Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Have a break, make some pasta....

My dear husband surprised me with a pasta extruder for my birthday (number one on my wishlist!). And today I took a break from painting and set my mind to pasta making. I mean: how hard can it be? A little distraction is good for mind, soul and -aching- body. Well a couple of hours and a few batches of dough later I am happy to announce: it is harder than you think. Bear with me while I walk you through a series of mishaps and a little success.

First attempt: egg pasta with a little tomato puree, making rigatoni. Oh wow, do you think I should cut it? And with what? That's what they don't tell you in the manual.... scissors or knife? No idea..sticky stuff.
The dough is very crumbly, let's try another disc. The tagliatelli one...

Here we go, this looks for real!
Dough is still very dry, and the machine is getting a bit warm to the touch, this sure does not look like any dough I know.
Pasta's looking good though. Do you think I should knead for a bit, add a little tomato-puree? Make the dough come together?
Okay, that was where all things started to go wrong! So the beautiful nest of tagliatelle above was the only one (yes, 1!) coming out of that batch before making a mess and trashing it.

Ultimately I made three batches of dough, first one (ap flour/eggs/ water) was almost perfect but ruined by adding too much liquid. Second (ap flour/olive oil/water) was again too wet and elastic and made all my strands sticky (you know the Roxy Music song? I swear I could hear them sing "come on, come on, let's stick together"). The third turned out not too bad (bread flour/water/olive oil) and I even managed to make some semi real rigatoni with it.

I am not prepared to give you any recipes yet, I think I know now the dough has to be coarse breadcrumb like, only mixed for a very short time (think half minutes on speed 2 or 3) just so you can make loose little balls to feed your machine. If you have any suggestions....please help! make matters more complicated, extrusion pasta dough seems to be different from roller pasta

PS: Almost forgot: this is my blogs first anniversary! Click here to read my first halting steps in blog land. It's been a journey, meeting wonderful people and I enjoy every step of the way and most of all I enjoy your reading and commenting, thank you!


  1. I wish I could help but I've never made homemade pasta. But you're almost there! I'll be watching for the progress. Have fun with your new toy.

    And I also wanted to say Happy birthday and happy blog anniversary! :)

  2. Happy anniversary!

    I'm so glad you didn't give up on the pasta ... !


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