Friday, January 13, 2012

Homemade Pasta – Finally

We bought an Atlas Pasta Machine several years ago and it had never been out of the box, except for looking at when we got it – Bev actually knew where to find it.  For the past couple of months, we’ve been talking seriously about making some pasta but the motivation had yet to come along – until now.  Following a meal with friends, Ashley and Kathy, we were setting around talking and the subject of spaghetti and meatballs got into the conversation.  Ashley advised she had a recipe she would make for us and none of us had made pasta, so the motivation had finally arrived.

Without checking any recipes, Bev headed to the store to buy some semolina flour, which I thought all pasta was made from, then I discovered that even Mario Batali uses all-purpose flour in his basic pasta dough recipe.  So I did some research about the two flours and discovered the semolina makes a stiff dough and is more difficult to work with but I found some recipes using various combos of semolina and AP flour and went with one that was 50/50 from All Recipes as follows:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semolina flour
1 pinch salt
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions – as written

1. Thoroughly sift together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and pinch of salt. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of flour mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs into the well and add olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. When mixture becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.
2. Knead dough for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and supple. Dust dough and work surface with semolina as needed to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

This is the classical method to make it, but I also found some recipes using a food processor or mixer dough hook.  We thought it might be easier to get right if we went the food processor route and used this from Mangia Bene Pasta.

Insert the metal blade of the food processor.  Place all of the ingredients in the bowl.  Pulse until the mixture begins to come together and form a ball.  Remove the dough and knead lightly until is smooth and elastic.  Divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls, cover, and let rest 30 minutes (at room temperature).  Bev whisked the eggs, oil, and salt together then poured it over the flour in the food processor and pulsed until a ball formed.

We made four dough balls and after resting, ran two of them thru the pasta machine for supper and froze the other two per instructions from ehow.com - half the dough was plenty for four of us.  We watched the You Tube video posted by Pam over at For The Love Of Cooking and it was very helpful.  We pretty much followed that procedure but decided 5 rather than 7 was the right thickness for our fettuccini.  I can’t believe I went in to take a shot of the ready-to-cook pasta then got busy and forgot.

A few days after making this, Claudia, over at What's Cookin Italian Style Cuisine, posted a dish that lead back to the same recipe we used and it was called Old Fashioned Egg Noodles, so I guess that's what we made - I wondered about the high amount of eggs (one egg per cup of flour seems to be more the norm).

Prior to making the pasta, Ashley made the meatballs from a recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

Meatballs

1 C Panko breadcrumbs
½ C buttermilk
¾ ld ground beef – 85%
¼ lb ground pork
¼ c grated parmesan
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
2 med garlic cloves, minced
¾ t salt
1/8 t black pepper
Oil for frying

Soak the Panko in the buttermilk for ten minutes, add the remaining ingredients and mix gently to combine.  Form into 1½ inch meatballs and fry in oil until nicely browned, about 10 minutes, and drain on paper towels.  Add to sauce to finish cooking.

The breadcrumbs swelled up and are obvious in the photo.

She also made a simple tomato basil sauce using a recipe from the same book.

Here’s my plate and it was delicious, with the only negative being I over-cooked the pasta a little – being our first time, I wasn’t sure what the taste and texture should be.  Bev loved it and commented that making it fresh was definitely worth the effort.

Prior to starting the pasta, Bev made a salad of two split and grilled romaine hearts topped with bottled Caesar Dressing, cheddar cheese, olives, salami, pepperoni, and grated parmesan - it was also delicious.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: Flat Irons On The Grill

Two years ago: Thank You Mister Tree

Larry

01/05/2012 meal date

15 comments:

  1. I bought a pasta attachment for my kitchen aide, drying racks, and other pasta making stuff several years ago too. And I know exactly where it sits, never used. I keep wanting to do it, and freeze some, but I never do.

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  2. Great post Larry, very informative. I got a pasta making machine like that last Winter and did use it right away. I used all purpose flour and think I rolled it out to thin. It was pretty dry and odd. Your combination flour recipe has me motivated to try it again. Plus I don't remember letting the dough rest at all. I think I used instructions that came with the machine. I must try it again. That plate of pasta and meatballs looks wonderful and Bev's salad .. muuuaaaa!

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  3. I keep wanting to make pasta but there sits the attachment to my Kitchenaide. I think i'm more afraid I'll screw it up.

    You did a fantastic job. You gave great tips too. No one would ever know by looking at the photos this was your first time. Beautiful meal, Larry!

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  4. Homemade pasta is so worth the effort to make it. But it's something I don't do very often. Oh boy, I want a plate of that salad right now!

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  5. Like others I've made homemade pasta once. The results weren't awesome enough to redo. I think it was the recipe. I'm going to have to try this one, my husband LOVES egg noodles, he'd be thrilled if/when I made these :)

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  6. Larry, You and Bev are sooo ambitious when it comes to food! Homemade pasta...a great concept... Ashley's meatballs look and sound good too! Love good pasta and meatballs! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  7. Once again you are making me hungry, but I'm not sure I would have the patience to make my own pasta.

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  8. I don't make pasta that often, but when I do I love making it fresh. Congrats on nailing your first try!

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  9. You guys are eating very well!

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  10. I would love your pasta I'm sure---but I'd never take the time and effort to make my own... But--that entire dinner sounded wonderful.. YUM...

    Have a great weekend.
    Betsy

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  11. It all looks fantastic! I love making homemade pasta, but it can be quite an undertaking at times! Glad you finally put the pasta maker to use :)

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  12. You've got me now starving for that dinner! I love spaghetti and those meatballs! Wow! I have never made it homemade. I thought I might suggest that you could make your pasta dough in a bread machine if you have one. Mine has a dough setting and I use it to make homemade pizza dough. Oh, and that salad looks heavenly! I am going to have to try that and I am going to have to try to make those meatballs!

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  13. I am going to check out the link on freezing the dough- which I have never done. I like to make homemade pasta too and you definitely have to make the effort to remember to do so once in a while. It is nice that you do it together, goes so much faster when you have the help. I usually only go to 5 too, 7 seems very thin to me.

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  14. I have to buy the attachment for our stand mixer first but I do want to try this, this year.

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  15. I've been wanting to try to make my own pasta for a while now. thanks for the inspiration larry! PS, your grilled romaine looks delish! One of my favorite things!

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