I learned some things this week. First, pasta dough is super easy to make and the end results are worth the effort. Second, I think I enjoy working with doughs the most in the kitchen. Give me some flour and I’m a happy camper.
I was able to score some KitchenAid pasta attachments pretty cheap over Black Friday and I immediately put them to work. I have always wanted to include homemade pasta recipes in my column, but getting the dough to the correct width looked like a ton of work. Granted, to come to that conclusion, I would watch 90-pound Italian grandmothers roll away at dough for a bit like it was just something they were born knowing how to do. Plus they had sophisticated setups with a hundred different kinds of rolling pins and large work areas — something I did not have.
Now I do. The rollers are even made in Italy. You could say things are getting pretty serious now around here on the pasta front.
Like I said before, pasta dough is super easy to make if you have a KitchenAid with a dough hook and the patience to sit there and add tiny bits of water at a time until it is just right. Throw some salt, flour and egg in the bowl and watch the magic happen.
Maybe in the future I will get fancier and throw some spinach in there or something, after some practice of course. I warned you all from the beginning of my columns, you all are on a journey with me of trying things I haven’t done before. Some are just fine, most are pretty good and some are fantastic.
I am planning on doing a year in review piece in a few weeks picking out my favorite dishes from this first year at the helm of the Taste page. If you have some favorites you liked, or ones you hated, email me your feedback at dsanderspress.gmail.com. I might write about pasta until then to get the hang of my new toy. Next, I will likely feature a tortellini soup, perfect for cold December days.
Homemade fettuccine Alfredo
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
2-4 tablespoons water
1. In your stand mixer bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg and mix together with the dough hook. The mixture should form a stiff dough. If needed, stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons water slowly until the dough comes together into one ball. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth and elastic. With a pasta machine or by hand, roll dough out to desired thinness, setting 4 on the machine. Use the machine or knife to cut into strips of desired width.
3. Cook fresh homemade pasta in lightly salted and oiled boiling water. Stir gently with a wooden spoon and let it come back to the boil. The pasta will rise to the surface when cooked. Drain in a colander and handle gently as it is more fragile than cooked dry pasta.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
Parsley to taste
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.