If you took a peek through my kitchen window this past Saturday night you might have thought you were watching the Kraemer and Newman sausage making episode of Seinfeld. Music streaming, people moving around with food in their hands and the hum of kitchen appliances. It was homemade pasta night. A true joy, for the heart and tummy.
Three years ago my mom bought me my KitchenAid mixer…and my sister completed the gift by gifting us the pasta attachment. A fantastic gift for a family…as was the ice cream maker she gave us for my daughter’s first birthday…both great family gift ideas!
Buying pasta at the store is easy, but so is making pasta.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups durum semolina flour
pinch of salt
6 large eggs
1. pile flours and salt on your work surface and sift together with fork
2. hollow out a well in the middle of the flour mixture
3. add all the eggs to the hollow middle of the flour mixture
4. using your fork, beat the eggs and incorporate the flour mixture into the eggs until you have formed a dough
5. once dough is formed knead the dough until it becomes smooth and supple – approx. 5-10 minutes
6. cut the dough in half, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for a minimum 30 minutes
How to roll the pasta? This step will depend on the pasta machine that you are using…just follow the directions. Generally speaking; once the pasta has had a chance to rest, you will roll it out with a rolling pin thin enough that it will feed into the widest setting of your pasta machine. Then it is a matter of rolling it thinner and thinner…depending on the shape and style of pasta you are making.
Spinach and Three Cheese Ravioli
* we adapted this recipe by Tyler Florence
1 container ricotta cheese
1 ball (4 ounces) buffalo mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
1 large egg
salt and pepper
1. put all ingredients in a large bowl, stir until combined.
How do you make ravioli? This is where the assembly line comes in handy.
1. roll pasta very thin, it will be approximately 6″ wide
2. place a teaspoon of filling on the top half of the rolled pasta, approximately 1-2″ apart, depending on how large a ravioli you wish to make…remember pasta expands when cooked.
3. brush egg wash (beaten egg with touch of water) on pasta, all around the filling
4. using a sharp knife, cut the strip of pasta in half. Cut squares of pasta around the sides of pasta with and without filling
5. now place the square of pasta on top of the filled square of pasta, press down around the filling
6. using a fork, pinch all sides of the pasta square…forming your ravioli
7. place your ravioli on a parchment lined baking sheet…and continue making ravioli until your pasta and filling are gone
8. to cook the ravioli; drop ravioli into salted boiling water and let cook for approximately 3-4 minutes
What about the pesto sauce? Our go-to pesto sauce is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe. However, if you don’t have pine nuts feel free to substitute another nut. We have enjoyed walnut pesto and almond pesto.
I know I said making your own pasta is easy, and then I presented you with a lot of steps. Once you try making homemade pasta you will see that it really is a simple and beautiful food. If you still aren’t convinced you can always substitute wonton wrappers for the fresh pasta…simply fill with the cheese filling. No matter what your interpretation is, cooking is always a fun way to spend a Saturday night with your family. Let me know if you have any tips for making fresh pasta…or if you are going try making pasta at your home.