It has been a long running joke between Scott and me that we have too much pasta. He ate pasta a lot more as a bachelor, and I have always felt like we had pasta coming out of our ears, pasta falling out of every cabinet, pasta taking over our lives. So I put it all in airtight containers and mason jars, and then he said he didn't know how long to cook all of it because they weren't in their boxes anymore, so now we just have tons of pasta we don't use. He used to love Raffetto's in NYC, and never stopped talking about how he could not find a place to buy fresh pasta in Albany. So partially as a pasta joke, and partially for practically reasons, I bought him a class at Different Drummer's Kitchen for Christmas to learn how to make fresh pasta. Then, we had a coupon to Different Drummer's that we got from having our wedding registry there, and with that we purchased a pasta making machine.
Pasta making turns out to be the most fun ever. I used Mario Battali's Babbo Cookbook, though frankly I never think Mario tests out his recipes, and I wished I had used the recipe from the instruction book that came with the machine. So here I have flour, olive oil, and eggs. Mario's recipe was too dry so I added another egg and a little more olive oil. Scott said he learned in his class that it is important to adjust the moisture of the dough by adding more flour or wet ingredients as needed. This actually makes sense since not all eggs in the world are the same size.
So I brought the dough together with a fork and let it rest for a while. Then, I got out my awesome pasta machine. It worked so well. I never knew making pasta was so easy or fun.
You start out on the thickest setting, and work your way down to the thinnest setting. Then, you put the dough through the cutter depending on what kind of pasta you want (you'd leave the sheets whole for lasagna or ravioli).
Then, you let them dry for about an hour on a table cloth. The fresh pasta lasts for one to two weeks in a cool, dry place with an airtight container.
Meanwhile, my husband made his amazing Bolognese sauce, which as I remember was how he originally won me over.
Here's the fresh pasta waiting to get cooked for a few minutes.
The next day my boss brought me some eggs from the chickens her husband raises. I've never had any of her eggs before, and they were absolutely amazing.
Scott made a carbonara with her eggs, the fresh pasta, and some asparagus added in there. Amazing!
Making pasta is fun and easy. It lasts a good amount of time after you make it. Food swap worthy? I say yes! It is like having Cafe Capriccio in your own home.
I think I will no longer complain about all the pasta in our house!
A NOTE ON BOLOGNESE (Scott) I should note that the ragu I made this weekend was from the wonderful The Geometry of Pasta, which I selected in part because it's similar to the one I normally make. Always an opponent of "authenticity," my ragu (unlike classic ones -- see here for a good example which is also very tasty) generally uses garlic and tomatoes. And red pepper flakes, which as the book notes are "heretical, but not displeasing." Essentially, sautee a mirepoix with pancetta or bacon, brown a mixture of beef, pork and veal for 15 minutes or so, add garlic for a minute or so, cover with milk, white wine (and/or stock, if you wish), and tomatoes, and just cook down on low heat for at least three hours and preferably more. It's an incomparable weekend meal and leaves plenty of leftovers.