Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mama Mia...Pasta!

The Fruits of my labor.
An Italian I am not,  but when it comes to pasta, well, I can't stay away.  And if you have ever made your own pasta, you will never want to go back.  I have been making pasta for years, but with all that has been going on lately, I haven't had the time to cook, much less make pasta!

Now that summer has begun and I am trying to fill up our days with activities, I thought that pasta making would be really isn't as hard as it would seem (but it does take a bit of time)

All you need is.

Really just eggs and flour...who knew??
3 eggs and 3 cups of flour and dash of salt.

 Really the old fashioned makes me feel like I am in Italy...but if you don't want to get messy, bring out the ol' kitchen aid and use the dough hook.

Move it around with a fork, bringing the flour in little by little until you can start forming it with your hands.

Knead away, sometimes you need more flour, sometimes you don't.

Keep kneading until it looks like will kind of  feel like it has some elasticity.  The more you do it the easier it gets.  (it will feel like it will never come togeather, and then all of a sudden it turns this pretty color.)

Let rest for 30 to 40 minutes wrapped in plastic.

And then the fun begins.

Start feeding it into your pasta maker starting with the highest setting, Feed thru about 4 times at first, and then start lowering the number (the little dial on the left of the photo)
The sheets will get longer and longer.  Here is where the kids have fun cranking the pasta machine.  (I didn't get photos of this, because my kids lost interest and just wanted to eat raw noodles!)  But the concept seems fun for the whole family.

As you can see I made fettucine, spaghetti, and ravioli.  The key with it all is to keep the noodles floured so they don't stick, same with the ravioli....let them air dry a bit, and they won't stick.  They also freeze really well.

I stuffed the ravioli with a spinach and ricotta and chicken mixture, but you can  stuff them with whatever you want.  There are lots of recipes online.

To cook they only need a couple minutes.

To make the spaghetti sauce just a little more special, I simply added half and half and made it a little bit creamy....the kids LOVED it!

For the adults, I made a Mushroom Creamy Pesto Sauce.  Simply sauteed Sliced Mushrooms, shallots, red pepper, and garlic.  Add prepared Pesto (I usesd a sundried tomato pesto sauce), Half and Half and Chicken Stock and let simmer.  Pour over cooked pasta and there you have it.

My husband laughed at me because I spent 3 hours in the kitchen (something he hasn't seen me do in a while).  We had 3 guests stop by (one at a time) and sit and chat while I slaved away!  I mean my hats go off to those Italian women who do this on a daily back was killing me by the end....but it was well worth it.   We had good participation, good conversation, good food, and filled up bellies by the evenings end.  (and a few left to fill the freezer.)

Another fun thing to do is have a Pasta Party (which I did years ago)  Everyone brings either a sauce or filling, I made the pasta dough, and we drank wine and made pasta...had dinner, and everyone was able to take some home to their families.

Have a great day everyone.


Cathy Wall said...

Yummy! What a great activity to do with kids and friends...
Cathy @ Room Rx

Aimee@ the Functional Space said...

I have to say raviolis are one of my favorites. My mouth just started involuntarily watering when I saw that picture!

pve design said...

Mama mia, now where is the letterpress invite to the pasta party? I gave my neighbors pasta bibs years ago from Italy....with fun words on them....
I say brava, seconds please!

pretty pink tulips said...

I've never made pasta...but love those step by step photographs that make it look doable!

I'm sure your friends and family thanked you!!!
xoxo Elizabeth


Holy Moly! You decorate and cook! I'm jealous.