Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fresh Pasta

As my friends know, and make fun of me for, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on tastespotting.com. My friend Kat introduced me to it by saying something like "say goodbye to your free time!" One of the most recent blog links was this: Making Fresh Pasta Step By Step. Being a notorious pasta fiend, I decided to try it out.

The beginning of the pasta making process is an absolute mess. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but my hands were covered in dough. Are you ready for the recipe? This is a challenge! You will be searching for these ingredients for months.

Fresh Pasta
3/4 cup flour for every...
1 large egg

Yep, that's it. Eggs and flour. End of story. Easy, right? Well, sort of.

So I skipped a few steps ahead, this is post dough mixing, obviously. All you do to make the dough is make a mound of flour, push it down in the middle to make a sort of bowl out of it, then add the eggs. What made this fun was I forgot that eggs are slippery and I didn't make the 'bowl' big enough. To feed a family of four and have a bit left over, I made about 6 large eggs worth of pasta. It should be rolled far thinner than I did though, so it would probably feed more. I would say maybe an egg a person, especially if I hadn't accidentally lost an egg or two worth of whites from them sliding around.

So you mix the flour and eggs with a fork, then knead it with your hands. Decently easy if you don't have escapist eggs. Once you have it to a nice consistency, you roll it into a ball, put it in plastic wrap, then let it sit for half an hour.

Once you roll out the dough, you can make many different types of pasta. I decided to make alfredo, so I cut fettuccine with a pizza roller. It ended up being waaay too thick, even at only maybe an eighth of an inch. The dough was a little difficult to roll out because it kept moving backwards, but because he is a fresh pasta fan my Dad took the rolling pin and helped me out.

This is what it looked like pre cooked! If you try this, don't worry about the extra flour. You are, after all, about to toss these in water. If your pasta turns out this thick, I suggest cutting it into smaller pieces. I was so thrilled this actually worked, I even tried one pre cooked. It's about as exciting as eating dried pasta. Unless you pre flavor it somehow, I don't suggest that at all.

Boil it to al dente. With noodles this large, it took about 5-6 minutes for them to be sufficiently chewy. Of course, I chose a pot that was far too small and had some boiling over issues because I underestimated how much they expand.

Ta da! Add a jar of alfredo sauce, some red salt, onion powder, and garlic salt, and you have some pretty good pasta. My family really liked it and I definitely think I'll do this again. I have no idea how long these would keep in the fridge, I'm guessing about until the due date on the eggs you use.

Tips for Trying:
-Make sure you roll out the pasta as thin as you can, nearly see through
-Add and mix in one egg at a time so you stay in control of it
-Cut into small pieces, they WILL expand!

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