Wednesday, September 30, 2009

pasta making: check

I did it! Last night I made pasta!

I have to admit, I've tried it before. I tried it last fall with pumpkin filled raviolis and it was a complete flop. The filling oozed out of the little pockets and we ended up ordering pizza. It was so disappointing!

But a few weeks ago, my friend Tara gave me a pasta machine, a pasta drying rack and a pasta cookbook. Talk about being set up for success! So, yesterday I gave it a try.

I decided to make a recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The recipe has you made spinach flavored lasagna noodles (seemed like a good beginner noodle) and a simple sauce. Then everything gets baked for a half hour in the oven, which I liked the idea of. A good half hour before dinner to clean up and regroup after my attempts at pasta making.

So, Dave was at the playground with the kids while I made the dough. The dough was so easy to make. Spinach, eggs, flour in the food processor and voila! And then...the kids came home. So, I got a lot of help forming the noodles! The noodles whipped up easy, peasy. I was surprised at how much abuse the dough could take and still get the job done.

Once the dough was all stretched out, I cut them to the size I wanted, tossed them with the sauce and popped it in the oven. Not bad!

Lessons learned:
1. Young boys love machines. Pasta machines, sewing machines, you name it. So, either plan for plenty of time if boys are going to help, or make the pasta while boys are sleeping or in school.

2. Use the drying rack! I didn't bother with the drying rack and that wasn't a problem until I was cutting the pasta to size and they got stuck together.

3. Keep the sauces simple. It's about the pasta, not the sauce, so don't go crazy.

I'm definitely doing this again. The pasta was so light and yummy! Next up to try? Black Pepper Pasta!

I'm into it...but not quite enthusiastic as the lady on the front of the machine's manual. But, perhaps I'll get there someday.

Thanks Tara! You're a great friend! And now I can cross something off of my To-Do list! awesome.


Mama V said...

Oh, that pasta looks delicious! I don't think I've ever had homemade pasta! How did the boys like it?

Could one make pasta noodles without a doohickey?

I've said it before but I think you like machines just as much as your boys do. ;)

Firefly said...

PLEASE bake yourself a pasta vest and take your picture wearing it like that lady.

please please PLEASE

Sooo funny that someone came up with that photo concept.

And soooo awesome that you made homemade pasta. Looks really yummy.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was gong to beg you to show some blog restraint when your enthusiasm matches the pasta-vest lady. Maybe you can send picture to Firefly over e-mail?

Melissa said...

I'm going to send this post to Chris. Since he's my Italian husband, don't you think he should make me some pasta?

Robyn said...

Mama V, you can...but it's hard. I think the trouble with my attempt at ravioli's was getting the pasta thin enough. The machine just gets it so thin...practically effortlessly (especially if you have someone on child care duty). could probably borrow my pasta machine...I don't know if I'll be using it daily yet. ;) and...the boys loved it.

Susan, if I am tempted to post a picture of myself in a pasta scarf (i think it looks more like a scarf) then I think you need to haul yourself over the Verrazano to talk some sense into me!

Melissa, definitely. Pasta is in order. Perhaps you could use this as leverage. When he is bragging about his Italian heritage tell him you just don't see the Italian roots until homemade pasta hits your plate.

Melissa said...

I keep thinking about this post, and I've decided it's my favorite Robyn post ever. The combination of pasta with beautiful pictures of food (I love pictures of food) and pictures of adorable boys helping with food and sexy ladies wearing weird vests is perfect.

There's a restaurant in Northampton called "Fresh Pasta Bistro" that has become my favorite restaurant. Each day they have different choices of fresh pasta that you choose from and then choose which sauce/ toppings you want for it. And every time I've eaten there, it is SO good. We might have to keep that in mind when you guys visit.

TARA said...

Robyn and I had a good laugh over this picture, and I'm STILL cracking up about it now - so glad it made the blog entry!! I did suggest to Robyn at the time that she do a similar picture for her bio pic. I agree, it is definitely more of a scarf than a vest, but Robyn is so good at creating things that she could make a pasta vest - the green spinach variety would be quite lovely. So glad this was a success! Of course, I knew it would be. I definitely am looking forward to a homemade pasta night next time I'm in Brooklyn. Mmmm, black pepper pasta sounds perfect.

TARA said...

Laughing out loud AGAIN about the picture.

Firefly said...

I also think it's a scarf on that lady. It's Robyn I think should make a vest. I am sure she is way more crafty than the scarf maker and I'd love to see her in something more fitted... perhaps with pine nut beading...

MandiCrocker said...

COOOOOL!!!! Wow, Robs!!! Real, live pasta!!! :) :) :)