Main Dishes, Pasta & Risottos, Recipes

October Unprocessed: Fresh Pasta

Last Christmas I got the pasta roller and cutter attachments for my KitchenAid mixer. And the Ravioli attachment. And yes, it too me until now, until Unprocessed October, to actually get the stuff out of the box. First, I want to warn everyone. People think having a KitchenAid makes everything so easy. Well it does, for baking at least. Not so much with pasta. There’s a lot of steps and pieces to connect, and even though the KitchenAid “kneads” the dough for you, you still have to do it again…MANUALLY. Sure it might be easier than making pasta by hand, from scratch–I’ve never tried. But for some reason, I always thought my KitchenAid was magic. Like a microwave, I would pop some ingredients into its bowl and voila! I would have something fantastic. Boy was I wrong.

This is certainly NOT one of my easy weekday meals, as I thought it might have been. I started sometime around 6:30pm and I believe we were eating close to 9pm. On the plus side, you can double the recipe (or in my case, I only needed half the recipe to feed the two of us), and freeze the pasta for next time. So kind of like when I make pizza dough, it’s one agonizing evening, but then a series of quick easy dinners follow over the coming months as I just defrost and cook.

Since this was my first time making pasta ever, I followed the KitchenAid recipe to the T, something I never do. I have to admit though, having homemade pasta you made yourself is like nothing else.

Light Wheat Pasta (from the Kitchenaid Pasta Sheet Roller and Cutter Attachment manual)

  • 2 1/2 c sifted whole wheat flour
  • 1 c sifted bread or unbleached flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Place whole wheat flour, bread flour, eggs, water, and salt in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.

Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and knead 2 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a log and flatten slightly so each is about 3/8″ thick.

Set adjustment knob on Pasta Sheet Roller at 1 by pulling the knob straight out and turning to setting 1. Release knob, making certain pin on roller housing engages opening on the back of the knob, allowing the knob to fit flush to the roller housing. Turn mixer to Speed 2 or 4. Feed flattened piece of dough into rollers to knead. Fold dough in half and roll again. Repeat folding and kneading process several times, or until dough is smooth and pliable. Lightly dust pasta with flour while rolling and cutting to aid in drying and separation. Knead and fold each piece of dough in the same manner.

Move adjustment knob to setting 2. Feed dough through rollers to further flatten. Change to setting 3 and feed dough through rollers again. Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached. I went up setting 5 for fettuccine.

Exchange Pasta Sheet Roller for cutter attachment. Feed flattened sheets of dough through cutter.

Cook pasta immediately in salted boiling water until al dente (about 2-5 minutes). Pasta will float on the surface of water while cooking so stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Drain in a colander. Top with desired sauce or seasonings. Recipe yields about 1 1/4 lb pasta.

TO FREEZE PASTA: Let pasta air dry for no more than 1 hour. Dust pasta with flour and form nests, then freeze in ziplock bags. Cook frozen pasta (do not defrost!) for 7 minutes until al dente.

 

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