Oh Noodles! Yummy, slurp-y, soft, buttery, liquid induced, tomato soaked or creamy...its all good! Show me a 'food coma' by having me make and eat pasta! I love pasta (if that isn't clear!) No need to be fancy here either - making fresh pasta is your choice - go slow and make dough like "grandma" by hand, speed things along with a mixer and dough hook, or zip to the finish line using a food processor...I've tried them all and really don't have a preference...they all produced great pasta! You can also roll the dough by hand with a rolling pin and cut with a knife or pizza cutter, or squeeze through a pasta maker (which flattens the dough and lets you grab and stretch as you turn the crank) and let the pasta maker cut your noodle shapes too...its all up to you! I admit - it was super easy to throw ingredients in a food processor until a dough ball forms (a la Chef Viviani style) but, you still get your hands and surfaces covered with flour, its just an evil necessity in this process...flour keeps your noodles from sticking to each other, your hands, and the rollers, cutters.
I will share my quick recipe - one I caught from Chef Viviani which uses a Cuisinart. ~Enjoy! Diane
2-3 cups all purpose flour (*add slow)
1/8 tsp salt & pepper each
1/2 tsp olive oil
Place everything but, flour into Food Processor. Whirl for 3-8 seconds. Add in 1 1/2 cups of flour and pulse a few more seconds until a dough starts to form, add in more flour (1/2 cups at a time) and pulse until dough starts pulling together into a large ball, when dough is ready - it should NOT be sticky to the touch (if it is, you need to keep incorporating more flour) Once dough is soft to touch and non-stick, set out onto a floured working surface. knead dough just enough to form into a long rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half and run each half thru pasta maker - one at a time. Most pasta makers have roller settings (the largest setting meaning the rollers are the farthest apart) I make 3 passes with my dough when making Fettuccine before moving the now 'long pressed sheet of dough' through the pasta cutter part of my machine...Once cut, I bundle loosely and sprinkle with more flour so there is no sticking together! When all done, I lay finished noodles flat in a straight line on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkled with flour until ready to cook (I leave out in open air until cook time, as long as its no more then 4 hours away.) Prepare your favorite sauce and boil your noodles in salted water:
approximate times for cooking pasta in boiling, lightly salted water:
Fresh pasta, no drying or freezing; 2 to 3 minutes
Fresh pasta, air dried; 4 to 7 minutes
..."Be sure to have your sauce, toppings, salads, and sides ready at the table before you drop the pasta into the water... Cooked pasta waits for no one..."
Yields: enough to compliment one commercial sized jar of tomato sauce.
Recipe by: Chef Viviani
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home