Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Pasta Process

I recently starting making homemade pasta, thanks to this pasta machine I found at Goodwill.

The process of making pasta is even easier than I had imagined.  I started cooking this dinner (fettucini alfredo) at 4:30, and even with making the pasta from scratch I had dinner on the table at 5:30.  I have definitely made more labor intensive meals than this!

The pasta dough is simple.  It is 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs.  You make a well in the center of the flour and beat the eggs with a fork, then mix them until the dough is a uniform consistency and color.

It's important for the dough to rest for 10 minutes, so I started getting the sauce and broccoli ready in the meantime.

The alfredo sauce is also a simple process.  Bring cream, butter, and garlic to a boil... then add shredded parmesan cheese and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Now that the dough is rested, it is sliced kind of like a loaf of bread.  Each slice is then lightly dusted in flour before it is put through the pasta machine. 

The first step is flattening the dough.  On the side of the machine is a dial with numbers, you start by setting the dial at 7 first (the widest.)  The dough is fed through the rollers with a crank.  Then you set it at the 6 and flatten again.  Then again at 5, and again at 4.  After the dough has gradually been made flatter and flatter, then it is ready to be put through the pasta side.  It really is so easy that my 7-year-old can do it by himself.

After each slice of dough has been put through the machine, the pasta is hung on a drying rack.  This is completely optional.  As far as I can tell, the pasta can go straight from the machine into a pot of boiling water, but it cooks so quickly that I need to wait. And why not hang it on the rack since I have it?! Ha.

The broccoli is steaming, the alfredo sauce is simmering, bread is in the oven, the pasta is ready to be cooked... now it's time to get a big pot of water boiling.  The pasta must be placed in a lot of water that has been brought to a roaring boiling.  It only takes 4 minutes to cook.

Once the pasta is cooked, it is then drained.  The sauce is poured on top and tossed to coat.

Ready to eat!

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