Kicking off the Real Food Challenge!
I made pasta! I finally came to a point where I ran out of all the store bought pasta in the cupboard so it was time I made my own. This is the third time I have made pasta and I must say that each time it gets easier. This was the first time using my “once loved” pasta machine – a Craig’s list find! $25!
While the box looks very used, the pasta maker looks shiny and new. The man told me that they had used it once….
The recipe I have used came from a 1983 Better Homes and Garden cookbook titled “Pasta” that I found at a used book store.
Basic Pasta Recipe:
- 2 1/3 cups of all-purpose & white wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 beaten eggs (local eggs)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp olive oil or cooking oil
When I used the recipe I needed to use A LOT more water to get the ingredients to come together. In the end, the pasta was great and every time (all three times!) I make fresh pasta (all three times!) I always say I will never buy store bought again. Now that I have exhausted the stockpile of store bought noodles, I hope to make our pasta from now on.
I did have a hard time getting the machine anchored to the counter, but finally got it!
The cutter on the machine didn’t work as well as I remember the one on my friends machine. The first time I made pasta my friend brought her machine and I had found a “once loved” pasta roller at a thrift store ($4). My friend machine cut the pasta in really clean cuts. My machine didn’t, I had to separate each noodle. On the roller you can adjust the thickness as you roll out the pasta into sheets, starting on the thickest setting and reducing it down one notch at a time until you reach the desired thickness. On the cutter, there is no adjustment, just cut. I don’t know how to fix that. I know with things like hole punches and pinking shears you can “sharpen” them with aluminum foil….maybe that same concept would work here. It might be worth a try. The other thing I can do is just hand cut the pasta.
I lightly floured the fresh cut pasta and made little piles. I had a problem with them sticking together, so I will try using more flour next time or precariously set up a dowel in the kitchen to lay the pasta over. When the pasta cooked, most of it separated, so that was fine.
I served the fresh pasta with a homemade tomato sauce.
- Roasted tomatoes & onions (frozen from last years garden)
- Shredded zucchini (frozen from last years garden)
- Black Beans (previously cooked and frozen)
- Roasted Anaheim Chilies (neighbors garden – I roasted and froze)
- Crushed red pepper flakes and Salt & Pepper
I have been using things out of the freezer and this came together very well. Served over fresh pasta (opps! we ate it up before I got a photo). This meal was made up of a lot homegrown food (that’s about as local as it gets) and mostly organic ingredients.
The first time I made pasta with my friend it was a “first” for both of us. We decided we would make a basic white pasta, a whole wheat pasta and an herbs pasta. She made and brought a wonderful tomato sauce that she made to go with it (because there was going to be a lot of tasting going on!). My favorite was the herbed pasta. Dried basil was the only herb we added. Served with just butter and a little salt – out of this world!