Friday, January 18, 2013

Pasta Maker

I happened upon a cheap but sturdy pasta maker in my Italian grocery store in December.
 On a whim I bought it. For 10 euro, it wasn't a big deal if I didn't get much use out of it. 
Here it is bolted down to my kitchen island.

With the new year, Husband and I have decided to try really hard to cut out all meat and eat only vegetarian, fish and eggs.

The pasta machine finally came out of the box.We were kind of scared, looking at this funky machine and imagining delicious delicate pasta emerging from it. Where to start?

I went to the library and checked out The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan. Excellent book, by the way, with very in depth instructions a la Julia Child.

We got to work. You can make pasta with regular wheat flour or substitute other flours. In Italy, they sell a flour called Farina which is a normal wheat flour but a finer grind sort of like cake flour. It is used for making pasta. I used a blend of both regular American flour and Italian farina.



Farina flour on the right. American flour on the left. Big mess always in my kitchen.

You make a heap of flour and create a crater. Put the unbroken eggs in the center.
 The ratio is 1 cup farina to 1 egg. If you use regular flour, use less flour (like 3/4 cup).
 Knead by hand for 8 minutes or, do like impatient me, knead for 90 seconds and then run through the pasta repeatedly on the widest setting (or have your husband do it - those are his hands below). Fold over and repeat about 10 times.
Here is the pasta sheet coming through the pasta maker.

You adjust the rollers to be thinner and thinner each time you crank the dough through
 until you achieve the thinness you desire.

On the other side of the machine is the cutter. My machine has two settings for cutting: fettuccini and spaghetti.
We also made spinach pasta.

It was very moist and difficult to work with but it turned out great!



Here is the finished product. Yum! And so much easier than I thought. Since this adventure we have made noodles 2 more times, ravioli with spinach and ricotta and lasagne noodles. It takes about 45 minutes from start to finish.



The only advise I would give myself? Wait awhile for the pasta to dry. You all know I'm impatient, right?

1 comment:

Laura Anies said...

wow...it's so convenient to have a pasta maker. It helps us to make the pasta so easily and simply.