Thursday, 30 September 2021 13:23

Let’s Make Pasta!

Written by John Reardon

Hello my Foodie Friends! 

I love Pasta. There, I said it. It is a weakness I have. Homemade pasta is a bigger weakness. Once you experience homemade pasta, it is close to impossible to go back to the store brand pastas. Making homemade pasta can require extra time – but it is worth it. If you haven’t ventured past the convenience of dried pasta, it’s time to make some changes in your life. We have nothing against dried pasta — there is definitely a time and a place for it, and in fact, sometimes there’s nothing better for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. If you’ve ever tried homemade pasta, however, you understand what pasta is really all about. Homemade pasta is a little chewy and very tender; it really does just melt in your mouth. It may sound difficult, but making your own pasta is actually much easier than you might think. Fresh pasta comes together quite quickly. Mixing and kneading the dough takes about 10 minutes, then you let it rest for 30 minutes. You can use this resting time to pull together the ingredients for the pasta sauce. After resting, rolling out and cutting the dough takes maybe another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how fast you go and how many helpers you have.

Speaking of helpers, it helps to have a few. You can definitely do it by yourself, but it’s really nice to have an extra set of hands, especially if you’re hand-cranking the dough through a counter-top pasta roller. Whether working by yourself or with someone else, I find that you fall into a rhythm of rolling the sheets of pasta, cutting the noodles, and sprinkling everything with flour.

Once you’ve made your pasta, you can cook it right away, dry it, or freeze it for later. When you do cook it, remember that homemade pasta cooks much more quickly than the dried pasta you buy in stores. Give it about four minutes in salted boiling water, taste it, and keep checking in one-minute increments until the pasta is al dente. Add Spinach or carrots to create more colorful pastas. What’s fun about these pastas is that the dough is really colorful and contains very concentrated vegetable juices, but they don’t have an overt vegetable taste. They are delicious, and I am pretty sure they could still pass a picky eater’s taste test. Unless the picky eater hates colors. 

Note: The name of the game at this point is to keep everything well-floured to prevent the pasta from sticking to itself or the roller as you work. If the dough starts to feel sticky as you roll it, sprinkle it with flour. Also sprinkle flour on any pasta you’re not working (rolled, cut or otherwise) with and keep it covered with a dishtowel.

Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, to pick up a Pasta machine and other pasta accessories. Plan an evening with Italian wine and appetizers and then roll up your sleeves to make pasta from scratch. Work your magic in the kitchen. Enjoy dinner al fresco (Caesar salad, bread, pasta, chicken Marsala, tiramisu for dessert and, of course, finished with home-made limoncello) and share an evening with great company and interesting conversation – all the ingredients for a truly memorable meal. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen!” “Mangia.”

Take Care,
John & Paula

REARDON FreshEggPasta 

Read 216 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 September 2021 13:26

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