Authentic, Imported Italian Semolina Durum Flour
(a birthday present from #3 via The Great Amazon)
Making homemade pasta using my hand cranked machine is a chore
Our teacher said to just get the attachments for the KitchenAid Mixer
Machine powered pasta rolling and cutting attachments for KitchenAid Mixer
(a birthday present from myself to myself via The Great Amazon)
Roller attachment prepared to do battle
Making homemade pasta is really not that difficult
We should have here a picture of our flour built up with a well in it kind of like a volcano in which one puts the beaten eggs.
Unfortunately my 'volcano' walls were too thin and I immediately had a pyroclastic flow going all over the working surface.
Rapid work with the spatula ensured all eggs and flour were secured
Pasta flour and eggs incorporated and ready for kneading
Marcella Hazan in her book, Essentials of Italian Cooking says you should knead for 8 minutes or until the dough is (and I quote) "Smooth as a baby's bottom".
Unfortunately I have no baby's bottoms available to compare so just knead for 10 minutes.
Pasta cut into sections for putting though machine
Pathetic attempt at an 'action shot' of me rolling the pasta.
Hard to do the pasta and hold the phone for the shot at the same time.
Pasta sheets after rolling
And yes they are all different - Homemade means never having to apologize for inconsistency
Finished cut thin pasta
I made one of the very simple Roman pastas - Cacio e Pepe - pasta with Pecarino cheese and pepper.
You just grate cheese, toast a lot of coarse ground pepper in butter, add some of the pasta water (the secret flavor ingredient according to our pasta teacher), work it into a paste, add the pasta, mix, add more water if necessary to get it smooth. Serve with more cheese and pepper on the side
Voilá - Très Yummy
I was quite pleased. It was really good. Definitely a big step up in quality from my prior attempts making pasta. There is a distinct flavor, subtle but which builds as you eat the pasta, and I'm talking about the pasta itself. The pasta had a much more toothsome texture, was able to truly be al dente.
The pasta was also much easier to work with. It took very little additional flour when I was combining and kneading. I used no additional flour while I was rolling. This made the whole process less messy. Finally the automated attachments reduced the work and frustration by many factors over the hand cranked machine. And because there was no additional flour used, they required virtually no cleaning.
All in all, I was very happy with the result. I believe that homemade pasta is going to be a frequent guest on our Sunday dinner menus in the future.