makes pasta by hand for a living. I'm not even someone who's been in a room where someone else made pasta by hand. Thus, I used my trusty KitchenAid stand mixer with dough hook. Besides, it needs to earn its rent for the valuable counter space it takes up.

Basic Pasta Dough
2 1/3 cup AP Flour divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil

Mix 2 cups flour with salt in mixing bowl. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.

Slowly add remaining 1/3 cup flour while kneading dough. Knead till dough is smooth and elastic (if by hand approx 8-10 minutes; if by machine, eyeball it.)

Cover and let rest 10 minutes. (This is enough time to clean up!)

Divide dough into fourths. On lightly floured surface, roll each fourth into a 12"x12" square, keeping remaining portions covered until rolled. (I used a rolling pin. If using a pasta roller, then follow the machine instructions.)

Cut into desired shape. (I made farfalle, or bowtie, by cutting the squares into 1"x2" pieces and pinching the middles. Andrew helped pinch.)

Cook for a few minutes in lightly salted water, if eating right away. Homemade pasta does not take as long to cook as packaged pasta, so 2-3 minutes should do it. (More on this later)

If choosing to store the pasta for later use, dry on a cooling rack (I used cookies sheets but will use racks next time as the pasta didn't dry evenly) or hung over clothes hanger overnight, till completely dry. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or dry at least 1 hour and store in airtight freezer container in freezer up to 8 months.

Okay. I dried itovernight. This morning I made myself a small test serving of pasta and added pesto. I cooked it for aout 5-6 minutes, testing along the way for doneness. I think maybe it took so long because they were a little thicker and had dried overnight. But it looked pretty.

And it tasted good. But it was a little thick. Reminded me of Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings. I need to roll it thinner next time, or until I break down and get a pasta roller. I did enjoy the rolling part though, so we'll see.

I may try using wheat flour next time (healthier). Or maybe using egg replacer (vegan). Or tomato paste(yummy). The possibilities are endless.

David gave me a sort of compliment the other, or just a nice observation. He pointed out that we don't need much pantry space anymore because I make so much from scratch these days; we just need enough space to store flour. He notices. :-)

Andrew made up a snack last night and wanted to photograph it. He thought it was yummy.

Andrew's Snack
2 saltine crackers (we like Wheatines)
Peanut Butter

Spread one side of each cracker with PB. Add raisins and craisins. Lay one cracker on top of the other, PB side down, forming a sandwich. Eat it all up!

He said it was delicious. I didn't get a bite.
I'm now wondering if he thinks that everyone takes pictures of their food...


  1. Okay. You made "making the pasta" seem way too easy! I may have to try it myself. And I love Andrew's photo of his food - how cute! Jessica

  2. It wasn't too bad. The hardest part was rolling it out thinly enough. After I finished this one, I read that master pasta makers in Italy are said to rolol the dough so thin that one is able to read the paper through it. I'll bear that in mind next time and keep rolling.