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Friday, January 25, 2013

Homemade Pasta

Every year growing up we went to Thanksgiving at an Italian relatives catering hall and every year they served homemade pasta. It is amazing. Years ago when I got married, i registered for a pasta maker thinking of how I would bless my non-Itallian husband with homemade pasta. And then I found out he didnt really like pasta. Really, not liking pasta is one of the biggest insults you can say to an Italian. It floored me that he didnt eat pasta twice a week growing up-- I mean really, what else is there? It is the culinary delight that can go with anything. Anyway.... fast forward almost 9 years later and I am on a low carb diet for my pregnancy. Wheat pasta is the go to answer for my nutritionist and I am going to say this-- its nasty. There, I said it, store bought wheat pasta is just too nutty and pasta shoule be many things, but not nutty. So, I went down to the basement and got my good ol' pasta maker and set to work. Making homemade pasta is really simple, requires just a few ingredients, and will be one of the tastiest homemade things you ever eat. Seriously!
You will need: 2 cups of wheat flour (plus more for dusting the pasta machine and kneading the dough) ** 2 beaten eggs ** 1/4 of water ** 1/4 cup cooked spinach (drain and finally chopped)** 1 tsp of olive oil ** Pour flour in your mixture and turn it on with the dough hook. In a sepeate bowl, mix all the other wet ingredients and spinach together and then poor into the middle of the flour. Keep mixing until you have a nice elasticy dough ball. Take out of mixer and knead on a flour surface for about 5 minutes and then let it rest in a covered bowl. Now for the fun part...
Here is your little dough ball baby. Divide it into four parts. Flaten the first 1/4 ball and slide into pasta maker on level 1. Roll it through once.
And now, after it is through once, fold it like a baby swaddle almost-- each side into the middle.
Now run the swaddle folded pasta through and now you should have no tears or pulls and have a more rectangle like piece. Run it through again on 1, 2, 3, and 4. Let it rest and move on to another ball. Go back to the first ball and cut it in half. Run them through on 4, 5, and 6. Cut it in half again. Run through each piece through 7 and if you would like 8. If you are making lasagna, you can stop here and just use like no-bake lasagna noodles.
If you are making spaghetti (we did lasagna and spaghetti-- well, hey while it was out, we just made two batches and had lasagna one night and then made fettucini and angel hair for two different meals later), then add the spaghetti attachment and roll it through one time and then hang up. We use hangers and it worked perfectly-- the kids loved seeing it hang up to dry (actually, so did my husband). They also were very helpful rolling it out.
After a day its dry and ready. We waited 2 days and then enjoyed it--
Like the steam coming off? I served it with some homemade meatballs made from ground sausage mixed with a mix of ground pork, veal, and beef-- my kids love meatballs and these were a special batch, but so much better than store frozen ones or any out to eat ones (or so the meat eaters have told me). All of that was with a tomatoe sauce I had made a big batch of with minced zucchini, spinach, peppers, and broccoli all added in. So there was spinach in the pasta and veggies in the sauce. My kids are eating veggies and gaining that taste for them and enjoying them. I served it with some more broccoli on the side so they KNOW they are eating veggies.
And guess what? My daughter actually began to cry when there was no more broccoli left over-- my kids seriously love their veggies! Yours can too-- just keep serving them and eating them in front of them!
This little guy is my picky eater and he ate all his food too.
The kids couldn't get over how good their pasta was and went back for more and more. Because I had rolled it so thin and put so many veggies into the dough and the sauce, I could too with no carb guilt (yay)! Truly, homemade pasta is worth the time-- its the best way to have Italian and everyone should try some at least once!

1 comment:

angie said...

Was that an offer to make us some? You said that everyone should try homemade pasta at least one time. LOL
Actually, I like whole wheat pasta from a box. But of course, I know I would regret saying that after I tasted homemade.
I imagine that was a wonderful aroma as it dried around your home.