new pasta rollers. Fresh pasta is delightful and a great meal to serve guests, but it's quite time consuming. I've made it a few more times since that post. All those times the plan was to make it while guests were mingling and enjoying the fact that it was being made right there. The downside though is that it always takes longer than planned for and/or I get sidetracked by conversation and lose my cooking concentration.
Bound and determined to make this process a bit easier I've done a little research and watched a couple of youtube videos about making and storing pasta. And today, I spent my day of no talking making batches and batches of fresh pasta.
One thing that was making the process more difficult was trying to make more than a couple of servings at a time in the dry, SoCal weather. The dough dried out so quickly, sometimes in the midst of making it, which made it difficult to work with. That problem seemed to be solved by two solutions. One, rather than using measuring cups, I used the scale and weighed the flour. Bakers always say it's more exact to weigh dry ingredients, but since I'm not a baker I never took much stock in it. Now I'm a believer. The second way to counteract the dryness was to make it in smaller batches. Most recipes call for one egg and 100 grams of flour for 2 servings. If I were serving 6-7 people, I tried to make it all at once. Today, I made the dough into smaller batches which was so much easier to work with.
After rolling and cutting the dough, it is dusted with flour and then twirled around the fingers to form bunches of pasta. The nests are placed on floured parchment paper and then placed in the freezer for an hour or two to set. Then they are stored in an airtight container in the freezer. The best part? There is no defrosting of the dough! The individual servings can just be dropped in a pot of boiling water and cooked the 2-3 minutes as usual - maybe an extra minute longer since frozen.
It was such a calming exercise - rolling and cutting and swirling the dough - that I would have worked on it all day had I not run out of eggs.
Arrabbiata sauce with spicy Italian turkey sausage in planned for later this week!