Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade pasta noodles

I have tossed around the idea of making fresh pasta noodles before, enough so that my mom brought me my grandmother's old pasta maker/cutter/thingy/whatever you call it so that I could give it a shot. It sat in the closet for a while, I will admit, because it sounded like such a daunting task.  The stars were aligned a couple weeks ago though, when Michelle mentioned on one of the pinterest pins that she's always wanted to make pasta too...and then it just so happened we had a Saturday free up very soon after...it was like it was meant to be!  So the 5 of us brave girls (Christina, Michelle, Amanda, Aubrey, and I) set forth that weekend to make homemade noodles, a homemade bolognese sauce, and homemade garlic parmesan knots. 

The noodles were surprisingly easier than I would've imagined. Very quick and simple, just requires a few hands so I think it would be hard to accomplish on your own. I am now ruined though. I love homemade noodles, so chewy and fresh.  The store bought ones seem beneath me now....ugh.

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup course semolina (or 3 cups all purpose flour if you can't find semolina)
4 large eggs

Michelle said the semolina was hard to find and pretty expensive, but it makes the pasta springier and perfect so I would use it if  you have the opportunity.  If not, extra flour works too.

Mix together the flour and semolina in the bowl of a stand mixer , or mix them up and create a mound on the counter top with a crater in the center...if using a stand mixer, add the eggs to the dough and mix them together with the paddle or dough hook until well mixed.  On the counter top, crack the eggs in the center of the flour and semolina and use your fingers to gradually draw the dry ingredients into the center, mixing them with the eggs.  The dough will be hard to mix at first, a pastry scraper will help you to draw it all together, but eventually it will come together and be relatively smooth.

Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for at least 3 minutes until the dough is very smooth. The dough shold not feel sticky. If it sticks to your fingers, knead in a small amount of flour, just enough so your fingers come away clean when you pull them away.  Wrap the dough and let it sit at room temperature for an hour (you can keep the dough at room temperature for several hours).

To roll out the pasta, on a lightly floured surface, cut the dough into a few pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out into a rough rectangle, and then pass it through your pasta machine on the flat setting to get the dough an even width.  Then enter the flattened dough into your desired noodle cutter..we did fettucine this time so will try the spagetti side the next time.

Once rolled, fresh pasta should be dusted with semolina (preferably) or flour to keep it from sticking if you're not going to cook it right away. We laid the noodles up on the pasta drying rack to keep them from balling up together since we were boiling them immediately when done processing the noodles.

This pasta machine was my late grandmother's so I found some neat things in the box when we opened it up.  A handwritten pasta recipe from her was the best surprise I ever could have gotten!  This will be a great addition to my family recipe cookbook...how neat was it to find a surprise like this years after she left the Earth?!  It sort of made me feel closer to her, I'm very happy that I finally dug into the box...

There were also old magazine pages she ripped out with ideas on how to experiment with different flavored noodles like red bell pepper pasta, poblano chili pasta, dry anaheim chili pasta, or jalapeno chili pasta. Basically you roast fresh peppers or chilies in a hot oven until skins blacken, then cool in a paper bag, peel, seed, and puree.  Combine the puree of pepper or chilis with the egg and flour to make dough, and then mix as described earlier. Roll the pasta dough out as we already discussed and you've made flavored pasta!! Can't wait to try this next....but here is the result of our first try...operation fresh fettucine was a success! Next time I want to try spagetti noodles and add some peppers in there...I'll let you know how it goes :)

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1 comment:

  1. Love this... brings back good memories of Mom playing with this when I was a teenager. I mostly remember her making the fettucini noodles. Glad you're putting her recipe and machine to good use again!