Saturday, June 2, 2012

Homemade Pasta

I celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago and for my birthday dinner I made homemade pasta.  (Anyone who has tasted homemade pasta knows what a treat it is.)  After a phone call to my brother to get some tips, I dove into the pasta making process. 

There are only 2 ingredients in my pasta dough: eggs and flour.

I used 5 room temperature eggs.   Here's my tip of the day: Bring your cold eggs up to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. 

Put 2 cups of flour onto a pastry board.  Make a well in the center of the dough. 

Crack the eggs into the well.

Scramble the eggs with a fork.

Gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs. 

Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.

Cover with a damp paper towel and let rest 20 minutes. (Don't skip this resting period - it's important.)

Cut off small portions of the dough to work with. 

My pasta machine has a numbered dial on the side to adjust the width.  I start with a #2 and I run the dough through the machine twice.  I continue to feed the dough through the machine while adjusting the dial to gradually get thinner and thinner dough.  I dust the dough quite often with flour to keep it from sticking to the machine and I end up with long strips of pasta dough. 

Lay the strips of dough on the counter to dry slightly.  (I let mine dry about an hour.)


Attach the cutting blades to the top of the pasta machine.  Feed the dough through either the thin or thicker setting depending on the type of pasta you prefer. 

I ended up with a pile of spaghetti...

and a pile of linguini.

Once all the pasta is cut, it's time to cook.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta.  Fresh pasta cooks in 3-4 minutes.  

I ended up with a lot more linguini than spaghetti because it was easier to cut.

I topped my fresh pasta with some simple marinara that I had in the freezer and a served it with some homemade meatballs. 

The "icing on the cake" as they say, was the fresh Parmesan cheese from France.  (A gift for my birthday.)

The pasta dinner took about 3 hours to prepare but it was really good.  Fortunately, I'm getting more efficient with every pasta making experience - maybe I will shave a few more minutes off of my prep time by summer.  Even though it took a long time to prepare, it was a delicious birthday dinner - well worth the effort.


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