Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fresh Pasta

I am notorious for saying things like "uhh, I don't know" or "I haven't even thought about it" or "hmmm, let me think about it" when asked what I want for Christmas, my birthday, etc. Well, this year, I had a break-through.  When my mom asked, I had an answer!  Where did this come from?  The dark recesses of my mind had opened but how, why? My answer:  "I want the pasta machine attachment for my standing mixer."

There, I said it.

So you may ask, "Wow, where did that come from?"  For years, I've read a gazillion recipes calling for fresh pasta, if available. I've also read countless articles about how fresh pasta just can't be beat for lasagna, ravioli, you name it.  You may have come across recipes that describe to you how you can roll pasta dough out by hand and then cut into the shapes you want.  Yes, I suppose that is possible.  But rest assured, to roll pasta to true pasta thickness would take you about 2 hours of rolling pin work.  No thanks. You need a pasta machine.

As I'm sure you've surmised, mom and dad came through with the Kitchenaid attachment. I was elated!  As soon as I got it home I had to try it out.  Here's the coolest part of this story: it is insanely easy to make pasta. I made a basic egg pasta dough, then used my machine to create fresh spaghetti.  If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, you simply mix up the dough in the mixer.  Let it rest for about 20 minutes, then attach the pasta roller to the front.  You effortlessly roll the pasta to the right thickness, then switch to one of the cutter attachments (I have spaghetti and fettucine) and viola! you have pasta.  

I bagged some up for mom and dad then cooked up some for the three of us to try.  Vivi wanted hers plain.  Neil and I had it with a basic red sauce.  The noodles were so tender!  Store bought noodles never have this subtle tenderness.  Right out of the pot, they taste good from the simple salted water.  Since making the initial batch, I whipped up a little lunch for Neil using the fresh spaghetti, some cooked chicken I had in the fridge, leftover asparagus, parmesan and olive oil. He left not one noodle in that bowl!

My next attempt is going to be lasagna.  This is one of my mom's favorite dishes and I can't wait to make one with fresh pasta sheets.  We'll start with traditional but then I want to try out a recipe in one of my Williams-Sonoma cookbooks for duck lasagna with a cabernet sauce.  Oh yeah...

1 comment:

  1. nice! i've always kind of wanted that attachment but didn't want it to go the way of the meat grinder i bought for patrick (aka used maybe once a year). the vegetable and cheese shredder one gets used at least 1-2 times a month though!

    does the pasta rack come with the roller? can't wait to see what else you roll out of there!



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