Ode to a Kitchen Gadget

Here’s the thing about being known as someone who loves to cook amongst your friends and family: whenever a gift-giving occasion comes along, you’ll surely be given gift cards to specialty cooking stores. Mind you, I think this is fantastic.

But, when it comes to birthday gifts, I’m a bit of a stickler. I think that the gift card purchase should be something gifty.

Sure, I may need a new vegetable peeler, but where’s the fun in that?

This largely explains my recent acquisition of—and subsequent need to find uses for—a mechanical pastry bag.

It also explains the pasta maker. Now it’s possible to have fresh pasta in, um, much more time than it takes to boil pasta!

Ridiculous, I know. But we were a little giddy in Williams Sonoma and the pasta really is that much better. Trust me on this one. Or, better yet, make it yourself.

And, stay tuned for some homemade sauce recipes…

Fresh Pasta
Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour. Next time I make it, I’m going to use a semolina for a more authentic flavor. That said, the all-purpose flour version was great.

3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs

Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs.

Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.

Note: the kneading and resting portions of this recipe are essential for making a light pasta. Do not skip them.

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2 Comments

Filed under Pasta

2 responses to “Ode to a Kitchen Gadget

  1. Jess

    I love this post! Totally agree that gift cards need to be spent on something fun/frivolous. That plate of pasta is gorgeous.

  2. Now I know what to make you next time you’re over…. And, we got some semolina flour, so hopefully it’ll be even better.

    How’s the unpacking going?

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