One day last week Nick walked to Kensington market to get some fruit and vegetables and came home with a new pasta maker!
After his first experiments making his own pasta sheets using a rolling pin and forming (delicious) ravioli with the dough, we have been tossing around the idea of purchasing a machine and getting more into homemade noodle making. So while I didn’t expect him to come home with one on that particular shopping trip I wasn’t all that surprised.
Something I particularly love about Nick is his eagerness to try new things. The proverb “A rolling stone gathers no moss” could have been written about him. He is always on the go, experimenting and expanding his knowledge. And since pasta might just be my favourite food, I am happy that his curiosity took him in the direction of making his own.
I admire this trait in him, as I am one who tends to go with the ‘tried and true’ and stick with the things I know. That’s not to say that I am not open minded because I like to think that I am, but for something like embarking upon making our own pasta, my response was more on the ‘but I don’t mind the dried noodles we buy from the store’ side, while worrying about where we would store a pasta machine.
Note: He doesn’t have some weird new hair-do … he is wearing a hairnet in these pictures, which he automatically always does when he’s cooking. A holdover from days spent working in a restaurant kitchen.
The machine he got is this one by Imperia. These pictures are of his very first try at using it. He reports that it was easy to use and worked really well. And it was fun!
In a nutshell, the way you use this machine is by first passing your dough through the rollers to flatten it, by cranking a handle on the side. You do this several times, turning a dial to make it thinner upon each pass. Then you add the cutting attachment, select the width and flatness of noodle you want and pass your flattened dough through again.
Then you hang your noodles to dry out a bit. We didn’t have a proper pasta drying rack so he improvised by anchoring a rack he removed from the oven (washing it first) to the the top of the stove with his heavy cast-iron wok.
He served the linguine noodles he made by first boiling them briefly in salted water, draining and tossing them in some pesto he has previously made and had stored in the freezer. Then he topped that with a chunky sauce of sauteed garlic and white onions, red pepper pieces, whole mushrooms, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, salt and pepper, and a dribble of red wine.
And since the bottle was open, of course we had a glass of wine with our pasta lunch. We tried some Mirassou Pinot Noir 2011, from California. I cannot attest to have discerned the notes of cherry and pomegranate used to describe its flavour, but I can say that it was very nice to drink. We’ll be having that one again.
So the first try at using a pasta machine turned out very well, however he thinks that he won’t make the noodles quite as thin next time.
If you’re thinking about making your own pasta, we can recommend the Imperia machine. It makes excellent pasta and is amazingly small and compact, so will not take a lot of precious space in your cupboard.
Thanks for visiting. Wishing you a great Friday and weekend to come. We have a busy one in that we have a show to go to tonight and another one tomorrow night.