Making pasta

One of the items on our registry that we were very excited about but did not receive as a wedding gift was the KitchenAid pasta roller attachment, which made it all the more fun to receive as a Christmas gift! Our previous experience with pasta making was somewhat frustrating as we borrowed a friend's manual roller and had no surface to properly mount it on, but we enjoyed the overall process and the final result was very tasty. Using the attachment is a breeze by comparison, and makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

The first step is to make the dough, which involves incorporating 1 egg per about 100 g flour (which is about one serving), and kneading the result until you have a nice ball of somewhat stretchy, non-sticky dough. We've done this several times and the process is pretty forgiving - you can always add flour/egg/water to reach the right consistency. The main trouble we have had is in trying to make 100% whole wheat pasta dough; the dough just doesn't seem to get stretchy enough and falls apart when you try to roll it, so we found having at least 1/3 white flour helps. Once the dough is done, you're supposed to cover it and let it rest at least 15 minutes, supposedly to make it easier to work with.

Once it's done resting, it's time to roll! This part is a lot of fun, as you can see. First you roll it through several times on the widest setting to knead it and get it in the right shape, and then you continue to roll it as thin as desired for whatever pasta you're making.

Once the pasta is in a thin sheet, it is ready to be transformed into whatever shaped pasta one desires. The pasta roller kit comes with a fettucine cutter and a spaghetti cutter, for which you just feed the pasta sheet through like with the roller and get perfectly cut strands.

In the spirit of more pasta-making fun and trying to get better at it, Whitney gave me a pasta-making class for my birthday! The class was offered by the owner of local business Melina's Fresh Pasta, which makes pasta to sell at farmers markets in the triangle. Carmella (aka Melina) showed us several methods for making pasta dough and shapes, which was pretty helpful. We've made pasta dough in the food processor before but it was nice to see it demonstrated, as I wasn't really doing it efficiently at all. We got to play with ravioli molds and learned how to make farfalle (bowtie pasta). The experience was fun and informative and a wonderful birthday present!

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to taste some of your pasta!