Making Pasta May 27

Over the weekend, I tried to make pasta from scratch, and it didn’t go so well. On Saturday, I tried to make it all by hand. I poured the flower on the table, made a well, put some eggs in and started stirring it up. All was going well until I broke down a wall in the well. Egg poured out. I tried to get the egg back in by moving more flour around it, but no luck. It was a losing battle. I mixed as fast as I could and then started putting it together so I could start kneading it.

As I was kneading, I put way too much flour back into the kneading area and the dough became too dry, although I didn’t realize this until later. I put the dough into the refrigerator and let it chill for thirty minutes. I took it out and it almost crumbled when I started pulling it around. At this point I was pretty ticked, so I used it as a punching back. :) I threw the dough around, made loud grunting noises, smashed it with my fist, and finally, threw it away.

Sunday rolled around, and this time instead of mixing the ingredients by hand, I put it in a blender, since you know, it didn’t work by hand, so let’s use the machine. Bad mistake. The dough in the blender gets stuck to the sides as is blended, therefore forcing me to stop every few seconds to push it down. I got the blended flour and egg to the consistency that I thought would right for kneading. It took me about 10 to 12 minutes to remove the dough from the blender, and by the time I put it back into a ball, it was dried out. Way to go, me.

So, I decided to stick it back into the blender and add more egg. This time, instead of putting the entire dough into the blender, I pulled it into smaller pieces so that the dough would not fly onto the walls, but stay within the blade area of the blender. It worked for the most part. I got the right consistency, and poured the mixed dough out. I did this about five to six times until I had no more dried dough. It took about 30 minutes.

As I pour out the last bit of blended and moist dough from the blender, guess what happens? Thats right, the first half of the batch is now dried. I’ve already wasted 30 minutes working through the first attempt only to be left with more dry dough. Great. I’m too peeved at this point so I just mash it all together and begin kneading.

I kneaded the dough for a good 20 minutes since I thought a mistake I made yesterday was not kneading enough. Yeah, another mistake. Way to go. The semi-dried dough just become a rock. Okay not really, but it was definitely dry. I take some egg and force it into the dough to get it moist. I knead for a few more minutes and let it sit in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

I take out the dough and it’s definitely not falling apart as the day before. Hurray! I proceed to push it through the pasta maker machine (hand cranked). It comes out the other end in chunks. :( Still too dry! I’m already angry at this dough, so I just force all of it through the machine, merge the chunks that come out, and force it through the machine again. I do this until it becomes a fairly flat and thin piece of dough. It held together, miraculously. I figured I’ll continue rolling it thin. I cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll it through the machine at a thinner setting.

I end up rolling it through the 8th setting on the machine, which is the second thinnest setting. I then proceed to push it through the cutters and get something that looks like fettucini!

I’m pretty stoked at this point, so I just finish off the rest of the dough pieces, cook the fettucini and make a spaghetti bolognese sauce to go with it. Here’s the end result:

Not too bad. It tasted okay, but it probably would have tasted a lot better if the dough was not so dry. It was also way too thin. Nevertheless, I got some pasta from scratch for dinner, and about three days worth of sore arm muscles.