Pasta Success

January 27, 2010

After the frustrating attempt to make fresh pasta with that ridiculously complicated and slow electric machine, I  took MangoTomato’s advice and picked up a cheap pasta roller from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I almost always find that simple is better.  I don’t like a lot of specialized gadgets and kitchen gear.  An avocado slicer?  Just give me a sharp knife and a cutting board!  Same for garlic presses, egg slicers and so forth.  Basics work well for most tasks but even when a specialized tool is needed, simple is usually better.  This pasta roller is no exception. We had a great time making this a family project.

Basic dough, rolled, cut and cooked with simple ingredients. Fresh, tender and divine!

The amount I made here feeds four generously and was easy to stretch to feed five of us as a main course.

  • Semolina Flour, 2 1/4 cups
  • Unbleached Flour, 3/4 cup plus plenty more for dusting
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Eggs, 2
  • Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Water, 2/3 to 3/4 cupWhisk together the dry  ingredients in a large bowl.Make a well in the center.   Beat the eggs to blend and add them to the well, along with the oil.  Slowly add the water as you stir it together.  Add water until it all starts to pull together.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until it’s nice and smooth, about ten minutes.  Add more flour as needed to keep it from sticking.  Let it rest for 15 minutes or so before rolling.Using the thickest setting, roll a bunch of dough out.  Roll slowly and know that the dough is going to tear and be pretty rough on this first run through.Flour the dough, fold it over and run it through again.  Repeat several times, until it’s nice and smooth.   You can gradually decrease the thickness as the dough gets smoother.On the final run through, it should be thin enough that you can see your hand through it.  As it comes out, cut it off into whatever length you want your fettucine, about 15 inches.  Dust the dough sheets and lay them out to rest for a 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.Cut each sheet with the cutting attachment.  Roll slowly if needed so you can give yourself time to run your floured fingers through the strands to gently separate them.  It really helped to have two sets of hands for all the rolling and cutting, one to crank and one to support the dough as it comes out.  Lay it out and let it rest a bit before cooking.While the pasta is resting, put a big pot of water on to boil and get your sauce or whatever together.  We opted for a very simple garlic, olive oil, red pepper and basil combo.  Heat the oil over medium-low heat, add the garlic and pepper, stir for a few minutes and tear in a handful of basil leaves.  Turn off the heat and be careful not to let the garlic burn. As soon as the water comes to a big rolling boil, drop in the fettucine.  Stir it VERY gently to separate it and let it cook for maybe 2 or 3 minutes.  It’s about done when it starts to rise to the top of the pot.Drain the pasta and dump it into the pan with the oil and so forth.  Toss it together until the pasta is well coated.Serve with a whole bunch of freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago.

Pasta is such a staple around here yet I’ve put off making homemade.  I’m so glad I did!  What recipes did you put off but found well worth it once you got around to them?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Memoria January 28, 2010 at 12:00 am

Oh, wow!! I’m glad to know that you bought a pasta maker at BB&B because it reminds me that I can just drive down the street and do the same thing instead of pining for one on every day haha.

Your pasta looks absolutely perfect. Wow. YUM!!

For some reason, I can’t think of any recipes I’ve put off but found well worth it later on. I guess that’s b/c as soon as I see a recipe I really want to do, I just jump up and make it!


2 Kelli January 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

ooh I can’t wait to go out and find one of these… I have an old fashion pasta cutter.. you actually have to roll it out…(it’s medal and looks like a sharp rolling pin) I will have to say that I put off making bread for a long time… once I started making it homemade..I haven’t stopped. It’s a favorite in my family and I get requests for it all the time. I have a great recipe that I stumbled upon for a quick loaf of crunchy bread. Sooo good!!
I am looking forward to trying out your pasta recipe! Thanks!


3 Wendi January 28, 2010 at 8:03 am

That’s a definite win Karen.


4 Olga January 28, 2010 at 9:26 am

Glad my advice worked :) I should take my own pasta machine out of the box and use it for a change.


5 Ed Schenk@ Detroit Eats January 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

I have a 30 year old Imperia pasta maker (Italian) and I use it often. Fresh pasta is the best!


6 Rochelle (Acquired Taste) January 28, 2010 at 11:14 am

I have to say I’m jealous of that great pasta machine! Your pasta turned out great and now, I want to make my own even more than before!


7 Mary January 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Wow Karen, that looks great!


8 Michelle N January 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Wow, good job! Looks great!


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