Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pasta: check!

Now...that pasta. It had been something I'd been toying with for months and months now. It's not that it seemed all that difficult, or that I was worried it wouldn't turn out. I just always felt it would take so long. All that rolling and cutting...especially without a pasta maker. Which I think is still a valid point after my first attempt.

But anyway, it was delicious. I had a friend comment that homemade pasta didn't really seem to be worth the effort (without a pasta maker anyway) compared to storebought fresh pasta. I would disagree, but this could be mainly because I rarely buy the stuff. Most of the time I feel fresh pasta is ridiculously expensive when in THEORY I could make it myself for a mere fraction of the cost. I really only buy fresh ravioli or tortellini - basically only stuffed pastas that I reason would take a lot MORE work to make at home. So I'm not sure how this compares to say, storebought linguine. But was good. Soft, chewy, and delicious even just eaten plain, coated with some butter, salt and pepper (I did this before adding the sauce and couldn't stop picking out strands after dinner) I would admit that it wasn't exactly an immediate revelation, but it tasted better with each bite. YUM.

To be fair, it was quite a bit of work without a pasta machine. It took awhile to roll the dough out thin enough (especially considering my limited counter space) and cutting it into thin strips felt like AGES. But really, it was probably only twenty minutes. And I remembered after the first batch that you can roll the dough into a flattened log (floured) and cut that into strips instead. The strands from the first batch did look nicer but the second process took considerably less time, so I'll do this in the future.

Also...the recipe below makes enough pasta for two, with some leftovers. Being relentlessly gluttonous, I doubled it even though there WERE only two of us because I wanted to be sure there would be enough leftovers. So it was a LOT of pasta. We were eating it for a few days...not that I was exactly complaining! Just probably don't need to unless you really want a LOT of leftovers.

Homemade Pasta
adapted from Pastor Ryan's Homemade Pasta, which is basically the 3:2 Pasta ratio

1 cup flour
2 eggs
dash of salt

1. Measure out flour into a medium-sized bowl and mix in salt. Make a well in the centre and add eggs (as you can see from the pictures above, the eggs didn't exactly stay in the well but it didn't seem to make a huge difference)

2. Slow swirl eggs with your fingers and incorporate the flour. Make sure you don't do this too quickly or else you'll get clumps. Continue until all the flour has been blended in and you have a shaggy looking dough.

3. Dump out onto a slightly floured countertop and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Let it rest now for a few minutes; this will make it easier to roll out.

4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface as thinly as you can get it. The pasta will plump up as it cooks, so get it as thin as you can. Then using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut pasta into thin strips (again as thin as you can get it). Alternatively, you can also flour the pasta and fold into a flat "log" and cut the roll into thin strips, then unroll.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook for about two or three minutes. I actually probably cooked it about four to five minutes, but I tend to like my pasta somewhat overcooked and not a lot of people seem to share my opinion. Serve with Ryan's Bolognese sauce, or just some butter and parmesan. De-lish!

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