Getting an Early Start
One of the regrets of my childhood is not spending more time learning to cook. But the kitchen in our semi-detached, row house was barely large enough for one.
Even so, I learned to make a passable tuna fish salad by the time I married, but that was it. So when we wearied of canned tuna, I moved on to pea soup. One recipe led to another and before long I was flinging flour all about the kitchen.
The Fun Starts
Recently I enjoyed a meal prepared by my granddaughter, Addie. She made Pasta with a Brown Butter Sauce. I don’t mean packaged pasta, I’m talking about the real thing made from scratch. She and her Aunt Robin both have pasta cutting machines, so they teamed up for dinner.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 to 2 Tbs. extra for rolling pasta
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. water, optional (have more on reserve just in case)
- Large pinch of salt
Making the Pasta Dough
Place 3/4 cup of the flour, the egg, and oil in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until ingredient mixture looks dry, like very small pebbles. Dough should hold together when pinched between your fingers. If it does not, add about 1/2 tsp. water and pulse again.
Dump the mixture onto a board and press into a ball. Knead briefly until dough holds together and becomes slightly smoother. Flatten ball into oval shape and dust both side lightly with flour.
Using the Pasta Roller
Set pasta roller on widest setting (usually number 1). Feed oval of the dough thru roller. Don’t worry if it tears a little, but it should not fall apart. Fold strip of dough into thirds and press it together. Continue feeding dough thru roller ane folding it into thirds several times. Rotate dough so the rough edges feed thru first. Dust with flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking.
Keep It Smooth
When dough is very smooth and elastic, change the setting to the second widest setting (usually number 2). Feed dough thru twice; do not fold the dough from this point on.
If you like, cut the strip of dough in half and work with one half at a time. Cover the second piece with plastic wrap so it does not dry out.
Forming the Pasta
Set the roller one setting thinner and feed the dough through. Continue feeding and advancing roller setting one notch each time, until you are at the next-to-the-last setting.
Dough should be thin, but not transparent. Depending on how you like your pasta and what you are using it for you may want to roll it thru on the last setting as well. If dough is sticky at any point, sprinkle lightly with flour.
If you had cut the dough in half, repeat these steps with second piece of dough, beginning at setting number 2 on roller.
Cut Up the Pasta
Cut pasta on board or with pasta machine’s noodle cutting attachment—or use the sheets fo. Or let it sit in a single layer on a lightly floured board or parchment-lined sheet pan until until ready to cook.
Cooking the Pasta
If the pasta was left to rest, it will have dried out slightly, so be careful not to break the noodles. When you are cooking it fresh, it will take about 1 minute to 90 seconds to cook in boiling, salted water. If you let the pasta dry slightly, it will take about 2 minutes.
Top with favorite sauce or brown butter and herbs.