Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back from Wedding Land!

It's been a little over two months since the wedding, and things have certainly calmed down.  Married life is great, although at the moment we are both sick with colds.  We have been keeping busy house hunting- Our newest adventure!  In the down time, when we aren't glued to the laptop checking new listings, I've been trying my best to use my Kitchenaid mixer as much as possible.

Over the weekend I made three batches of pasta with my helpful sister Sydney, who is home from college over winter break.  She had never made pasta before, and I had purchased the Kitchenaid pasta attachment for Dave's birthday in November.  I bought it because Dave has been buying fresh Ohio City Pasta from the Farmer's Market every week and I was convinced we could be making this from scratch and saving money.  I've used the pasta maker before, but the first time I didn't really know what I was doing and even though the noodles in their little nests looked impressive (see photo right), when dropped in the pot to cook, they did not separate as expected and I was left with clumpy noodle balls in my tomato sauce, not the most appetizing, and not the best argument to get Dave to stop buying his perfect little bundles at the Farmer's Market for $2 a piece.

Fast forward three weeks, and some close examination of the Ohio City Pasta, we decided a better plan was to flour the noodles before "nesting" them.  This weekend we put our hypothesis to the test with perfect results.  You could actually flour the pasta sheet before it goes through the cutter (which is, I'm guessing, how Ohio City Pasta still gets those cute little bundles), but, our method of choice was placing a tablespoon of flour in the bottom of a tupperware with a lid, sticking the container under the pasta cutting attachment (this also avoids random strings of pasta all over your counter/floor- always a good thing) and then placing on the lid and shaking.  You still can pile your pasta in servings to freeze, but it doesn't look as neatly organized.  It's ok, we'll survive with our messily bunched, perfectly separated, homemade noodles.

Whole Wheat Pasta

Makes eight balls of pasta.

2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of all purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup more for dusting noodles
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
~1/4 cup water, added in drops

Add flour and salt to mixer bowl.  Add eggs to bowl and mix with paddle attachment.
Once dough is sticking together, remove paddle and work with hands (in bowl) until tough and smooth, but before dough gets watery, about five min give or take.  Use dough hook to knead dough for another 3 min give or take (this will separate the dough back into pebble size clumps.  Reknead into ball when done).  Cover with towel and let rest for 20 min.

Cut dough ball into quarters and feed through machine, staring with level 1 through level 4.  Then use other attachments to create whatever noodle shape you want.  Catch pasta in a container with a lid, sprinkle on a spoonful of flour (enough to lightly coat), and shake until noodles are covered.  Place in piles to freeze (in ziploc bags) for use!

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