Fresh Pasta

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Amanda and I made the best meal of our lives. Thank you, Mario Batali.

Because it was a bleak, snowy, sleety, rainy day, we realized we were compelled to make pasta from scratch. We followed the guidelines laid out in Mario Batali's Molto Italiano. To encapsulate the process, suffice to say that after making the pasta, we both agreed we would never in our lives make fresh pasta again. After eating the pasta, we decided we would make fresh pasta as soon as possible.


Maltagliati, a roughly cut flat noodle, seemed like a good starter pasta. While making the dough was easy, Amanda and I nearly lost our lives putting it through the machine. We clamped the pasta machine down on Amanda's highly unstable table. After putting only one hunk of the pasta dough through the machine the full number of times, one of the table legs became so unstable that we feared permanent damage. The crank would fall out of the machine every 20 rotations. The pasta dough repeatedly tore.


To deal with these problems, one of us would hold the pasta machine down and feed in the dough while the other would desperately crank the handle and guide the dough out. We soon realized that rolling it through quickly resulted in a smoother texture. Ladies, we put our entire bodies into the endeavor. We screamed wildly. This was bearable only because we were together and because we switched off in the role of handle turner. I think in the future we would both recommend a very good pasta maker with a strong, secure clamp attached to a very, very, very stable work surface. And turn that crank quickly!

We were so exhausted after making the pasta that we sat for awhile on the couch, drinking a glass of wine and eating arugula salad. This restored us greatly. We headed back to the kitchen to complete the sauce and briefly boil the pasta (1-2 minutes). The delicious sauce consisted of oven-dried (or in our case, roasted) plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, fresh whole basil leaves, mascarpone, and freshly-ground pepper.

I think this photo says enough:



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