So it’s not like I don’t have a pasta machine. We got one as a very thoughtful wedding gift. It’s just that I don’t have any room to use it. Plus, I think it makes you look like an idiot. But, since I’ve been less than thrilled with my rolling pin pastas (butternut squash ravioli) (tagliatelle with summer vegetables), I thought I would give it another try.
Friggin Pasta Machine Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp:
1. mix it (dry): I changed up my recipe a little bit and added more flour than usual. To my usual two eggs, olive oil, and salt, I added 1.5C flour instead of the usual 1C. I beat the eggs and worked them into the flour until I had a dough ball.
2. knead it: I kneaded the ball of dough for a while with some extra flour.
3. rest it: I let it rest for twenty minutes. In the meantime, I got my pasta machine set up.
4. set it: the only possible way to have enough space to work the pasta machine, given the dimensions and shape of my kitchen, is to set it up near the sink. But this leaves two problems: (1) you’d have to work to avoid having the rolled pasta falling into the sink, and (2) there isn’t enough of a lip on my countertop to attach the pasta machine.
So, I attached it to my cutting board. But this left one additional problem: the setup was wobbly. To get around this, I put the knife block on the other side of the cutting board to weigh it down a little. It wasn’t perfect, or even close to perfect, but it is the best I can do.
5. roll it: I cut the dough into four pieces and began rolling the dough through the pasta machine rollers. The machine has seven settings. #7 is the thickest and #1 is the thinnest. Roll the dough through the machine at each number twice. I had to use a lot of flour to make sure things didn’t get too gummed up in the machine.
By the time I got to #1, the pasta dough was super super thin and several feet long. And when I was done with one strip of pasta, I floured it heavily so that I could fold it over and set it to the side.
6. cut it: after I got all the pasta portions rolled out, I put on the cutting attachment on the pasta machine.
The pasta machine that I have has a cutting attachment. One is called the linguini side and the other is called the spaghetti side. My wife requested a spaghetti cut. But once I started getting it cut, it was clear that it was more of an angel hair in terms of thickness.
7. dry it: after all the pasta was cut, I set it out to dry for a couple hours when I would be ready to eat dinner. I wanted to lay it out in neat rows and lines, but it was, well, like trying to pick apart spaghetti.
8. sauce it: for a sauce, I sautéed up some shrimp and added that to a parmesan béchamel sauce.
9. boil it: I threw in the pasta into a big ol’ pot of boiling water. I was initially worried because the pasta had gotten pretty brittle during the drying process. I was hoping for long, wonderful strands of pasta. But it was looking I would have nothing but pasta shards. However, once the pasta hit the water, the dried pasta loosened up and transformed back into the lovely strands that I had started out with.
10. eat it: we sat down to eat this, and it was pretty good. I don’t usually like angel hair pasta, but as far as angel hair pastas go, this worked. Using the pasta machine wasn’t necessarily easier and wasn’t any faster than rolling it out by hand. But it did result in a much more consistent product.