Homemade Pasta (Spaghetti)

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My wife bought me the pasta roller and cutter attachments for my KitchenAid mixer for my birthday earlier this month. I have been begging for these for so long! I’ve always liked fresh pasta better than boxed (who doesn’t?!), and this gives me an easy way to make it at home. The KitchenAid attachments are really handy because you don’t have to turn a handle. Because I’m no Iron Chef, I need to use two hands to actually hold the dough when I’m rolling or curling pasta. Well, that’s not really possible with a pasta roller with the handle you have to turn. Anyway, so yes, if you’ve ever considered buying these, I definitely recommend them.

Please don’t ask for my recipe. It’s a combination of trial and error until the dough feels right. I start with some flour, eggs, and olive oil and work from there. But, have no fear. Anne Burrell will save the day. I’ve made her all purpose pasta dough recipe, and of course it’s amazing. If you need a recipe, use that one. You won’t be disappointed. There is a reason the pasta dough and gnocchi pages of my Cook Like a Rock Star book have a crusty floury texture! Yeah, things get messy when I’m cooking.

I’ve always made the well of flour for the eggs, etc. and kneaded by hand. You can also mix the ingredients in your stand mixer and switch to the dough hook for kneading. I’ve never done it that way, but one of these days I will try.

A few pointers about fresh pasta

  • You will her people tell you to let your dough rest, not rest, whatever. Sometimes I let it rest, sometimes I don’t. I’ve never had it turn out horrible either way. People can have some strong opinions on this. Google if you want to hear both sides of the story.
  • SALT YOUR COOKING WATER. If watching a ton of Food Network has taught me anything, it’s this.
  • Fresh pasta doesn’t take long to cook at all. 90 seconds to 2 minutes is all I usually do.
  • Do not rinse your noodles! Please, just don’t. Drain it, add it to your sauce, and let them cook together for a few minutes. Toss toss toss, and you’re good to go.

Troubleshooting 

img_4368Dough is too crumbly/dry or keeps falling apart – add some olive oil or water, but exercise some caution here. At first it will be dry. If it’s to the point where it seems like it’s just going to stay dry, this is when you should add some water or olive oil.

Dough is too wet (more like a dumpling dough) – add more flour. Just add a little at a time until it gets to the right texture. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a vicious cycle of too wet – too dry – too wet – too dry… etc.

Keeps getting stuck in the pasta roller – make sure you start it on the widest/most open setting, which should be 1. If you’re already there and it keeps getting stuck, roll it out flatter with the side of your hand or rolling pin and try again.

Pasta falls apart when it goes through the roller – This one depends on how badly it’s falling apart. Sometimes I have ends that get a little weird. Just fold the dough in half and run it through again. If it’s seriously crumbly, see bullet point on crumbly dough.

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