Is there any reason to make homemade pasta when you live in Italian land aka Philly suburbs and 99% of your friends are Italian and when you go over, they feed you Italian and when you go out, you eat, what else, Italian, since the best restaurants in town offer Italian food and frankly, who can get tired of Italian food? No, there isn’t. Wait, what was the question again?
Anyway, I had absolutely no reason to be making homemade pasta when there’s an abundance of the excellent and high-quality kind of it, easily procured, either on the cheap or just for the asking, here where I’m located, except that we were Spring cleaning and down there in the dungeon we call the basement were multiple kitchen appliances and gadgets unused and gathering dust and someone threatened to give them away to the Salvation Army, so I was forced to make pasta. Follow?
Long story short, I had to make true of my word that my pasta maker was still very much-needed so I made homemade pasta to prove it. I will be going through the gadgetry one at a time. I’m looking at you takoyaki pan. You’re up next.
Homemade pasta is not hard to make, just labor-intensive and time-consuming. Since you have to go through all that trouble, why make just plain noodles? You might as well have fun with it. That’s what we did, my daughter and I. Mommy and baby, playing with play-doh, that was what it felt like. So. Much. Fun.
We made stained glass pasta. Aren’t they beautiful? I can’t wait for my flowers to bloom, so I can make this with edible flowers. Nasturtium, pansy, or violet comes to mind. I think that would be even more beautiful.
We made striped and polka-dot pasta. How cute are they?
My favorite, but unfortunately the hardest to make, is the striped.
So, if you have a free afternoon and want to have some fun and feel like a 6-year-old again, make pasta. It’s a highly recommended activity to de-stress, and to bond with your 11-year-old.
To my baby, if you happen to read this, presently or in the future, I just want to tell you how much fun it was giggling over the silly pasta shapes we made together. And when you said,
“You’re so cool, Mom! You always make cool stuff!”
It totally made my day. I think you’re pretty cool yourself!
Homemade Egg Pasta
4 large eggs
5 to 7 tbsp water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1. Mound the flour on a work surface or in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into well. With a fork, beat eggs lightly and stir in water, 1-2 tbsp at a time.
2. Gradually start incorporating flour from the sides of the bowl. Add more water as needed and continue mixing until flour is moistened.
3. When dough becomes stiff, use your hands to finish mixing. Form dough into a ball and knead for 3-4 minutes until dough is elastic. If you plan to use rolling pin, continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes to help it relax.
4. Lightly flour a large working area. Divide dough into fourths. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll out a portion of the dough at a time to desired thinness. Keep unrolled portion covered. Cut into desired shapes.
To make stained-glass pasta
Roll 2 pieces of dough, of equal size, as thin as you can. Press herbs or flowers onto one of the pieces. You may need to wet leaves/flowers slightly so they adhere to the dough better. Cover with the other piece and using a rolling pin, press and flatten the dough so that the two pieces are completely bonded.
To make striped or polka-dot pasta
On a piece of egg pasta, press either dots or stripes of colored pasta, then roll flat with a rolling pin or pasta machine. I used puréed kale and red peppers, in place of the water, to make green and orange pasta. You can use different vegetables to create different colors.