So, last night I tried out my new toy, a hand-cranked pasta maker, imported from Italy. First I made the dough. I couldn't find any of the "00 wheat flour," the instructions called for, even on the Net. So, I stopped at the Italian market and picked up some Semolina (today when I checked out recipes on the Net, many just say "all-purpose flour"). So, you pile 2 cups of flour on your counter/bread board, and make a kind of depression or bowl in the middle, Then you put two eggs in the "bowl" and scramble them. You slowly mix in the remaining dough, then knead for 3 minutes. Then you cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Then the fun begins. If your dough is pliable enough (mine wasn't so I had to add a bit of water and re-knead) you break off a bit and run it through the rollers, set at "6" (widest opening). That's to clean the machine - you can't wash it. This first sheet is discarded. Then you run about half the dough through. It comes out all torn, and distorted, etc. but you fold it over and run it through again, flouring it each time Four times later, it's a nice solid sheet. You then turn the adjustment to "5" and run it through, then "4" and so on until you are at "1".
Now here's where I messed up. I was on a roll now and I just ran it through the cutter. Not having a dowel to hang it on, I floured it and let it dry a bit on the cutting board (also an option according to the instruction - but I'm going to make a pasta rack, I decided). BTW, just two cups of flour makes a LOT of pasta!
I made a light sauce for it from olive oil, butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and shrimp. Cooked the pasta for five minutes (you cook fresh pasta a lot less than dried) mixed it into the sauce and ate it. Taste was fantastic, but consistency was more like egg noodle.
Hmmm. in re-reading the instructions, after running it through the lowest setting, I was supposed to flour the sheet again and then let it rest 10 minutes before cutting it. But I didn't rest it! Bummer! But, on the bright side, I now know how to make egg noodles, too!
I'll definitely try it again soon, because it was fun!