Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Extra Eggs?

Our hens are gracing us with 5-8 eggs each day. Even with an egg-happy household, we sometimes have extras. I've also introduced the "everyone has a night to cook" approach. What this means in practical terms is that I have to think up only a couple of meals a week, and sous chef two to three. Three family members are pretty much completely independent, including Eric, who has revealed a heretofore unknown facility with a saute pan.

Tonight is my son's night, and he thought making pasta would be fun. Bonus? it uses LOTS of eggs. This double batch used up six.

Homemade pasta is also really easy. To 2 cups of flour (this is 1/2 white whole wheat) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, add 2-3 eggs. I used 3 because our eggs are smaller than "large" supermarket eggs. Use a fork to gather in the flour.

Once the dough is mixed, I kneaded it until it was acceptably smooth -- not perfect, and much harder than bread dough. Then it went into a plastic bag for about 15 minutes. This apparently allows the dough to relax and become a much nicer thing to work with.

We have a standard Atlast pasta machine. Half of the dough is put through the largest opening four or five times, folded in half each time. This finishes the kneading and sets the dough up to behave itself.

Each pass after the final kneading one, we sprinkled the dough with flour and reduced the opening size by one step, until we were at the next to last one.

The dough gets pressed so much that we usually have to cut each half-batch into a quarter in order to handle the length.

Once the pasta is flat enough, you can roll it up and hand cut noodles. The decorative branch above the table was a temporary drying rack.

Or you can use the noodle cutter that comes with the pasta machine. Tor really likes cranking dough. I foresee much more handmade pasta in our future!

He also likes to play with the noodles

I tried to get him to just finish them by tossing them in the flour so they could be stacked up until dinner, but everything is a game when you're cranking a machine!

We'll toss them with asparagus and butter and parmesan tonight. My youngest is already mentioning that she'd like to make ravioli.


tabitha said...

He is looking so grown up. The kids miss him. We love pasta making too. I just got a ravioli attachment for my atlas, but haven't used it yet.

Stefaneener said...

Thanks, Tabitha. It's more fun than I remember. Maybe the older kid thing is the key?