A long, long time ago in a galaxy that is right here, my friend Linda noticed that “make homemade pasta” was item #43 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days and was all “I have pasta making attachments for my KitchenAid mixer. We should totally get together and make some pasta”. And I was all, “Totally!” And then for a long long time we were both all, “Hey we should really pick a date to make some pasta” and “Yeah, we totally should” and repeat. At some point we finally got our act together and set today as the big pasta making day!
We decided to make some spinach fettuccine, mostly because many of the other recipes called for semolina flour, whereas the spin-fet called for all purpose flour and we figured we didn’t want to go and buy special flour in case we discovered that we hated making pasta and then we’d have a useless bag of flour sitting around.
As it turns out, pasta making is not nearly as complicated and scary as I thought it would be. We basically just blended up some spinach, mixed in eggs, water, and flour, kneaded the dough for a bit and then, in small batches, ran it through the pasta roller attachment several times, making it into successively thinner and thinner sheets:
Once you have a sheet of your desired thickness, you run it through the cutting attachment1:
And viola!, you have homemade pasta:
We learned a few things from this our first pasta making adventure, the first of which basically can be summed up as “Follow the instructions!” Lesson #1: You should probably let the pasta dry while laid out flat. We were planning to cook all the pasta once we had it all cut, so we sort of just piled it up on a couple of plates. At the time we put it on the plates, the noodles seemed to be holding their shape and not sticking together, but by the time we got all the batches done, we discovered that the noodles on the bottom of the pile were rather smushed together, just from the weight of the pile and the amount of time that they sat together. (In our defence, the instructions did say you could make the pasta into little “nests” for freezing, but upon closer reading of said instructions, we realized it said that you can do that *after* you dry it and also it said “little” nests, not giant pile o’pasta.)
From the above, we learned lesson #2: This dough is very forgiving. Given the smushedness2 of the remaining pasta, we decided to re-roll and re-cut the noodles. The dough seemed rather dry and stiff at first, but Linda managed to work a bit more water into the dough and after much kneading and re-rolling, it returned to its fantastic pliable yet sturdy consistency that allowed us to cut more noodles, which we cooked immediately so as to not allow them any opportunity to re-smush together.
Lesson #3 was more of an idea for next time rather than a “lesson” per se. While making the pasta, we would roll out a few sheets and then switch from the roller attachment to the cutter attachment and then back again when we were done cutting and ready to roll the next few batches. We realized that it would be way better if we had two mixers, one with the roller attachment on and one with the cutting attachment on and not have to do all the switching back and forth. Given that both Linda and I own this type of mixer, that’s totally doable3.
Because we wanted to be able to taste the pasta, we opted to serve it with a bit of olive oil, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and feta:
Verdict: Not only did this taste amazing, it was really quite simple to do. I think that you should probably buy me a present and it should be this.
- Linda had one for fettuccine and one for spaghetti. You could also just use the sheets to make lasagna or stuffed pastas, like ravioli or cannelloni [↩]
- Is so a word. [↩]
- There may or may not be a pasta party in the works now. [↩]