Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pasta from scratch

One of the many fun new things I received for Christmas was a Kitchen Aid pasta roller set. I've been coveting this kit for quite a while, but had been putting the purchase on hold due to its relatively hefty price tag... there always seemed to be something else more important to purchase. But here it is... finally... and I couldn't wait to dive in and try my first batch of homemade pasta!

Kitchen Aid pasta roller set with flat roller,
and fettucini & spaghetti cutters

The kit comes with a few various recipes for making the pasta dough. As much as I wanted to try making spinach or whole wheat pasta, I figured I would start with the most basic recipe just to get the hang of the whole process before adding more complicated steps/ingredients. Turns out the process is quite easy and before I knew it, I had a nice little ball of pasta dough ready to feed into the first roller.

Ball of basic pasta dough

The dough gets divided up into 4 pieces, flattened slightly by hand, and then slowly fed through the flat roller on the lowest number setting which provides the widest roller. After kneading the dough through a few times, the roller width gets slowly decreased to make the pasta thinner and thinner until the desired thickness is reached, at which point it gets fed through the cutter of choice. Or if you are making lasagne noodles or ravioli (which I am really anxious to try!) then no cutting is required.

Cutting my pasta sheet into fettucini

And here they are... the final pasta "nests"! The pasta was dried before forming into nests. It can either be cooked immediately, refrigerated, or placed in plastic bags and frozen for up to 4 months. I froze most of what I made but save some for fresh pasta with homemade sausage sauce for dinner that night. It was delicious... less chewy than the store bought stuff, and much lighter in texture. Can't wait to try making more again soon!

Finished "nests" of fettucini

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