Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fresh Pasta

After the rigors of hand rolling pasta dough for ravioli only to find that, as thin as it was, it was still way too thick, Brett and I decided to get a pasta rolling machine.  We had a Williams Sonoma gift card from Christmas (thanks Bob and Nan!) so that is where we bought ours.  It is bright red, which I love!  I spent Wednesday afternoon "seasoning the machine" to get rid of little bits of dust and metal that collected inside during manufacturing.  I got a preview of what rolling the pasta would be like and I realized that it would be advantageous to have a third (or maybe even fourth) hand.

By the time Brett (a.k.a. my third and fourth hands) arrived home, I had almost all my prep done for the entire meal.  We eagerly got to work.  Now just because we used a machine does not mean that it took all the work out of it.  Rolling pasta is still an incredibly involved process and probably took the same amount of time as rolling it by hand.  The advantages are that there is no physical exertion and the dough is rolled evenly to the proper thickness.  I fed the dough into the machine while Brett cranked.  Usually Brett is a "slow and steady wins the race" kind of guy in the kitchen, but he must have been hungry (or maybe he was just having fun) because he cranked that thing really fast!

Once the rolled dough had rested, we began cutting it.  This time I cranked (slowly) while Brett caught the fettuccine.

Strangely, Brett is not big on pasta.  He doesn't like tomato sauces, cream sauces, or pesto sauces.   You'd think that finding a pasta recipe that he will agree to would be hard, but I pretty much just opened my Bon Appetit Cookbook to the pasta section and found one right away: "Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs."  Obviously, we used fettuccine instead.  I made fresh breadcrumbs and sauteed them with some garlic in olive oil until they were crispy.  Then I sauteed the shrimp and some more garlic in olive oil while the pasta was cooking and tossed in some lemon zest at the very end.

The pasta was supposed to float to the top when it finished cooking and that didn't take long at all.  We thought we were going to have a giant "oops" on our hands, but everything stayed in the pot.

I didn't think that since I had halved the rest of the recipe, that I should probably half the amount of pasta as well, so we just dumped all of the pasta in.  Oh well.

My first comment about the pasta dish was that it was "inoffensive." Everything about it was mild and subtle.  Which is a good thing.  Perhaps if we had used less pasta there would have been stronger flavors, but I would hope that they wouldn't be too strong.  We both gave it the thumbs up, and I have leftovers for lunch today.  I usually don't get too excited about leftovers, but this time I am.


Lisa said...

Oh good for YOU!

I dream of owning a pasta machine! Did it taste fantastic?

Nicole said...

How cool! I need need need a pasta machine!