I wasn’t really in a shopping mood on this, the most commercial of American weekends, so getting a jump on some of the homemade holiday gifts I was hoping to produce seemed like a good idea. Plus, the husband was amenable to being conscripted into pasta machine cranking duty and, in all seriousness, I couldn’t have done it without him. How people manage to make excellent pasta with just their wits and a rolling pin continues to impress me greatly.
The basic recipe for this project was pretty simple (based off this one on Martha Stewart’s site): 4 eggs plus 2 egg whites, a scant cup of pureed vegetable*, 2 cups semolina, 3 cups all-purposes flour, and two teaspoons kosher salt. All that went into the food processor for the initial mix and then out onto a floured counter for ten minutes kneading. It rested (wrapped in plastic wrap) in the fridge for a couple hours before we did the rolling and the cutting and the drying. I used the inverted bowl trick over the dough we weren’t rolling out yet to keep it from drying out and discovered that method works a lot better than trying to keep it under plastic. A scrap 6 ft. piece of wood wrapped in plastic and strung between two chairs made for ample drying space.
We snuck a few stray pasta pieces into some boiling water at the end of the night and declared them tasty. Now our little fettucini nests will nap under the tree until they are handed off to friends and family.
* I used some frozen spinach, cooked in the microwave and then pulverized in a food processor. Three oven-roasted beets met the same fate. Then I got lazy and used two jars of carrot-only baby food for the final flavor and have to say that was the dough that felt the richest to work with, so don’t be ashamed to shortcut.