Making Pasta

Kicking off the Real Food Challenge!

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!

Ampia 150 by Mercato

While the box looks very used, the pasta maker looks shiny and new. The man told me that they had used it once….

pasta machine

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.

Rolling out the pasta

I did have a hard time getting the machine anchored to the counter, but finally got it!

Cutting the pasta

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.

Fresh cut 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.

YUM! Just cook about 2-3 minutes and DONE!

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!

Sincerely, Emily

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12 Responses to Making Pasta

  1. annie says:

    I loooove fresh pasta (making some today in fact)! I’m glad the pasta roller worked for you. I had one just like that and I could never ever get it clean. The pasta tended to shift as I rolled it and mash up in the crack where the roller meets the body of the machine. Now I roll mine by hand which isn’t a big deal if I let the dough rest to relax the gluten. I use a rolling pastry cutter to cut my strips but I want to get one of those noodle cutting rolling pins or a guitar cutter soon.

    • I hope you enjoyed the pasta you made the other day. My understanding on the pasta roller is that you don’t clean – that is to say not with soap and water. I was told to just wipe the surfaces I could w/a damp cloth and that there may be bits of pasta that are stuck, but as they dry they will shrink & come out. Then when I use the roller the next time I was told to sacrifice a small bit of the fresh dough and roll it through the roller portion and then through the cutting portion to get any left over bits of old pasta out. I was told not to submerge any of it in water because some water can get inside and start things to rust. Again, this was just advise from another people, don’t know how right or how wrong.

  2. joni jones says:

    My grandmother made chicken & noodles (My favorite) and after rolling & cutting she hung them overnight to dry. They were delicious but a lot of work. I made them once after I got married, husband didn’t appreciate them so that’s why once.

  3. Nancy says:

    Emily….this is great! I have been wanting to make pasta for so long now, but haven’t (my excuse is that I don’t have a pasta maker, but I know I could cut it by hand). You are an inspiration to me!
    ~ Nancy

    • Hi Nancy, I had wanted to make pasta for so long and finally just dove in (with a friend who wanted to do it too). I have no excuses now. The dry pasta stash is gone, so I need to make it if I want it. I am happy I found the roller and if I hadn’t found the other one with the roller and cutter combined I would have cut by hand now that I know how easy that is to do. You can do it. You do so many other wonderful things I know you can do this.

  4. Very impressive! I have not mastered pasta yet, in fact, I have only tried once, it was a total failure and I haven’t mustered up the courage to try again. Some day I will, I know I can do it, and fresh tastes so good, my daughter-in-law whipped fresh pasta up in no time.

    -Brenda

    • Thanks Brenda. I must admit I made a batch of dough during this pasta making session that I messed up. I kept adding water and adding water and figured I added to much, but the dough was so hard and it wouldn’t come together. I gave up and started over. I still had to add a lot more water, but I realized that is just the way the flour was acting that day. I didn’t remember the other ball of dough until the next morning. It was hard when it started, so it was rock hard in the morning when I found it. Does your D-I-L live in your area? Maybe you could make it with her once to get a better feel for it. I was happy to have another friend to try it with, but I was also at the point where I would have jumped in on my own.

  5. Mary Shuck says:

    One of my “finds” at a yard sale was a pasta maker. I got it home and discovered the machine was rusty.
    Can I clean this mess or just pitch the whole thing?

    • Mary – I have no idea how you would clean the rust off that pasta machine. If it is just a roller you might be able to scrub it off with a damp scrubbie and then keep rotating it to make sure it drys. If it is one with a cutter, that would seem almost impossible. Someone told me it is very important not to wash the pasta roller in water because it is hard to dry and it will rust. the next time you use it, you just take a small ball of dough and run it through to clean out the bits and pieces left in it from last time. no water!

  6. Pingback: P is for… | Sincerely, Emily

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