Homemade pasta is just to die for. Yes, it requires extra work but once you’ve done it once or twice, it’s far more enjoyable than you think. The pasta maker itself is about $70 and it’s definitely worth every penny. You’ll use it way more than you would expect and the bit of labor required is definitely worth it. Today was the first time I used to attachment for the maker, where it will cut your pasta for you into fettuccine. It is just AMAZING.
Now, the only explanation I will give for the pasta making will be brief here. When you go to roll your pasta, use a racquetball sized piece of dough every time. And make sure to really coat your dough with flour…trust me, you don’t want to learn the hard way of what happens if you don’t do this. Have the dough go through the machine at the widest setting, folding it into a rectangle every time. Add flour as needed! Once it has smoothed out, start changing the settings gradually until you get a nice, long sheet of thin pasta dough. Once again, make sure to COAT your pasta so it doesn’t stick. Once you have your sheets, put it through the fettuccine attachment, hang them to dry for 5-10 minutes, cover with flour and allow to dry in a “nest” on parchment paper.
Dried pasta is just way too…chewy. Homemade pasta stays extremely light and feels like it’s melting in your mouth. And it surprisingly stays just as good for leftovers the next day. I won’t lie, the part I hate the most is kneading the dough. It seems like it’ll never become smooth but it really does.
Now here comes the super McGyver part. Usually, you need to use a pasta drying rack, which looks like a stripped down tree where you hang your pasta to dry. I never really thought I would need it when I was registering gifts for our wedding…lo and behold, the day came and I was pissed at myself for not getting one. But instead of going out and buying one, I improvised. With a clothing hanger. Hanging off my blinds. Was it extremely redneck of me? Yes, absolutely. But it worked and that’s all that matters.
This weekend, we also decided to go to our local “Whole Foods” and bought a ton of salamis, cheese, and the lovely pancetta. Pancetta is cured pork belly that goes great with pasta. Usually, you will see it used in carbonara. It’s not a completely obscure ingredient and considering I was able to procure it in Pensacola means that it can virtually be purchased anywhere.
Pasta dough (see my Butternut Squash Ravioli recipe)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 pound diced pancetta
1/2 onion, finely diced
4-5 garlic cloves, finely diced
5-6 basil leaves
dash of pepper and salt
1. In a large sauce pan, heat up olive oil over medium heat. (Also start boiling your water)
2. Add your pancetta and allow it to cook until it starts turning light brown.
3. Add your onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add your garlic.
4. Start boiling your pasta; this will take about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the heavy cream and about 2 ladles of the pasta water.
6. Add pepper, salt, and basil.
7. Toss your pasta in sauce and serve!