Pasta making

May 25, 2009

pastaA few weeks ago, the folks from KitchenAid sent me a pasta maker to try out. While I’m always happy to have a reason to make fresh pasta, I was a bit amused. Their offer  proves what short memories large organizations have. You see, the PR person who approached me to try this machine obviously didn’t know that I used to sell this very apparatus on The Shopping Channel. She was, as the saying goes, “preaching to the converted.”

I was tempted to tell her my history with this gadget but I really didn’t want to  underline that I’m pretty much a dinosaur who has been in this business far longer than most people can remember. Besides, I love a plate of fresh saffron and lime noodles dressed lightly with olive oil (or butter) and garnished with a halo of whisper-thin curls of shaved pecorino cheese, so I got over myself and headed to the kitchen instead.

Here’s the recipe so you can enjoy a bowl of these noodles, too.

Saffron-Lime Fresh Pasta
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
3 eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lime zest
¼ tsp (1 mL) saffron threads
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

Place flour in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using a fork, beat eggs with lime, saffron and salt. Add the eggs to the bowl and mix using a dough hook until a soft dough forms.

Knead dough using the dough hook for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Knead into a ball and cover with plastic wrap; let rest for 20 minutes. Divide dough into 3 pieces to make handling easier; cover.
Flatten each piece of dough with your hand or a rolling pin; dust with flour. Feed through the widest setting of the pasta attachment rollers 3 times, lightly flouring after each pass through the machine.

Set machine to next narrowest setting; run dough through once. Repeat, running dough through rollers until next-to-finest setting is reached. Cut the dough in half if it becomes too long to handle easily. Lightly flour dough; run through finest setting. Repeat with remaining portions of dough.

Hang the rolled dough over a pasta rack (you can make one by balancing a clean broomstick between two chairs) until leathery but not dry about 20 minutes.

Change setting from rolling to cutting position. Cut pasta into 10 – to 12-in (25 to 30 cm) lengths. Feed each length through the cutter.

To cook: add noodles in lots of salted, boiling water and boil for 2 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander and toss with extra virgin olive oil or butter to coat. Season to taste.

Photo credit: Tracy Cox