Married a week! People keep asking me how it feels and I think I should probably come up with a more satisfactory response than “the same.”
But honestly we went back to normal life post-wedding. We are planning a honeymoon for September so for now it’s back to the status quo, a.k.a. watching Parenthood on Netflix for 3 hours on a Friday night. Living our best life.
This weekend I was like the very hungry caterpillar of kitchen appliances, though. I used:
The waffle maker, the dutch oven, the cast iron skillet, the ice cream maker, the sous vide, the double boiler, the food processor, all of our new pots/pans/baking sheets AND finally… the pasta maker. I hope when people were buying us kitchen toys from the registry they know how excited I am about ALL of these things.
I know you can make pasta without a pasta maker but I’ve never tried. I know it makes a huge mess and I just wasn’t prepared to put a lot of work into it if I knew the quality wouldn’t be great. So I patiently waited for the KitchenAid 3 Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter set we registered for.
Pasta dough is basically just eggs and flour. And if you’ve ever watched Food Network you’ve probably seen them creating a little flour basket on the counter and cracking eggs into the well. But when I found this recipe that uses the dough hook on the stand mixer instead? Sold. Here’s what we do.
2 cups of all purpose flour, a healthy pinch of Kosher salt, 3 eggs (beaten), and a big glug of olive oil go into the bowl. I still did the flour basket just for fun.
Toss it together a bit with your hands or with a fork until you get a shaggy dough.
Then let the dough hook go to work. I had to add water to mine- maybe about a 1/4 cup- to get it to come together. And you can always add more flour. This isn’t like baking where you have a chemistry of ingredients, it’s more about the texture of the dough so do what you gotta do.
Next you have to let the dough rest. I made mine a day ahead of time- just wrapped it in plastic and popped it in the fridge. But if you’re doing this the day of, they recommend letting it rest for at least 30 minutes.
After this, we portion it out a bit and start to roll it out. The pasta roller is going to do most of the work for you, but you have to give it something it can handle. So I would cut the dough into at least 4 sections, flour it a bit and roll it into something vaguely resembling a rectangle, and then feed it through.
The instructions recommend feeding it through, folding it in half, and then feeding it again. And if you mess up, you just start over. It’s basically the adult version of Play-Doh and I want to do this every day.
You can (and should) keep sprinkling more flour to keep the pieces from sticking together. Once you have your rectangles, you decide what shape pasta you want. My kit came with a spaghetti cutter or a fettuccine cutter. I picked the fettuccine. You could also hand cut some pappardelle, or keep them in rectangular sheets to make lasagna. I will probably do both of these things within the next week. Also if you want a short cut pasta, I think there are tutorials all over the internet for how to do orecchiette and other fun shapes.
So I fed my dough into the fettuccine cutter and got beautiful long noodles. I need to get one of those racks (or maybe just use a hanger next time?) to hang the noodles so they don’t stick together. I laid them out on a baking sheet, sprinkled with more flour, and put them in the fridge. It’s important to refrigerate the noodles if you aren’t cooking them immediately to prevent them from sticking together.
The pasta literally cooks in 1-2 minutes. We had Kelly and Aaron over for dinner and I cooked each pasta serving individually and it felt like I had found my life’s purpose.
I made a quick vodka sauce to toss the noodles in, but you can use any sauce! I love this bolognese and can’t wait to do it with fresh pasta, and also this quick tomato sauce. Or you could do carbonara! The possibilities are endless.
The takeaway here is- this is not difficult. It’s a lot of steps but basically idiot proof. So if you have a KitchenAid and you’re looking for an attachment, I highly recommend this one. If you’ve never had fresh pasta before it IS different from pasta out of a box. And I’m so snobby that I may never go back.