Around Christmas time I went to TJ Maxx for the first time and was rewarded with a super affordable pasta maker!
I’ve always wanted to make homemade pasta, so here was my chance. I picked up the book, Making Artisan Pasta by Aliza Green from my local library and had at it.
Pasta Flour Mix:
- ½ lb unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ lb durum flour
- ¼ lb semolina flour
*Note: I couldn’t easily find durum flour, so I went with ½ all purpose and ½ semolina. When I went to my local Italian market, they had coarse and fine semolina flour– I went with the fine. If you can’t find semolina, no big. For example, the mint tagliatelle that I made on Valentines day– the Batali recipe calls for strictly all purpose flour (though I once again did ½ and ½) so I think you’re cool if all you can get is all purpose flour.
Basic Egg Pasta Dough
*This is the version if you’re using a food processor. If you don’t have a good food processor (which I didn’t until about 2 months ago), you can find how to make egg pasta by hand on line, or there’s a good description in my mint tagliatelle post as well.
- ¾ lb pasta flour mix
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 2-3 tbsp tepid water
- you can also add about 1 tbsp olive oil as well if you like
- Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor. In a small bowl or measuring cup, lightly beat together the eggs and water.
- Start adding the liquid to the flour through the pouring spout with the machine running. The dough will start to form in moist clumps.
- Continue adding liquid and processing until the mixture comes together to form a rough mass. Stop the machine at this point because you might burn out the motor if you continue.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and transfer to a work surface, preferably wood. (I didn’t have wood and it was fine!)
- Dust the board lightly with flour and knead the dough until it is cohesive and moderately smooth, about 5 minutes. (Youtubing videos on how to knead helps. This Giuliano Hazan video helped me:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8wgXoPDnXQ.) Running the dough through the pasta sheeter will develop the gluten further, making it smooth and elastic.
- Cover the dough with a bowl, a damp towel, or plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to relax the dough before proceeding with rolling.
Now once I rolled and cut my pasta dough (once again, Youtube is a dream– for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc_PBy-orXE), I needed to make something with it! In this case, based on what was in my fridge, I decided to make Spaghetti with Asparagus and Scrambled Eggs. Sounded totally weird but was surprisingly tasty.
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- ¾ pound spaghetti (or in this case, my fresh pasta!)
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (½ cup), plus more for serving
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup part-skim ricotta
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 1 minute less than package instructions. Add asparagus and cook 1 minute. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, then drain.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pot over medium-high and add ¼ cup pasta water. Add pasta mixture and Parmesan and cook, stirring, 1 minute. If necessary, add remaining pasta water to create a light sauce that coats pasta.
- In a small nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium. Add eggs and cook, stirring, until just set. (I did just three eggs, but it’s up to you.) Divide pasta and eggs among four plates, top with ricotta, and season with salt and pepper.