My user is “Curltastic & Hungry” for a reason; I have wild curly locks and I really like food. I’m probably categorized as a picky eater, but I’ve learned over the years that picky isn’t always bad. As my father would say, “I picked your Mother didn’t I? I think I’m doing well!” For now, I’m fine with ignoring sushi and spicy foods.
Growing up my FAVORITE meal was homemade pasta made by my Italian grandmother. Some of our best days were the days where we would go over to Mommom’s house and make pounds and pounds of pasta. Evening would be marked with a celebration of family as we enjoyed the fruits of our labor. As the years have gone we all get older, busier, and medical issues got in the way.
Making pasta is probably one of the most time consuming and labor intensive meals I make. This is why it’s so special. We don’t make it for anyone. It’s a meal made with love and shared with the ones we love most. This past weekend, Tim had Jack in Central PA where they helped build a greenhouse and spent time with his parents. Baby free, I made plans with Mommom to make pasta!
Thank you Mommom for your time and love!
It’s important to remember three things when making pasta.
- It’s VERY messy. So lay a sheet on your kitchen floor, and keep the windows closed/fans off so flour doesn’t spread everywhere.
- KEEP YOUR DOUGH COVERED AT ALL TIMES. There is nothing worse than a pasta ball dried out from the air. You’ll waste so much time just picking off the crusty outside.
- Start with a large clean area and lay out all of your tools before you begin.
Tools you’ll need:
- Small Knife
- Large wooden cutting board
- Wax Paper
- Gallon Freezer Bags
- Clean Dish Towels (enough to cover made dough balls)
- Food Processor
- Kitchen aid mixer + pasta attachment or hand crank pasta maker (each option has it’s own benefits)
- Dry measuring cups
- Small Bowl to crack eggs in
- Basic Kitchen Plastic Trays – 1 per lb of pasta made
Yields one lb of dough
- 3 cups of Flour (Plus a lot of extra for kneading)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 eggs
- Water as needed
Step 1:Add together ingredients in food processor. Crack your eggs into a separate bowl to avoid egg shell mishaps. Turn on full speed until dough like constancy begins to form. If the dough is not forming slowly add small amounts of water while pulsing the mixer. Dough should be moist, not sticky. If sticky consistency, separate the large chunk of dough into 3 and add flour, then pulse in the mixer.
Step 2: Once the dough is moist, remove from the food processor and place on a floured wooden cutting board. Kneed dough with flour removing signs of a sticky consistency. Form dough into a round ball and place on tray. IMMEDIATELY cover with a dry kitchen towel to keep moisture in. Repeat process until you’ve completed the amount of dough you desire to make (I usually do this 3 times).
Step 3: Connect your dough roller. Not the roller with the grooves for cutting.
Step 4: Cut off a piece of dough about 1/2 inch thick and feed through the rolling attachment.
REMEMBER to cover the remaining dough!!
The first time through will produce a jagged piece, but fold over into 3’s and feed through sending the edges through first each time (See video below). If the dough is too long to feed through this way, cut in half.Flour dough before each run though the dough roller.
Step 5: Once the dough has a smooth constancy, flour it a final time and place on floured counter-top. Cover the dough with a dishtowel to keep from drying out. Repeat until one a pound is completed. If you make more than one pound you risk your rolled out dough drying and breaking as your feed through the pasta cutter.
Step 6: Cutting your dough.
There are many ways you can cut your rolled out dough pieces. Long wide strips are best for casseroles. If you decide to make raviolis you’ll want to cut squares out from the dough. For thick pasta I like cutting into 1/4 inch strips.
If you decide to use the cutting attachment, remember to flour the dough before you run it through the cutting tool. Always, always run your finder under the roller or cutter to ensure no pieces of dough are remaining. This will cause your rollers to get clogged. After cutting your pasta coat in flour and set aside onto clean tray. No flour is too much! Use your wax paper to separate individual layers of pasta. Do not over stack or your pasta will be crushed and get stuck together.
Step 7: Storage
Place cut pasta in the freezer for 1-3 hours and then separate into freezer bags and return to the freezer. Pasta can be cooked immediately – see cooking pasta section below.
Cooking Your Pasta
In a large pot bring water with 1 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil to a boil. Place pasta into the boiling water CONSTANTLY stirring to avoid the pasta clumping together. Cook pasta until Al dente (typically takes me 10 minutes for spaghetti noodles). Strain and immediately rinse with water to remove all leftover flour.
Add sauce and serve! Enjoy!