In our quest to reduce the junk we eat and decrease preservatives and packaging in our foods, we continue to try to make things from scratch. One of the latest adventures has been making pasta by hand (and no I don't mean with the mixer lol).
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to let me help her make pasta. I fondly remember rolling out pasta dough for raviolis, scooping the filling onto each one and then sealing and cutting each one. We would spend all day together in the kitchen preparing a big feast for the family. Gradually as the family moved away and we no longer had big family dinners, she stopped making pasta as much. for my college graduation, she gave me the pasta maker that we used to use together. You're supposed to clamp the pasta maker to the counter to hold it in place but the clamp wouldn't fit! Maybe the counters in Italy are thinner than the counters here? lol. So then I had to steal Ryan's bar-clamps out of the garage to rig it up.
I used a basic egg dough recipe with flour and eggs. I mixed it up by hand and then separated the dough into four pieces. I let the dough rest for 15 minutes under the bowl (just covered) and then took out one piece to work into noodles.
As you can see, Granny always told me to keep the counters plenty floured. Take the first dough and roll/smash it into a semi-flat oval.
There's a dial on the machine that sets the thickness. I set it to 7 to start with which is fairly thick. Rolling it through apparently helps finish kneading the dough and makes it nice and smooth and elastic. Run it through at that thickness several times in a row.
Make sure to flour the dough between each roll if it's sticky or it will quickly clog up the rollers. It should come out a little smoother and longer each time.
After several times through at that thickness, I turned the dial down to 5 and rolled it a few times and then a couple times on 3. If the dough starts to get too long, just cut it half and work with one piece at a time. Once it's smooth and at the right thickness, it's time to cut the dough! The first time I made pasta I wanted to make some fettucini like noodles.
As the noodles come out, you can drape them over a pasta dryer or clothes hanger or the edge of a pot or even just lay them flat on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
If the dough hasn't been floured enough or wasn't run through the rollers enough, it won't cut right! Yikes! But don't throw it away! You can just roll it back into a dough and start over going through the rollers and back through the cutters again.
Once your down cutting all those, go get the next piece of dough and repeat three more times! It makes a pretty good amount of pasta, maybe around 16oz. I should have weighed it. I wasn't sure exactly what the best way to preserve the pasta is so I experimented with a few different ways. I cooked some immediately which was delicious and then I froze some by placing it on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours until firm. Once frozen i put it all in a ziploc bag in the freezer. I also used our dehydrator to dry some of the pasta for a few hours so it could then be stored in the pantry like normal store-bought pasta. I haven't eaten either of the stored pastas yet but I'll let you know how they turn out after we eat them.
Alternatively, instead of running the dough through the pasta cutter to make fettucine, you can roll the dough even thinner, cut into rectangles and pinch the middles to make farfalle/bowtie!!
I can't wait to keep trying new pastas!