Saturday, March 29, 2008

Homemade Pasta, Anyone?

I have to admit, I had coveted the KitchenAid pasta roller for a long time, and when I found it on sale at Canadian Tire, I knew I had to strike. I haven’t regretted the purchase, so if you’ve been dreaming, do yourself a favour and make this acquisition a reality. I’d been asking Santa for quite some time, but my requests fell on deaf ears. (Santa, if you’re listening…well…you know the ice cream maker? It’s next on my list…)

Making pasta is simple: flour, salt, eggs and a bit of water.
I’ll walk you through the painfully easy process.
We’re 2 people, so I use the rule of thumb of one egg per person. That’s to say, if you’re four people, simply double the recipe below.
Here we go:
Homemade Pasta
1¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
Use the KitchenAid paddle attachment for this step:
Place flour in bowl with salt, mix well. Beat egg in a measuring cup, add water, and add this egg mixture to the flour. Mix well.
You will have a shaggy mixture. Stand back and let the mixer do it’s work. Slowly, the mixture will become more homogenous. Depending on the weather, you might need to add some more water or flour; I invariably end up adding more water.
Change from paddle to kneading attachment, and your dough will start to look like this:
When the mixture is smooth to the touch, and doesn’t stick to your fingers, you’re ready for hand kneading. Simply knead the dough until it’s elastic and smooth. You’re hands will tell you when you're done, but a minute or two should suffice.
Wrap your dough in some plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge for an hour or so. I tend to flatten my dough into a round flat shape.
I cut the dough into slices as such, since I find this facilitates the rolling process:
Flour the board and the cut pieces a bit so nothing sticks, and cover these resting pieces with your plastic wrap while you’re rolling your first piece:
The KitchenAid pasta roller makes quick work of the dough. You always start with the largest opening, so set your machine to setting 1 on the dial. I always pass the dough through about 5 or 6 times at setting number one. Some advocates stress the dough should be folded in half along the width, however I find this step tedious and useless. I just keep feeding it through again and again. You will find the pasta becoming smoother and sturdier. Adjust your machine to setting 2 and pass the dough through again, 2 or 3 times should do it. For fettuccini, I always go to setting 4, for spaghetti, I use setting 5.
While I am rolling, my pasta sheets need somewhere to do. I forgo the broom-handle-over-a-pair-of-chairs à la nonna, and simply let mine rest over the handle of my wall oven. It works for me, and the cat seems to enjoy it as well.
The KitchenAid pasta roller comes with 2 cutters, one for fettuccini, the other for spaghetti. Tonight we’re having Fettuccini Carbonara, so I’m using the larger cutter:
(It's always helpful to have a cat attentively watching you; Howard is actually waiting for some catnip to magically appear...)

Et voilà, a meal fit for a king! Your pasta is now ready for a pot of boiling salted water, and doesn’t need to cook for longer than a minute or two. Watch like a hawk, and drain when al dente. Serve immediately with your favourite sauce.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...