Sunday, March 25, 2007

It's Pasta Time!

This weekend Tara and I made pasta from scratch. If you have never made pasta let me tell you it super easy (if not a little time consuming). And once you have made pasta from scratch, you'll wonder why you waited so long.

We made a couple of types of ravioli: Sweet potato with Edam cheese and German sausage with mushrooms and onions. They both turned out really well.

Pasta goes from ingredients to your mouth in 3 easy steps
1) Make the dough and let is sit for an hour
2) Cut the dough and optionally fill it with good stuff
3) Boil the pasta and plate it.

Step 1: Make the dough (no images - too easy)
Take 1 lb of flour (preferably semolina or pastry but we used all purpose). Dump it on the table in a pile. Make a well in the center of the pile and put in 5 eggs. Slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs (or vis versa) until it's homogeneous. Need the dough for 5 minutes or so until smooth, silky and elasticy. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and toss it into the fridge for an hour.

That's it. That's all the hard work. The rest is as easy as you want to make it.

Step 2: Cut the dough (and optionally fill it - pictures at the end)

Cut the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest wrapped up.

If you don't have a pasta roller:
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is a few mm thick. Then go get a pasta roller the next time you are at the Italian grocer.

If you do have a pasta roller:
Keep feeding the dough through the roller until it is a few mm thick. Remember when you had to roll the dough with a rolling pin an quietly chuckle to yourself.

If you are making straight pasta (spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle...) cut the pasta with a knife and proceed to step 3.

If you are making stuffed pasta (ravioli, tortellini...) put the stuffing in little mounds on one half of the pasta sheet. Dampen then other half and fold over. Press all around the stuffing (removing as much of the air as possible) and then cut squares (or circles or what-have-you). If you are making tortellini fold the pasta into the hat shape.

Step 3: Cook (too easy - no pics)
Bring a pot of salted water to a very gentle boil. Put the pasta in water. Boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes. Drain. Serve.

We ate out ravioli with just olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. It was excellent. We threw the rest in the freezer for another day.

First you roll out your dough

Then you pose

Then you take an artsy picture

And then you cover them up and cut them out

And finally, you feed the rest to your cat


Anonymous said...

You make it look so easy...but I'm sure it's not quite that simple. It does look really yummy though, so save some for dad and I over Easter weekend :) luv mom.

Richard Siemens said...

You are way over estimating the amount of skill and effort you need to make pasta from scratch. We'll make some together when you are here - it's easy peasy.