Shopping for kitchen appliances for us is kind of like shopping for a new car. We have those mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement that race through our mind…should we…do we really need it…. only its a mixer not a car. We know the basics of what we’re looking for i.e. a KitchenAid Mixer, have read all the reviews, and even have a general color in mind. The next step is simply making the trip to William Sonoma. As we approach the store for the first time we peruse the shelves taking note of each make and model available. Before an employee has a chance to pounce on our sale, we escape to review the information we have collected and compare with other KitchenAid dealers in the general area. Then we form our consensus and decide to return to William Sonoma. We select our model and color and check to see if we need any upgrades… sausage stuffer, food grinder, citrus juicer? We decide on a pasta roller set, complete our purchase and return home with the image of homemade pasta floating in our heads.
Now since we purchased a KitchenAid MIXER, one might think that you would want to use it to mix your dough. However, George being the purist that he is insisted we make pasta the natural way by creating well inside 3.5 cups of flour and adding 4 eggs, a pinch of salt and some garlic powder. The basic premise is that you use a fork and gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs forming a homogenous dough. It seems easy enough, but required a bit more patience then George had expected. Maybe it was because we did not use Semolina flour, but there appeared to be a moisture imbalance that made it quite difficult to roll into flat sheets. We added a tablespoon of water which seemed to help.
We eventually incorporated all of the eggs into the dough and prepared our KitchenAid pasta roller attachment so that we could turn our dough into flat sheets of pasta similar to those used for lasagna. We ran one sheet through each setting, until we reached the the correct width of pasta we desired.
With a long flat piece of dough resting over my arm we switched attachments to the spaghetti cutter and preceded to run the thin dough through the blades creating our very first homemade pasta. Honestly, I was surprised at how easy it was to make pasta dough. Sure it was a little messy with the flour well and eggs, but it took only about 20 minutes to prepare this dough and run it through the attachment. The only difficulty for me was that I didn’t prepare a place to cut the long sheets of dough into smaller sheets. Thus, when it was time to change the attachment to cut the pasta into spaghetti. I was running around with a pasta dough sheet the length of a towel on my arm until G was able of change the attachment for me.
Our next step was putting the pasta to use in a Frutti Di Mare.
We dropped the pasta into boiling water and checked a few noodles every couple of minutes until they reached al dente. Fresh pasta cooks much faster then dry, and if you’re not careful you’ll end up with a pot full of mushy noodles. We sweated some onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes and added shrimp, mussels, clams and squid a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. After about 10 minutes as the clams began to open we added our pasta. Tossed everything together and a minute later filled our bowls and began to eat.
Note: If you’re cooking for two, cut recipe in half as the amount of pasta we made would have fed four people!