Friday, January 28, 2011

Love and Pasta

Homemade Pasta is a labor of love, and a PERFECT way to show someone how much you love them! I encourage you not to wait until Valentine’s Day to show the special people in your life how much they mean to you.
The ingredients are shockingly simple. Flour and egg are really all you need, though I discovered through my research the most successful recipes also included semolina flour or 00 Flour.

For my first batch of homemade pasta I purchased the semolina flour at Central Market in the bulk section. Mix the flours together and make a well in the center. 

The simple rule of thumb is two eggs per one cup of flour. You can figure one egg per person. I was making pasta for three, so I used three eggs and 1.5 cups of flour (1 cup of regular flour and ½ cup of semolina).

Don’t be like me and make your well so small that the eggs fall out. 
Get ready for the fun and messy part: ladies and gentlemen, remove all jewelry and roll up your sleeves.

Using your hand, very lightly start breaking up the egg yolks and turning the eggs in the well so that it slowly starts to incorporate the flour gently.  Once the flour and egg are mixed together you will have a crumbly ball and wonder if it will EVER come together.

Working on a floured surface, begin kneading it.

I found the easiest way is to squash it with both hands and then stretch the dough away from me with one of them while holding it with the other, pushing with the base of my hand near my wrist.  I then simply fold it back on itself, give it a little twist and repeat.  Keep doing this until the dough feels smooth.

Eight to ten minutes later...

Most recipes say to wrap your ball of dough in cling film and leave it somewhere cool (the fridge) for 1 hour.

There are a couple different attachments for the KitchenAid mixer that assist in making pasta. I borrowed this one from a co-worker to see how I liked using it. It attaches to the KitchenAid and pushes the dough through what looks like a food grinder and then out the front shaped panel, which to me, looked like something I used to play with as a child using play-dough.

Alternately, you could roll this out by hand as thin as you can possibly get it and cut it into whatever shape you prefer. I was disappointed at the thickness I achieved by rolling this by hand and would prefer to use a roller with thickness settings. (What a wonderful valentines gift that would be. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!) 
For this machine, the instructions were to pinch off walnut size pieces of dough and feed it down the tube to where the auger then spirals the food across and through the plate out the front.

I used the fettuccini plate and let the dough spit out a good eight inches before cutting the bundle.

In the end, I decided that this attachment is not for me. I would much rather use a pasta roller and cut the pieces myself.

The dough had to be immediately separated (and not easily) after it is extruded from the fettuccine plate. I pulled every single strand apart and laid them side by side in a floured pan. 

If you want to dry the pasta, you could use hangers (cleaned and floured) to hang the pasta until dry. I was cooking these up right away so as soon as I finished up with the dough, I put a pot of salted water on the stove to boil. I wasn’t sure if the pasta would stick together so I started working in batches. Fresh homemade pasta cooks so quickly (2-3 minutes) so it became quickly clear to me that cooking in batches was not necessary. Toss all the pasta in the boiling water and test a piece after two minutes by biting it to see if it is the perfect al dente.

I wanted to keep the pasta light and not weigh it down with a heavy sauce. I used leftover lobster bisque that I thickened with whipping cream to toss with the hot fettuccini noodles.

There is just no way to describe the fresh flavors of homemade pasta: It’s love twirled around a fork.


  1. I love love homemade pasta. I like you have to pull each strand apart. What a pain!

  2. Hey Mandy, great pasta tutorial! I confess that I am way too lazy to make the dough by hand and I just mix and kneed it in my KA mixer :) Also I wanted to let you know that I replied to your comment on my blog about the mussels. Not sure if you got or will get an email notification, so I wanted to make sure you see it!

    Have a great weekend :)

  3. Leslie, I'm hoping my hun reads this post and gets the subtle hint I left him about wanting a pasta roller for Valentines. We'll see.

    Cara, Thanks for the link to more info. My hubs likes mussels so I may step out on a limb and give it a shot one night.

  4. Homemade pasta is the best! Thank you for reviewing the KA extruder attachment, I've had my eye on it for a while now and now I will take my eye off it and focus it back onto my good old pasta roller. Much easier!

  5. Mandy-homemade pasta is one of the tasks I have yet to try in my kitchen, but really want to. Great tutorial!! I, like you, am hoping for the pasta roller attachment for Valentines Day. :)

    Thank you for your sweet words welcoming me back to the blogging community! I have sooo missed the friendships that were just blooming before my absence. Hope to "see" more of you in the future!! {{hugs}}


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