Over the last year or so we've slowly been accumulating new kitchen toys and cookbooks. And we've been experimenting with new recipes during that time. See Jeremy's Crockpot or Slow Cooker Chili Recipe for an example.
But things seem to have been kicked into a higher gear recently. You see, we asked for (and received--thanks Mom and Dad) a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer back during Giftmas. And my wonderful wife got me the KitchenAid KPRA Pasta Roller Attachment and the The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles to go along with the mixer.
My expectation was to mostly use the mixer for the occasional bread mix (which I haven't tried yet) or cookie dough (ditto). But Kathleen is a big pasta fan and the meals in the book sounded quite tasty.
So a few weeks ago I began to experiment with making my own pasta. Much to my surprise, it's a fairly easy and fun process. To make basic pasta, all you really need is some eggs and flour. In fact, 3 larger eggs and 2 cups of all purpose white flour is enough to get started.
The real trick, as it turns out, is getting the moisture level of the pasta right and working with the resulting dough. You want it to stick together just the right amount with the right texture. No too dry and not too wet or sticky. And you need to let it "rest" long enough that you can work with it.
Anyway, last night I made my third round of basic pasta and feel like I'm getting the hang of it. Combined with grilled chicken breasts, grilled asparagus, and a tasty olive oil and garlic sauce, it's just fantastic. Fresh pasta really tastes so much better than the dried pasta you buy at the store. It's hard to describe the difference. It's lighter, tastier, and less prone to sticking. You simply must try it.
I highly recommend that pasta book too. If you're getting serious about pasta and want a variety of recipes (both for the noodles and sauces), it's a wealth of good information.
Next we need to try some of the more interesting pasta recipes that use more exotic flours and spices added in.
Pictures of my first and second pasta making adventures are on Flickr in Making Pasta.
Have you made your own pasta? What's your experience been like?
Posted by jzawodn at January 31, 2009 08:02 AM