How to Use a Pasta Roller: Fearless Friday May 7, 2010

Many thanks go to Candice of Ragamuffin Design. I’m still recovering and she was fabulous enough to step up to the plate so Fearless Friday would still happen, please be kind and give her an atta-girl or three. If you’re new here, don’t worry about all the text and pictures, the PrintFriendly feature at the end of the post makes getting rid of all the excess text & pictures easy peasy -Heather

Guest Post IconCandice says:

I remember years ago someone I know was dating a boy fresh off the boat from Italy. Ok that’s a lie, he was born in America, but his mother wasn’t and along with having a filthy mouth she used to laugh at us silly Americans for buying dry, boxed pasta. Kind of like I laugh at silly Americans for buying jarred tomato sauce -kidding. Anyway, I let that bother me for about 2 minutes because, well, I was 14 and I could not care less how my mom made my spaghetti.

Skip to present day, I’ll wait while you catch up.

A few days ago I was out on one of my typical thrifting expeditions and where I found a pasta maker for $4. It kind of grossed me out to think about using someone’s used cooking gadget, but I do own bleach. So, I soaked it for a day, scrubbed and cleaned out the nooks and there ya go, I no longer had an excuse to not try homemade pasta. BTW Heather, if you know how to clean one please let me know cause it’s a !@#$%.

In the past 5 years -during which I became a SAHM, oh gosh, don’t tell my grandmom I said that. she hates that term and wonders what is wrong with being a housewife- I realized I needed to stop being afraid to cook. I’ve always loved to bake and cook, but I never tried anything daring and in these past several years I told myself to take some chances. It’s amazing how something that seems so daunting, such as homemade pasta, can be so easy! I mean, it has TWO INGREDIENTS people. TWO! That’s one less than biscuits!

If you can get over the fact that you have to get flour on you clothes -and on your face, in your eyes, on the floor, in between the counter and the stove- and spend a few minutes playing with the dough and letting it sit some then you will realize that cooking/baking from scratch isn’t scary at all, it’s fun. Sure, seeing the time it takes, like breads, might turn you off, but most of that time you aren’t even in the kitchen. For instance, today when my pasta dough was getting some alone time under a bowl my son and I were at Riverfront park finding sharks teeth. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the size of one I found…WOW!

I’m down playing making pasta a little bit because yes, it does take some time. The first part is simple, but using the pasta maker took some getting used to. My biggest problem with it was the sticking. Flour helps obviously, but then it slipped right off the pasta maker so I had to make sure the dough stayed dry. I lost a few scraps of dough in the process, but it got easier as I went.
In the end was I glad I did it? Yes. Will I do it again? Yes. Will I still buy boxed pasta? ABSOLUTELY!

Fresh Pasta Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour (extra for dusting and kneading)
  • 4 eggs

Fresh Pasta Instructions:

I spooned the 2 cups of flour onto my board, made a large well in the middle and cracked the 4 eggs right inside the well.

Use a fork to beat the eggs.

You are SUPPOSED to continue using the fork to incorporate the flour into the eggs, but my flour barricade broke and I had to quickly scrape the egg and keep it from spilling onto the floor. I also had to keep myself from crying because my 5 year old was laughing at me. He thought it was HILARIOUS. I used a scraper to just quickly karate chop the TWO ingredients together.

I got this recipe from Martha and she says to REMOVE ALL LOOSE DOUGH FROM THE BOARD BEFORE KNEADING. What Martha says, Martha means and she terrifies me so I did it.

On that CLEAN surface it says to lightly flour and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. It says “about 10 minutes”, but I took about 7 or 8 minutes because it seemed right. Then you let it sit under a bowl for an hour and a half (or refrigerate over night).

Go find sharks teeth…

After the hour and a half I cut the dough into quarters. I kneaded each section quickly to form a disk, floured it some more and fed it through the thickest setting on the pasta maker. You are going to fold it lengthwise into thirds. I did this 2 more times on that setting.

after the initial 3 times on the thickest setting, run each section once through the remaining finer settings. It was hard to tell on mine because it didn’t always click, but I found 3 more settings worked best. (I keep reading they have from 6-10. that’s craaazy). I also cut mine in half several times to make feeding it through easier. my favorite part? the fact that when i was turning the handle it sounded like the smoke monster on Lost…

Once the sections were thin enough and to my liking I just ran it through the fettuccine section. That part was FUN and EASY! I finished up the other 3 disks and let the pasta drape over a bowl while I made carbonara. I didn’t spend enough time with that because they stuck together so I would suggest using a cookie sheet or something.

The recipe kind of stopped at this point, but I read another recipe that said to boil for a minute. Mine seemed a little thick so I boiled it for closer to 2 and that was a mistake especially since the carbonara needed al dente pasta. It got a tad mushy, but was still delicious!!

What have you tried this month? If you’ve tried a new recipe or technique over the course of the last month, share your link below, if you’re first click the blue button, or tell us about your Fearless Friday Adventure in the comments.Remember, it’s about both the successes and the failures.

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14 thoughts on “How to Use a Pasta Roller: Fearless Friday May 7, 2010”

  1. I've been making pasta for a couple years now. I've tried about six different ways to mix the dough by hand, and failed each time. I now only make the dough in my food processor. It's not as messy, more completely mixed, and less kneaded, so it's not as tough to get in the roller. 🙂

    On the "what have you tried recently" thread, I made granola successfully for the first time yesterday! Omnomnomnom…

  2. My husband and I got a pasta maker for our wedding six months ago and just put it to use last night! It was definitely a learning process-flour is your friend-but we had fun and the noodles turned out great. I think I will make it an occasional weekend project because of the time and mess-I've read you can freeze noodles easily.

  3. Love the LOST reference. I, often, wish I had "smell-a-vision" for blogs.. but you gave us sound-o-vision!

    You are braver than I am. I used to own a pasta machine and I miss it daily!

    All I accomplished, in the cooking department, this last week, was to avoid the cooking department of our home. 🙂

  4. My husband and I got a pasta maker for our wedding six months ago and just put it to use last night! It was definitely a learning process-flour is your friend-but we had fun and the noodles turned out great. I think I will make it an occasional weekend project because of the time and mess-I've read you can freeze noodles easily.

  5. I made sour dough pizza from scratch yesterday. (sob) I worked on making the sour dough for a week and a half. Then I spent the entire day making 3 pizzas for dinner. It did not go well. I cut myself, burned myself and the pizza was awful. I will keep trying. Not for the rest of this month. I will spend it pouting.

  6. Sounds great, and your writing style is hilarious! I will keep an eye out at thrift stores for a pasta maker. I wouldn't go spend $30 or more for one, but I would spend $4.

    I remember reading a novel once which had one of the characters drying her homemade pasta on the handlebars of her son's bicycle. 🙂

  7. I have had a heck of a time with my Kitchenaid pasta attachment. The fact that the pasta comes straight out and then down means everything gets stuck together in clumps – I need to sprinkle flour, like, constantly to keep them separated. I soooooo covet the Williams Sonoma pasta press – I feel like if it's coming DOWN as opposed to out and down, I have a better chance. Usually with the Kitchenaid I give up and get out the rolling pin.

    Either way, homemade pasta takes forever but is sooooo good!

    • Are you using the KA pasta roller or press? I use the roller, and I dust the sheet every other notch and dust heavily before running through the cutter. I also roll and cut the pasta as the last thing I do for dinner, with the sauce all ready and the water almost boiling, so I can boil the pasta before it has a chance to stick together.


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