Last night, Jeff and I got a little ambitious. You see, we had gotten new Kitchen Aid meat grinder and pasta roller/cutter attachments for Christmas and in our excitement, we decided to make one epic meal: homemade pork sausage in a red sauce and fresh angel hair pasta. And to top it all off, fresh homemade french bread. I mean, why not right? Jeff got home about 4:30 and said he was already pretty hungry, so we decided to begin all of this at 5 with the thought of eating about 6 or so. And what time did we eat dinner? 8. It was one darn delicious meal, I must say, but lesson learned: when you’re making new things for the first time, maybe focus on learning how to make one new item instead of all new items.
That being said, if you’re up for it, I’d love to take you with me on the epic culinary adventure we had last night. It wasn’t perfect, and it was definitely messy (who needs more counter space?? Raising my hand for sure…), but the labor of love was totally worth it.
Let’s begin with the heart of the meal: the pasta. You may want a glass of wine for this (or maybe a few!) to help prepare you.
Ready? Okay, first things first, we used the Kitchen Aid dough hook, pasta roller, and angel hair pasta cutter attachments to assist with making the pasta. After making and kneading the dough (see recipe below), you have to roll it out through the attachment to get it to the right consistency before cutting. This seemed simple enough: place the dough through the roller on low a few times then gradually make it thinner. Except the dough kept folding on itself, causing us to start over from scratch a few times. It was really helpful to have two people during this step to help hold the stretched out dough, especially if you have a teensy kitchen like we do.
While you change the attachments, you need to set the dough on a really really well floured surface. Or, like us, you’ll have to scrap the first batch when all of the dough sticks to the counter…. When we had finally mastered the process (but hey, it was the first time after all!), it was time to cut the dough. Our dough must have still been a bit too thick because it didn’t quite cut through the pasta completely, but it was good enough to throw in the boiling water. And at this point, a lump of pasta would have been fine!
Since the pasta is so fresh, it only needs to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then, just strain like you would normally and serve.
Easy, right? Ha. Despite being a bit lumpy and labor intensive, the pasta noodles were freaking amazing. The flavor wasn’t that much different from regular pasta, but the softness and freshness of the noodles was just unparalleled. Practice makes perfect, right?
Basic Egg Pasta Recipe
Makes 1 1/4 lbs dough
Recipe from Kitchen Aid
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place eggs, water, flour, and salt in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.
Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for 2 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Let dough rest for 20 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces before processing with Pasta Sheet attachment.
Set adjustment knob on pasta sheet rollet at 1. Turn mixer speed to 2 and feed flattened piece of dough into rollers to knead. Fold dough in half and repeat. Repeat process several times, until dough is smooth and pliable and covers the width of the roller.
Change feed setting to 3 and feed dough through rollers again. Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached.
Exchange pasta sheet roller for pasta cutter attachment. Feed flattened sheets of dough through cutter.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt to 6 quarts boiling water. Gradually add pasta and continue to book at a boil until pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent uneven cooking. Cook for about 2-5 minutes, depending on thickness.
Stay tuned for Part II of the dinner tomorrow: the homemade sausage.