Monday, February 15, 2016

Pasta Time!

Raise your hand if you're married. Raise your hand if, while engaged, you registered for a pasta maker. Now, raise your hand if that pasta maker is still in its box, unopened and unused. Yeah, that was me until about a month ago when I learned how easy it is to make delicious, homemade, from scratch, organic and possibly totally local pasta.

All you need to make a basic pasta dough is about 4 cups of flour and 5 eggs. If you want to make vegan pasta, you can use mineral water instead of flour. You'll also need a pasta press unless you're really good with a rolling pin (which I'm not). Put 3 cups (1 pound exactly if you have a kitchen scale) in a large, wide mixing bowl and make a crater in the middle. Put all 5 eggs in the crater and beat with a fork until you can't anymore and have to use your hands to knead it together. The dough won't be uniform and that's fine. Get a bunch of extra flour in a pile. I suggest using a SilPat or clean your counter super well. Take a small handful of dough and knead it a bit. Set your pasta press to 1 and run the dough through. Flour both sides, food it once, then run it through again. Do this 4-5 times or until the dough is uniform looking and doesn't stick to the rollers. Then roll it once at a level 3 then once at a level 5 or 6.

Now you've got dough you can do a lot with. You can cut it in squares and make ravioli, run it through a vermicelli or linguini cutter, or cut in long strips for lasagna. Once you've cut your pasta, lay it out on some clean towels to dry for at least an hour:

The raviolis laid out to dry.
For my ravioli, I took a cup of kale, several mushrooms and 4-5 tablespoons of Parmesan and food processed them. That made about 14 2x2 raviolis which were delicious.

So pull that pasta maker out, get some fresh local eggs, and get rolling!

About 4 2x2 raviolis plus some veggies and crusty bread was more than enough for dinner!