Thursday, February 3, 2011

Noodling Around

I’ve had my eye on the Kitchen-Aid pasta roller and cutter attachments for quite some time. And thanks to the generosity of my in-laws, we finally get to enjoy fresh homemade pasta.

Since I had some spicy, peppery arugula from our surprise Persephone Farm delivery, I decided to make some pappardelle noodles with my new toy. We’d made Summer Pappardelle with Tomatoes, Arugula, and Parmesan from Cooking Light before and I decided to adapt it to become a winter dish.

Making the pasta isn’t hard, but it’s time consuming. After initially kneading the dough, it has to rest for at least an hour before you can roll it out. I followed the pasta recipe from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen and used Martha Stewart’s Cooking School as a visual guide because it has such lovely step-by-step photos. The recipe called for four eggs, and I had one Persephone Farm egg left, which I used. If you look at the photo of the yolks, it’s easy to spot which one is from a chicken that roams around eating organic grass and bugs. It’s obviously a much richer yellow.  

Rolling the pasta out with the attachment was fun and I was able to do it quickly by myself. I used a pasta cutter that looked like a mini-pizza cutter to make 1-inch wide pasta ribbons. (This cutter also has a fluted-edged cutter that I’ve used for ravioli — and Trevor and my dad have used to seal a window screen, but that’s another story.)

Also, I cut some large pasta squares that I’m drying and will use it to make cannelloni for Valentine’s Day. Lidia’s homemade cannelloni is one of the reasons I wanted to get this pasta roller. I rolled out pasta by hand with a rolling pin for that meal and will never do that again!

Once the pasta was cut and rested, I made the quick sauce. Instead of using out-of-season cherry tomatoes, I used about 1 ½ cups of homemade garden tomato sauce that we usually have in the freezer. And I sautéed the arugula to wilt it slightly. I really can’t say enough about the homemade pasta. It’s completely different from commercially made dried pasta. It was flavorful, silky and light, and really let the flavors in the sauce shine. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to pasta from a box.


No comments:

Post a Comment