So, if you are interested, here's how you make your own homemade pasta (just the pasta, not the yummy insides...I'll save that for another post!)
First, clean your damn counter tops! We didn't have a space big enough to make the dough on so I scrubbed the heck out of the table to make a clean surface.
Second, lay out 3 separate piles (if you are making different pastas) of 2 cups flour. Great a little bowl shape in the flour with a spoon to hold your other ingredients.
Third, add two eggs, 1tsp, 1.5 Tbsp water. (you may need to add a bit more water as you make the dough.) To the middle pile of flour, eggs, olive oil & water, add a few drops of green food coloring & to the third pile add a few drops of red. <-- that last part is optional. We wanted to do a fake out of pasta with tomato & pasta with spinach. But the color does help with the would be Russian Roulette of 'what does my ravioli have in it?' We put the spinach in the green pasta & the sausage in the red pasta.
Next, take a fork & begin to whisk the egg mixture in the little bowl in the flour. This helps combine a little of the flour so the egg doesn't go everywhere. Slowly begin to whisk in more flour from the walls until you get a rather thick mixture. Begin to knead the dough by gathering up the sides of the flour walls & pushing down (toward the table) & then away from you. Keep gathering & kneading. This is the place you might want to have a cup of water handy to add a Tbsp here or there. It takes a bit of water to get the dough to stick to itself.
Then, keep kneading & kneading & kneading. The dough should feel a bit like almost dried out play-doh, then you're done.
Then move on to the next pile. The one good thing about having a few piles is that I got better at kneading & incorporating the ingredients by the end of it!
Next, (here's where I get wordy..) pull out the good ol pasta machine & begin to roll your dough through. I am not going to go into too much detail because I followed the instructions in our pasta machine & it came out perfect, but here are some necessary tips:
- Just go down in thickness slowly & make sure you run the dough through a few times to get the dough all the same consistency.
- Don't worry if when you run it through the first time it falls a bit apart. just pull it out & layer the other parts of the dough over each other. Add a pinch of flour between the layers. The only reason I could think why it would fall appart on the highest setting is because the middle of the ball of dough was moist & the outside was a bit dryer. (This is why you need to put the pasta through a few times)
- If the pasta gets too long, cut it in half & work with one half at a time. This makes it easier to make the raviolis too!
- If you are making raviolis, make sure the final run of the pasta makes it at least as wide as the pasta machine. If it's not wide enough, fold the dough in half (from end to end & not side to side) and run it through again. Do this until it is the width of the pasta machine.
- DO NOT lay the made sheets of pasta on top of each other, they'll stick! You could try to add flour between the layers, but you'll have a harder time sealing the pasta to itself for ravioli. If you're going to make another type of pasta, it might be ok to do that....
Finally, get out your ravioli ingredients & start to stuffing! Lay out the sheet of pasta & put little dollops of filling down the long side, spaced about the size of your thumb apart. Fold the pasta sheet (long side to long side) over & press around the mound of filling. (press a bit hard to seal 'em up!)
Then take a knife & cut them apart, being sure to seal any edges that may come open (use some water if you need too). This is what they look like:
There is a bit too much flour on these, but they are ready to be boiled! Cook them like you would any other pasta. Our filling was already cooked so you don't have to worry too much. We did add egg to the filling (you'll have to ask Zach why, though) but you'll cook 'em long enough to cook the egg.
There should be another attachement to your pasta machine that will make spaghetti or fettucini, if you're interested. Just run it through there & you'll be set!
All your hard work, it will take a few hours (!!) will turn into this yummy, yummy meal
(ps. all these photos were taken with my iPhone! Pretty good quality this time!)