January 27, 2009

Basta Pasta!

Here's yet another lovely Christmas gift being put to work. My dad and stepmom gave me the pasta maker attachments for my KitchenAid, and ohhh boy, what a joy they are.

Honestly, why try to do something the "old fashioned way" if you've got a stand-up mixer? I mean, I'm all about DIY, but I have absolutely no problem relying on a machine for some of the heavy lifting. In this case, it means I can make homemade pasta all by myself... Provided someone else takes the pictures. It took me a while to get the dough to the right consistency, though. It wasn't wet enough on my first try, but I tried to knead it out anyway. After a bit of frustration, I finally added just a few drops of water and that changed the game. Look how excited I was! (Yes, I know I should've cut it. But c'mon, how fun is it to see how far you can stretch!?)I used the most basic pasta recipe available: a simple egg, flour, and water recipe found in the user manual for the attachments. Once I got the dough to the right consistency, it rolled out beautifully. After rolling it to its thinnest setting, I rolled it through once more to make fettucini.To top it off, I made a very small batch simple alfredo (1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup fresh parmesan, 1/8 cup heavy cream, and black pepper melted together) and served it with a healthy green salad. All in all, a big success. Machine or no machine, though, this is a big task. I'd like to learn to make very large batches and then freeze or dry it. Take the 'get all the work done at once' approach. Any tips for fresh pasta, my friends? Any luck with whole-wheat pastas?