Archive for December 5th, 2011

5th December
written by Arthur

I seem to only write about cooking successes here, filing the failures away as improvement projects to be blogged about when I figure out how to do things right.  In my defense I don’t have many out right failures.  That is to say it’s rare that I’ll cook something my roomies are unwilling to eat or that I’m unwilling to eat for lunch in the following days.  My Sunday pasta making endeavor falls into this minor failure category.

Now, when I say pasta making, I don’t mean making a pasta sauce and boiling some boxed pasta.  I mean making the pasta myself from flour, eggs, and salt.  All without the benefit of a pasta maker.

All around this project was a bit of a disaster.   The first step involves making a mound of flour, with a hole in the middle that you fill with eggs into which you slowly incorporate the flour.  In theory.  My eggs overflowed their flour bowl; making the mixing process messy and awkward.  Next, I learned the value of a pasta maker.  Or, more accurately, I learned the pain of not having a pasta maker.  The pasta dough was elastic and fought against my efforts with the rolling pin.  I rolled the dough to what seemed like an adequate thinness and then cut the dough (using a pizza cutter) to what seemed like an adequate width. After dropping the raw pasta in its pot of boiling water and watching it expand, I realized I had made the pasta broth overly thick and wide.

Served with a Bolognese sauce, the flavor of the pasta seemed right.  But there was just too much of it. This stuff is dense.  Eating it required cutting a small piece and dredging it through the sauce.  Not a complete failure, but the stuff from the box would have been better.

Rather than sweeping this minor disappointment under the rug, I’m throwing it out as my first step in pasta making.   A pasta machine isn’t in my budget at the moment, so it will be more adventures in rolling pins for the foreseeable future.

Update:  I re-heated this pasta for dinner 24 hours after storing it in the fridge covered in the Bolognese sauce.  The pasta seemed less dense and more approachable.  Actually pretty awesome.  I think I’m track here.   Once I figure out how to make a thinner noodle, I see some good eating in my future.