I made some succulent beer braised pork this morning and I was going to serve it over brown basmati rice this evening, with some roasted broccoli. While my husband Dominic likes rice, he did not think the rice would do the pork justice. He suggested we make some fresh pasta to go with the pork instead.
My wonderful In Laws are visiting, so it seemed to me that making pasta would be the perfect afternoon activity for our very active girls. Dominic grew up eating this pasta recipe. My Father In Law told me he grew up with this pasta recipe as well. Even though Dominic and My In Laws make their pasta dough in the food processor, I used a bowl and fork to gather the dough together. Marjie and Georgia love to make pasta, but Dominic and I do not make it as often as we would like to, mostly because it would not be kind to our waistlines to do so.
Making pasta every once in a while is such a treat for Dominic and I, and our girls really love it too.
Georgia “kneaded” the dough after my Mother in Law, and I did most of the kneading. Then she covered the dough lovingly with a clean dish towel, and had to be persuaded that the dough needed to rest for a while.
I suspect while the dough was resting, she went off to give her her dolls more haircuts. Over these last few days, my girls have been playing beauty parlor a lot. They find child proof scissors, and then go to town on one, or two of their unsuspecting dolls. At this point in time, I think all of their dolls have gotten a haircut or two. I will listen for silence, and walk out and find clumps of hair, that was cut off to make “onions” for an “onion pie”. I have now hidden all of the child proof scissors in really good hiding places. In fact, I cannot remember where I hid them. I am sure my girls will find them though, and by the end of the weekend, will have sheared all of their dolls. Poor sweet dolls.
I sure do wish my little Georgia would rest for a half an hour. Who knows, maybe she will learn from this pasta dough.
After the dough rested for a half an hour or so, my Father In Law then divided the dough into ten or eleven pieces, and patted them out into loose ovals, preparing them to be rolled through the pasta maker, manned by Georgia.
My girls washed their hands before we began the process. Marjie came to the table, and I asked her if she wanted to have a crack at kneading the dough. She told me, “no thank you mama, I just washed my hands. ” She loves to work the crank handle of the pasta machine, and also sprinkle flour onto the pieces of dough, making sure they do not stick to the machine when it is their turn to be rolled through.
We all had such a fun time making the pasta, and our girls shared wonderfully, and took turns beautifully.
The dough is on the second to last notch in this picture. The next step will be cutting it into fettucini.
Our pasta cutter does not cut the pasta all the way through, so we have to separate the long noodles, then sprinkle the pile of noodles with flour periodically, to prevent noodle fusing. I don’t mind this step, and find it slightly meditative.
We ended up with two sheet trays full of noodles. We cooked them all, and will be eating yummy leftovers for days. I love leftover noodles, but I think next time we make these noodles, I will dry half of them, to be used at a later date.
I wanted to show a before, and after picture of these luscious noodles that conveyed their deliciousness. They are light and delicate, and have lovely structure.
Making these noodles with your kids, is a fun and educational activity. Before you start the process, let go of the mess factor, and you all will have a blast. Beware of awesome Father In Laws who teach your kids how to eat raw noodles though. Thank you Pop pop.
Our girls were so funny at dinner, and put noodles on their faces and told us they had mustaches and beards like Pop pop, and daddy. Dominic and Mom mom took a few photos. These memories, and pictures are priceless, and will probably mysteriously show up again at prom night. Enjoy making and eating these scrumptious noodles with your family, and friends during the holidays, and beyond.
Make sure you check out all the other blogs that have posted fabulous family activities, and linked up, at Cottage Magpie’s, Christmas Linky Parade.
- 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil(makes more of a supple dough)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt for dough
- enough water to bring dough together
- salt for cooking water
- Dump flour in bowl
- Add salt and mix together
- Make a well in the middle of the bowl
- Add 3 large eggs
- Add olive oil
- Use fork to break yolks
- Start stirring ingredients with fork, and incorporating dry into wet
- Add water 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring until dough forms a ball and comes away from bowl
- Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface
- Knead for a few minutes until dough is smooth and not sticky
- If dough is still sticky add a little more flour and knead a bit more
- let dough rest for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, covered with a clean dry dishcloth(this will make it easier to work with)
- ROLLING OUT THE PASTA
- on a lightly floured surface, cut the dough into eight to eleven pieces Working one piece at a time, pat each piece out into a rough rectangle, then pass it through your pasta machine on the widest (#1) setting
- Fold dough in half, and pass it through again
- Repeat 2 more times on #1 setting
- Repeat with all the pasta pieces
- Continue passing all the pasta pieces through the machine, one time per notch, (#2, #3, #4, # 5, #6 remembering to dusting them very lightly with flour to prevent the dough from sticking
- When you have gotten to #6 or # 7 your dough will be very thin, and you might find that you have reached the desired thickness(we stopped at #7)
- Use the pasta cutter attachment to cut the sheets into fettucini, or cut the pasta by hand on a cutting board with a sharp knife
- Dust pasta with more flour to prevent sticking
- Heavily salt boiling water
- Place pasta in boiling salted water
- Stir to prevent sticking
- Allow water to come back up to a boil, cook for 1 more minute, and taste pasta to see if it is done
- Fresh pasta cooks quickly
- Strain in colander
- Toss into your favorite homemade pasta sauce
- Enjoy with with family and friends