Homemade Pasta

Mar 2nd

Happy kids today in my 1st pd. Essentials of Cooking class!

Fresh pasta is legit. Seriously, its much better than the store bought, dehydrated stuff. I don’t personally own a pasta maker because we have 5 I could borrow from work, but I know that Bed Bath and Beyond sells them for about 20 bucks. Thats more worth it then the 150$ ice cream maker you registered for and haven’t brought out yet. Am I right?

Anyways, to quote Joey from Friends, fresh pasta is goooooooood.

For our classes, I make one batch ahead and one batch as demo. You could easily change up the amount I make to fit your at home needs, as the ingredients are so few and simple. Flour, eggs, water!

Here are 4 c. flour that I put on the counter. I like to make the volcano because I have a flare for the dramatic. You will see my volcano shortly.

The reason the sunny sun is coming in is because I made my first batch this morning at 7:20 AM. High school starts early!

Now, make a well (that is a hole in the center).

Next up, eggs. Crack 5 eggs into the well along with 2 tbsp. water.

My amazingly wonderful Italian Mom mom, who passed away a year ago (a year ago yesterday, actually), told me a great story about growing up. Her mom (my great-grandmother, Marguerite) would chat with her friends about what they were all making for dinner that night. The answers wouldn’t be “meatloaf” or “chicken parm”. They would be “3 eggs”, or “5 eggs”. They were talking about the amount of pasta they’d be making that night. Us Italians, we do love our pasta. Miss you, Mom mom.

As you can see, the flour holds those eggs like a barrier. There is no “sinking in” of egg.

Now with a fork, scramble up those eggs.

Careful not to let them run out or overflow. That happened today with my demo and I started yelling. The kids thought it was funny… but as you won’t be doing this with an audience, try NOT to let it happen because its super nerve-wracking!

Keep mixing, but slowly pull in flour with that fork, incorporating it to your eggs.

This looks like a hot mess, and it was. The reason I don’t have photos till the finished dough is because you gotta get hands on! Drop the fork and start working that dough, pressing it all together.

This isn’t the easiest, and its why I don’t let the kids make their own dough but I do it as demo. Its messy and you keep thinking it won’t work, but persevere! It will come together! I promise! If you have to add another sprinkle of water, do so. If it is TOO sticky, you can always dust with flour.

Keep kneading till it looks like this:

Finished!

Now I divide that dough into 5 pieces, and I divide my first dough into 5 pieces so that each kitchen has two big chunks to work with.

Here are some photos of our machines and how they work.

First, you have to flatten that dough. Start with the wringer most open, and then run it through several more times, making the wringer tighter each time.

Nice and thin!

Doesn’t this look like she is holding it over her feet? And those are her toes?

This kitchen had a system… flatten first, then cut!

Now, choose whether you want spaghetti or fettuccine and cut it up!

As they are cutting up their pasta, their sauce and meatballs are simmering.

OK, so once all the pasta is cut, its time to put it in the boiling water!

The only thing pasta needs to cook correctly is LOTS of water, and salt. NO OLIVE OIL. Sorry, Ina, it’s been proven. Stop wasting your E.V.O.O people.

So they brought their water to a rolling boil, (bubbles vigorously breaking the surface) salted it, and dropped their noodles in all at once.

Pasta boils with the lid off, but if you want to return the lid just to bring it back to boil, you can.

After about 2-3 minutes, taste your pasta. Only way to tell if it is done is to TASTE test. Don’t throw food on your wall, that’s just silly and messy.

Drain pasta in colander, and divide onto plates.

If you make this at home I recommend finishing cooking your pasta IN your sauce. At school I don’t want them to take more than they will eat, so we keep it seperate.

Top with sauce and (now finished) meatballs.

Now that I have made you sufficiently hungry… go make some homemade pasta! Play Dean Martin, gather friends and family, talk loudly and with your hands. If you’re not Italian, fake it till ya make it :)

To all my fellow Paisanos out there… mangia!