Monday, September 19, 2011

How to Make Fresh Pasta

posted by Melissa Baumgart
Our "family recipe"
Last year in Tallulah's kindergarten we received a request from her teacher: "Send in a family recipe."  In true Baumgart fashion, we waited until the morning it was due, and quickly jotted something down on a scrap piece of paper.  I think I even had Lily do it for us.  She was "the good one" at the time.  At least there is always one kid willing to man that spot at any given moment.

She wrote down all the ingredients to blueberry cobbler, since Lily had just made that the weekend before.  She is an amazing baker, even at 11 years old.  I stuffed the paper into Tallulah's backpack, feeling accomplished and kinda like I might look like a together kind of parent.

Turns out her teacher put together this amazing book of recipes, highlighting that they were from each kid's family recipes.  Oh, great.  Most kids offered recipes (including instructions, not just the ingredients like our page had) from their culture.  There were recipes for tamales, which I used last Christmas Eve, and for Ethiopian stew; not to mention recipes from Micronesia, a great great grandmother's Wassail recipe, and luckily a recipe for fresh pasta.

Kindergarten recipe book.
Isaac, The Pasta Man, and his family shared their recipe for fresh pasta and marinara sauce.  Since the tamales turned out so well during the holidays, I turned to the Kindergarten cookbook once again.  Especially since Jamie Oliver seemed to be no help.

Here is their (adapted) recipe:

Fresh Pasta
6 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon salt
1/3 cup water
4 cups flour (I think we used a little more)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the salt.  Add flour and water alternately in small amounts, and then knead until well blended.  Remove from bowl, and oil the bowl.  (We did not do this.)  Return dough to bowl and let stand in warm room until ripened.  (We also did not do this, we just started rolling it through the pasta maker right away due to time constrictions.)

Note:  Dough may be refrigerated overnight.  If refrigerated, let stand until room temperature before working in additional flour and running through the pasta maker.

Form dough into small balls about the size of a lemon.  Pat into the shape of a rounded rectangle, and then flatten in a pasta machine.  Start at the thickest setting and work your way to the thinnest.  Make sure to flour the pasta before each pass through the machine.  After the last (smallest) setting, drop the dough through the pasta setting that you desire (i.e. spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine.)

Boil in boiling water for about 1 - 2 minutes, depending on thickness of noodles.  It seemed fun to let the kids test it and tell me when it was done.


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