Evidently, a pasta maker was on my Christmas wish list this year. Sadly, I did not receive the pasta maker that I dreamed about but did receive some money from my mother-in-law to buy myself something nice. I used that money to finally buy my pasta maker. Originally, I was going to get the traditional pasta roller but then saw that Kitchenaid now has the pasta press available too. The pasta press can make spaghetti, macaroni, rigatoni and more. After thinking about it I thought that I'd likely get more use out of the pasta press instead so got that one.
What a great machine! It was super easy to use (even for me) and I was able to make some pasta successfully on my first attempt.
Here is the basic 'starter' recipe that I used which was in the Kitchenaid booklet included in the box with the attachment.
Basic Egg Noodle Pasta
- 4 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
Place flour and salt in stand mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Speed 2 and gradually add eggs and 1 tbsp water. Mix for 30 seconds. Stop mixer and exchange flat beater hook for dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and knead for 2 minutes.
Remove mixture from bowl and place on clean surface. Dough may appear crumbly (no kidding!). Hand knead for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until dough is smooth, pliable and holds together in a ball. Cover the ball with a clean towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
Form walnut-sized pieces and extrude pasta into desired shape (I used large macaroni).
As the pasta comes out of the extruder cut into the desired length with the swinging cutting wire thingy and place on a baking sheet or clean surface. The pasta could be used immediately or stored for future use. If not using right away, air dry for 1 hour, then wrap in an airtight plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To freeze, double wrap the pasta and keep frozen for up to 4 months. To use frozen fresh pasta, do not thaw - it should go directly from freezer into boiling water.
When cooking the pasta, cook in boiling water for 2-5 minutes, as opposed to the 7-8 minutes for dry pasta. Notice how the pasta floats to the surface?
I have loved macaroni and cheese since my childhood. Uhm...actually, I had a slight addiction to Kraft Dinner and ate it ALL.THE.TIME. It was also one of my cravings when I was pregnant with Joelle. Needless to say I don't buy it anymore; it's definitely not real food, no matter how much cauliflower they try and put into those noodles now. Blech..
With my first attempt at making homemade pasta I knew that I'd have to make macaroni and cheese. Remember that show '100-mile challenge' that ran on the Food Network from Mission, B.C.? On the show there was a family who loved Kraft Dinner and then on one episode (at the end of their journey) they made both the Kraft Dinner and the homemade version with homemade pasta and they decided that the homemade version tasted the best? Yes, that's when my desire to make homemade pasta began. That was over 2 years ago. Homemade mac 'n' cheese with homemade pasta has been on my mind ever since!
Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk, heated
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
Stir in the mustard and cheese to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
Add sauce to cooked pasta and serve.
Was it worth waiting two years? Yes,..yes it was. But you know what? I think homemade pasta would be delicious with a good bolognese sauce. Mmmmmm.....
Stay tuned for more homemade pasta recipes this year - I'm thinking butternut squash pasta, spinach pasta, herbed pasta, etc..
Eat Fresh, Eat Local, Eat REAL Food!!