4/25/12

Wherein we make pasta


I had almost forgotten I had a pasta machine. Fresh pasta seems like a summery food to me, and now that the weather has warmed up (and I'm getting a little sick of the same old spaghetti every Sunday), I pulled it out.

This turned out to be a perfect Sunday morning activity for the kids. They usually get quite antsy on Sundays, and this filled a bit of the morning time very nicely. I've found that if I can give them something constructive to do, they'll usually not get out of control.

We made spinach pasta because Tiger Lily is a big fan of spinach lately (and I love that she demonstrates how strong she is each time she takes a bite). I wish you could have seen the amount of energy she expended turning the roller. She puts her all into everything.

I used the recipe from America's Test Kitchen's Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles, which I found to be a bit fussy (I was a bit disgruntled that it only includes instructions on how to make the dough with a food processor. While I was able to adapt it for my stand mixer, I thought it was silly, because a lot of people don't have a food processor, and there are lots of different ways to make pasta.)

I'll be working some more fresh pasta dishes into our menu in the next few weeks. I think fresh pasta is well worth it if you have a little free time. And it's a good solution for me—I love to create in the kitchen, but I keep churning out desserts, and that's not good for us. This way I can make something that we're going to eat for dinner anyway.

5 comments:

  1. I just recently pulled out my mom's pasta roller and have had fun and good success (for a beginner) with spaghetti, linguini, and egg noodles. Lasagna is on the menu plan for tonight and it occurred to me that if I didn't cut the sheet of pressed pasta I could use it like store-bought lasagna minus the edge ruffles. The spinach pasta looks yummy. I always find the ATK recipes to be fussy. Worth it if you want to invest some extra time but not everyday cooking for me. Tiger Lily and Red Chief look like good helpers!

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    1. Kristine, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has minor issues with ATK.

      By the way, I have always wanted to try this recipe for thousand-layer lasagna.

      http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001386.html

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    2. Here's my report on tonight's lasagna: I don't think I'll ever go back to making it any other way. Really. And it was easy. I looked over the thousand-layer lasagna recipe. It looks good. I used homemade pasta sauce from my own tomatoes. I had frozen it in pints. I used two pints and some leftover homemade pizza sauce from the other night. I rolled my pasta nice and thin, layered with sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and spinach. I did NOT pre-cook the pasta. It was so light and delicate that I was pretty sure it would cook nicely in the dish. So different from heavy store-bought noodles that sit on top of the layers. These actually draped over the blobs of ricotta and spinach, creating wonderful pockets of flavor and melted cheese. Everyone thought it was wonderful. I was so pleased.

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    3. That sounds amazing! I am looking forward to trying lasagna with fresh pasta soon. I'm glad to know you don't have to pre-cook the noodles.

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  2. Awesome! Looks like a lot of fun for the kids too. I bet my kids would love that. Maybe I need to find myself a pasta maker... :D (And I know exactly what you mean about Sunday mornings.)

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