So, in brave determination to broaden my culinary horizons, I had my first experience with handmade pasta last night! I won't say it was an incredible success, but it was a valiant first effort. Here's how it went down:
I went to several different websites (and even watched one video) on how to make pasta dough. I didn't have the recommended 00 (very very fine) Italian flour, but most sites said that regular flour would work. I mixed 2 cups of flour with 3 eggs and a splash of olive oil, then kneaded it together.
There was one step I didn't take a picture of, and I think it was a crucial one. As per the instructions at Smitten Kitchen, I cut the dough into halves and rolled each half into a long tube-like thing and wrapped it tight in aluminum foil, then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This made the dough much more manageable.
After I took it out, I rolled it as thin as I could (but not thin enough) with a rolling pin, then rolled the dough up like you'd roll up . . . wrapping paper or something. :)
Like that. Can you see that it's rolled up? Then, with the sharpest knife I have (not sharp enough--I have pretty shitty knives), I cut centimeter-wide slices like this:
See those cute little spirals? When you unroll them, they make linguini! (well kind of). After I'd done this with both rolls, I unrolled all the adorable spirals and dried the pasta for about 15 minutes on the counter (I dried it for as long as it took me to chop the veggies). My counter looked like this:
Funny, right?? It was pretty exciting, I gotta say, seeing them lookin' all pasta-like up in there. Then, I chopped up some onion, garlic, red pepper, and rainbow chard, mixed in some sweet grape tomatoes, and sauteed (admittedly, I added a little butter. And salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings).
Yum. Then, I made a mistake. I was going back and forth between just adding the uncooked noodles to the wok with all the veggies, boiling the noodles for a couple minutes, and sauteing them in a separate pan. I went with the latter, although I think I should have flash boiled them, at least, and maybe thrown them right in with the veggies. Instead I cooked them separately in a pan, which resulted in them browning too much and ending up a little . . . wonton-like:
But we live and learn. And I'm super determined, so you better believe I'm trying this again pronto (I'm thinking meyer lemon and cracked pepper pasta), and I'll know what to do better. After my little noodle wontons were done, I added them to the wok and tossed them with the veggies:
I added a little more salt & pepper, some grated parmesan, and squeezed some delicious meyer lemon on top (this lemon was so sweet that I literally ate a piece of it).
Anna was my guinea pig and she was a good sport about it. :) I loved the flavor of the whole thing, but the texture of the noodles left something to be desired. I'm gonna have to consult some more pasta making sites (and my daddy) to get some good tips, but I'm still pretty excited by this--fresh pasta! Fun!
Have any of you ever made pasta? If so, throw me some knowledge!
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