Today was the epitome of a great day off. I went to church, cooked, baked, read, ran to the gym, worked out (and drove home with Fritz), took a long bubble bath, snuggled with the world’s worst cat, talked to my mom and dad, drank copious amounts of tea, talked to my parents, am currently watching my favorite movie of all time (Dan In Real Life) while I blog (while Fritz watches the Superbowl online), have a FaceTime date with Fritz’s parents in an hour, and not to mention I straight-up conquered some seriously adventurous cooking.
I made my own pasta. And just wrote an epic run-on sentence.
Weird that it seemed so adventurous when it was actually so easy (both the pasta and the run-on sentence).
Tharrie (Fritz’s mom) gave me a pasta maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid for Christmas, and I finally got around to taking it on–I am now officially a converted make-your-own pasta maker. For my first time around, I used a recipe that came with the attachment ’cause I thought I’d better be safe than sorry. I decided to go with mostly whole-wheat flour, but to use some white flour so I know Fritz won’t hate it. Next time I’ll try 100% whole-wheat.
Whole-Wheat Pasta (makes 1 1/4 lbs of pasta)
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1-2 T water
Combine all the ingredients in the mixer bowl, starting with just 1 T of water. Mix with the flat beater until it all comes together in a ball. Pasta dough should be as dry as possible–when you pinch a piece, it should stick together but not stick to your fingers. I had to add a second T of water to get to the right consistency…most likely because I didn’t (and I never) sift out my flour.
Knead the dough by hand for a minute or two, then cut into eight pieces. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out while you cut the others.
To start, flatten one piece with the palm of your hand–it doesn’t have to be crazy skinny; that’s what the rollers are for. Attach the rollers to the mixer and set it on the widest setting (1). Turn the mixer motor on to 2 and feed the dough through.
Because pasta dough is so dry, the edges will be cracked at first.
Fold the edges in towards the middle (into thirds, like a piece of paper), and feed it through the same setting again. I did this at least two times before the edges stayed nice and smooth.
Switch to the next smallest setting (2), and feed it through. You now should need to put the dough through each setting only once.
And setting 5. For fettucine and regular spaghetti, 5 is good enough. Go up to 7 or 8 if you are making angel hair spaghetti.
Switch from the roller to the cutter. Carefully feed the pasta through–try to keep it going through the same spot for nice, even lengths of spaghetti:
Or fettucine. Isn’t this totally awesome?
You can cook this right away (just like you would boxed pasta–in hot boiling water, but only for 3-4 minutes, since it is fresh, after all) or dry it.
To dry the pasta, either hang it over a drying rack (which I do not yet own) or drape flat on a towel. Let them dry for an hour, then bag ’em up. If the pasta is still wet, you can’t keep it at room temperature or it will grow mold. You’ll have to freeze it.
You can also (this is what I did) dust the pasta with flour and roll into little “birds nests”. Let the pasta dry for a bit, then store in a plastic bag and toss it in the freezer.
I cooked the spaghetti for dinner (you’ll see that recipe in the near future), and froze the fettucine for later.
I’m super excited about how easy this was! Since it was my first time, I was a little slow, but I can imagine being able to knock the whole process out in less than a half an hour. Making a double batch and freezing the extra would barely take any more time.
I also really loved the texture and taste of the cooked pasta. You definitely got the whole-wheat nuttiness from the whole-wheat flour, which is not Fritz’s favorite but is most definitely mine. I couldn’t believe how it actually cooked up like real pasta! I had a fear that it would be a pile of mush, but that wasn’t true at all.
Just like regular spaghetti. I added a teensy bit of oil to the cooked pasta to keep it from sticking, which worked perfectly (I don’t add oil to the cooking water–it’s a waste!).
Next pasta experiment is ravioli! With the pasta roller and a pizza cutter or round cookie cutter, I think I’ll be able to make it super easily.
And check out this elephant ring holder that Fritz pulled out of his super top secret present stash this morning. He basically will do anything to keep me from hanging my rings on the window.
Oh, also…yeah Giants!