Ok I’m kidding. Big shout out’s to my husband for assisting me in my personal kitchen project last weekend- making homemade pasta. It was not without its squabbles and frustrations
(and I might have stormed out of the kitchen on more than 1 occasion). Good thing the end product was successful and our earlier kitchen battles were long forgotten over pasta dinner and a glass of wine later that evening.
Husbands are good for putting together machinery.
I received this home made pasta maker as a wedding gift (3 years ago! ah!) and I look at it EVERY week and finally decided to do it. I am still in my New Years- back-to-basic‘s mode and since we eat pasta often I thought it would be nice to make our own fresh since nothing is better than getting home made pasta out at a restaurant. Boy was I wrong. Before I start going through my process with making pasta let me just say that I will gladly pay $1 and change for a box of spaghetti than the trials and tribulations I went through last Sunday trying to make this. In fact, enough time has passed now that I can laugh at it, but last week around 3pm- I was not laughing.
My photographer was more concerned with photographing Portia, when I went through the images of this day there are probably 30 more versions of this photo on my camera roll.
P and I set ourselves up with Mario Batali’s cookbook: Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages. I really like this cookbook but, I’m sorry Marios, I totally botched this simple pasta dough recipe. But It all started well enough I got my flour, eggs and olive oil in its little egg-y volcano.
Good luck, Ma!
Then this is where I got confused. And of course I know I own a laptop and could probably just have googled a million videos of people mixing this but It all started well enough…
Slowly mixing my egg and flour….
keep it in its well….slowly adding…..
This is where I got confused. It said that it would become doughy when half of the flour was mixed and then to knead it. So, I began kneading it with a lot of extra flour…
Cut quickly to my husband trying to knead it and in turn starting to beat it to death…
Then…fast forward to….us putting it in my stand mixer with another egg and a half, since we realized our 4 eggs weren’t “extra” large and just large…
Back out of my
cheat mixer and more kneading.
Phew. cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Ok, I can handle this. At this point my already injured shoulder was killing me. This entire process took us almost an hour, I’m sure if any professional pasta makers are reading this they are laughing insanely at me. But it all seemed ok.
My pasta maker is actually pretty fun to use. After our frustrations with kneading dough to the correct consistency we began “fighting” over who was going to get to roll the pasta through, so we took turns! weee
I had a bad spot on my counters to hook this onto but it worked. The joy’s of small kitchen cooking.
I wasn’t too concerned about having them all perfectly the same length. In the end it all goes one place – my mouth – and I don’t care if one piece is 1/2″ longer than another.
We laid them out to dry for about 30 minutes on a clean table cloth, and also completely blocked off the room since Portia stole the first batch we laid out. *hmpf*
Later that evening we cooked it up to much success. And I decided to make a simple shrimp, lemon, tomato and spinach sautee to mix into my fresh pasta!
Ahhh the taste of success.
With all that being said, I probably will make this again. Now, that I realized my initial errors it was really fun and of course the end result was delicious.
As, for my furture adventure. I have some French cooking on the mind. tonight some chicken…And I bought a frozen DUCK yesterday. My dad and I have be discussing how they’ve been for sale at the grocery store by my house since…before the holidays…and I finally grabbed one (since there weer only about 4 left at this point). This week my dad is going to coordinate with me over some classic Jacques Pepin duck recipes, which I think is probably the best way to go for your first duck. We shall see…
No dough recipe yet as I obviously have not perfected it but here is the recipe for my dinner. This recipe is really light and perfect for a hot summer night, but for some reason I always find myself making it more in the winter time. Maybe, I’m always craving something light in the midst of all those heavy wintery dishes during the week. Either way, it’s good!
Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes and Spinach
- 1lb peeled, uncooked shrimp
- zest of 1 lemon, divided
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- pinch of red pepper
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2-4 basil leaves, torn
- 2 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh tomato, diced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Lemon juice, 2tsp +
- 1lb pasta (what ever you prefer…angel hair, thing spaghetti, ect.)
- Salt and Pepper
In a bowl toss your shrimp, red pepper, half the lemon zest, salt pepper and fresh herbs and let it sit. Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil in the meantime. In a large pan- heat oil over medium heat and add garlic, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and sautee for about 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook on one side for about 2 minutes and then flip and cook on the other side about 1 minute. At this time add your pasta (I like angel hair, or fresh pasta which cooks up fast, since your sautee also is ready fairly quickly) to the water and cook for about 5 minutes (until al dente). Drain pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of the water. Then add the reserved pasta water to your shrimp and tomato mixture. Add your pasta and spinach to the mixture and toss also adding your lemon juice (as much as you’d like). The heat from the pasta and toamto shrimp mixture will wilt the spinach very quickly. Serve immediately and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese if you’d like (who are you kidding- you need to, yum!)