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Wednesday, June 2, 2010


(Notice I didn't say "Pasta 101".  I am a rank amateur at this.)

Making pasta on the new island was everything that I had hoped it would be.  The size and shape of the surface lent itself well to making pasta production be really easy.  The lemon pepper cream (cream, lemon juice, coarse ground black pepper, egg yolk) sauce was pretty good as well.  I made tagliatelle, which is one of my favorites.

What didn't work so well was I think I got them too thin, and I cooked all of them, so there was way too much pasta for the two of us, but we ate it anyway.  Next time I'll cook half of it and refrigerate the rest.  Because it was so thin, it overcooked, so it was a little softer than we like it.   I just read Mario's recipe, and he rolls it out on the thinnest setting, but he only cooked it for two minutes.  Now I know.  I cooked it for five because I wasn't sure.  So my setting was right but my timing was wrong.

I'm definitely going to do this again, because this was the most fun I've ever had making pasta.

But God, I'm stuffed.


Jennifer Montero said...

I've don't think I ever made "too much pasta" - I always seem to manage to eat it all! The pasta looks very professional and delicious

Toni aka irishlas said...

Homemade pasta is just the best. I've recently started making it again and I'm so glad I have. I don't have a pasta machine, so, I roll it with a rolling pin and then take a pizza cutter and cut it into strips.
Years ago, I used to make it the same way, but, I would hang it over my oven racks and let it dry in the oven. Once dried, I would store it in air tight containers. What I can't remember is how long it would store! I might have to give that a whirl again and see how it goes.

Miriam said...

Oh, pasta! How I would love a big bowl of pasta - it doesn't even matter what's on it. I'm trying my best to stick to a gluten-free diet, and corn or rice-based pasta just isn't the same. But your post makes me think that maybe fresh gluten-free pasta would be better than dried, if not quite the same as real, wheat-based pasta. I have a gluten-free recipe up my sleeve, and you have inspired me to give it a try - I'll let you know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

I haven't made pasta in over 30 years - pathetic, huh?! Your post gives me courage. I've gotta suck it up and try it again one day soon. The big thing that keeps me from doing it? The lady I learned from was born in Italy and was a *perfectionist* - something I'll never be! I just kind of know it'll never be as life-alteringly fabulous as hers was - so, why bother?! Horrible attitude, huh?!

Okay - thanks for the inspiration! I'm going to do it!

Paula said...

Jen- we did manage to eat it all- that's why I was groaning. Thanks for your kind words.

Toni- I've tried doing it without a machine and it didn't turn out right. I'm just glad that Ali gave me one. Drying it in the oven on the racks is a great idea!

Miriam- I would actually be interested in the non-gluten recipe if it turns out okay. I still need to be careful how much grain and what time of day it is to feed Steve.

Knownbyname- don't worry about perfection- just is it edible? When I learned to make pasta, the direction said to put the dough through the machine, fold in thirds, put through again, fold in thirds, put through the machine, etc., several times. Then I learn from Jamie Oliver (not an even an Italian, much less perfectionist) and Lidia Bastianich (Italian, definitely, and maybe a perfectionist, I dunno) and they both put the dough through once, folded it in thirds, put it through again, and then started dialing down the machine. Boy! What a difference that made! So even though I didn't get it perfect, I learned a couple of things. I'll do better next time, and we still get to eat the mistakes!

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Okay, Paula, explain something to me. Everybody who makes pasta puts the flour on the board (or the island) and then makes an indentation for the egg. Why? It's so much easier just to put it in a bowl, particularly if you have an egg that's a little hard to beat. What's the point of that? I've always wanted to know, and you'll be my hero if you can tell me.

Paula said...

I think it's because you're going to have to knead it, so it's just easier to start on the board anyway (or island or counter), and it saves getting a bowl dirty. I already had flour all over the island, so rolling out the dough in the machine was easier because the flour was there waiting to be used.

I also think it's because you have greater control that way of how much flour you actually incorporate; flour is affected by humidity, which is why professional bakers weigh their flour.

Or maybe because it just looks so old-world cool?

Plenty of people make pasta dough in a food processor, and I thought about it, but decided that I didn't want to go to the trouble of having to clean the machine.

Working on the island was just easiest for me because all I had to do was scrape it with my board scraper and then wipe it down.

I could see where beating in the egg might be harder to accomplish gracefully if all you have is a super fresh egg, but I would gladly deal with that problem.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Mmmmm....fresh pasta. I've never made my own, but I've always wanted to try. Your pictures are fun to look at. Glad you're so happy with your new island - it sounds like a perfect fit!

Hey, I answered your question about my "rain-proof" camera on my blog (not sure if you saw it), but a while back you asked me about the storability of Music garlic. I kept meaning to answer you, but then I got sick, blah blah blah - so anyway, here's the answer on that: it stores quite well! And out of the 7 varieties we harvested in 2009, the Music ranked highest among my family in hardiness, size AND taste! I don't have a true length-of-time storage test, however, because we ate our supply up so fast. lol However, in my cool, dark pantry, the cloves I put aside for seed stock stayed lovely through December (6 months after harvest).

Paula said...

Thanks Danni! and I did see your camera note- thanks for that too. I'll add Music to the garlic order this fall.