I was inspired to try making homemade pasta by this post at SouleMama. I've made pasta before, always by machine, and I just hate washing all that gadgety stuff at the end. It makes it seem so not worth it. So when I read that Amanda hand rolls and hand cuts her pasta, and that she actually likes doing it, I thought I'd have to try. I got The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution from the library, and followed Alice Waters' recipe. I used the KitchenAid mixer to mix the dough. When I took it out to hand knead it, it seemed kind of dry. The eggs we use are from a local farm and run small, so I crumbled the dough back into the KitchenAid and added another small egg. That seemed to do the trick. I hand kneaded it a little and then let it rest. That resting business always seems kind of unimportant to me, and used to sometimes skip instructions like that, until experience taught me that gluten strands, whether in bread or pasta, sometimes need time to relax and de-stress, just like us. I can tell you that after an hour resting on the counter the dough was very easy to work with.
Here it is, folded in thirds for cutting. I purposely cut fairly thick strips because I thought they would look cool and rustic.
I was really paranoid about the noodles sticking together when I cooked them, so I spread them out in layers on clean tea towels. Then I dropped then quickly into the water one at a time while my husband stirred gently. They were a little thick, so they took 5 minutes to cook. Next time I will be patient and roll them out a bit thinner, but I was hungry and impatient - a common problem for me!
They were delicious! Here's my hubby's dish of pasta, served with caramelized fennel, grated parmesan, arugula with roasted walnuts, and a little steamed artichoke. I am not a huge fennel fan, but we got some from our CSA, and this is a fennel recipe I actually enjoy. It is the Pasta with Golden Fennel from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets. The arugula and artichokes came in our CSA box this week, too.