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The Great Pasta Experiment


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For Christmas The Beecake got me the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. Does he know me, or what?

We started off with high aspirations: rigatoni, with roasted garlic chicken, cherry tomatoes and asparagus in light olive oil.

All was going well until we put the dough into the attachment to churn out the pasta. The attachment broke in half, so we ended up having to make the pasta by hand, which turned out pretty great for a couple of first time pasta makers.

Our first attempt at making pasta dough, before the pasta attachment FAIL. Note, those are not my man hands.

I love the process of making pasta, its so rustic and it reminds me that you don't need fancy attachments or equipment to make a really good meal. All those funny sounding foams and liquid nitrogen may a pretty meal make, but a good pair of clean hands are the best tools out there. I'll leave the fancy stuff to the pros.

Pasta is made with just a few ingredients: flour, salt & egg. The process is incredibly easy.

2 c. flour (you can use whole wheat to punch up the fiber factor)
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt

Seriously, that's it.

Form the flour into a mound on your counter and make a well in the center. Place the eggs and salt into the center and mix them up, without breaking the "O" shaped flour too much. Then slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the flour until you can form a ball of dough. This is the part that takes the time: knead that dough until it's smooth and there are no air pockets. It is about a 10-15 minute process to make sure the dough is smooth. From there you need to let the dough rest, covered, for about 15 more minutes until you can begin rolling the dough out (I cut the larger ball into three smaller balls) and cut into whatever shape you'd like.

We went simple and did a fettucine, but you could cut squares to make ravioli or you could make wide strips for lasagna.

The Beefcake cutting the rolled out pasta into thin strips.

You should dry the pasta for about an hour before cutting it, but we novices couldn't wait. :)

Fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook. Ours took about five minutes, and then we drained it and added it to a large skillet on the stove with our roasted garlic chicken, cherry tomatoes, and asparagus and tossed it with some olive oil and a little fresh lemon juice to brighten the dish up until it was all warmed through.

Add salt and pepper to taste and a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and you have a healthy and homemade dinner!


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