the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur
plonq

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Again, with the fresh pasta

A couple of things that atara and I bought on our recent trip to Fargo were a knife block, and a pasta-drying rack. I cleaned out the knife drawer and loaded up the block last weekend, and this weekend I unpacked the drying rack and put it to use.

I mixed up the usual batch of pasta dough (2 cups of durum semolina, 3 eggs, a dash of salt, and a splash of olive oil), brutalized it into a bouncy wad of dough and let it rest in the fridge. I unpacked the new rack, set everything up, then put the dough on the table and immediately thought, "I'm gonna need a bigger rack..."
Let's Roll

That ball of dough made enough fettuccine for two full meals. I think the next time I make pasta, I will either freeze half of it, or reduce it to 1 1/3 cups of flour and 2 eggs. I have also concluded that I need to portion the dough into smaller pieces (currently, I quarter it) and learn to roll shorter noodles. Mind you, as you can see in the next shot, if I had rolled them shorter then they would never have fit on the rack - which is why I am thinking of cutting the volumes in the next batch as well.

Drying Fettuccine

Even though the semolina and egg already make the noodles very yellow, I added a couple of teaspoons of turmeric to bring out the colour even more. It also adds an appealing hint of added flavour to the pasta.

One of the biggest benefits I got from the rack was that it sped up the process considerably. I could roll out the noodles over my hand and then transfer them directly to the rack without worrying about them glomming together into a doughy ball. This batch of pasta took about 90 minutes from start to finish, including clean-up, and giving the dough about 30 minutes to rest in the refrigerator. Rack aside, I was also much more efficient in the rolling process.

When you run pasta through the roller, each time you turn it down a notch to flatten the dough more, it brings out more of the irregularities in the shape of the flattened dough. I discovered that once I get down to the third pass through the rollers, I can usually tell which parts need to be trimmed away to get a nice even finish. I ran the knife down both sides, and trimmed the ends, then lay those trimmed pieces down the centre of the dough and rolled them through again. I found that by the time I got to the seventh pass, the layers had been rolled smooth again into a homogeneous sheet of dough.

Wall of Pasta

I could not resist taking at least one more, slightly artsy picture of the pasta once I was done. I boosted the saturation in this one just a touch to bring out the lovely contrasts that were otherwise being killed by the fluorescent lighting in our kitchen, but this shot is pretty true to life. The great wall of fettuccine had a delightful yellow hue that virtually cried out, "These are egg noodles!"

atara cooked up the pasta and then tossed it with some halved, heritage tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and bocconcini. It probably would have paired well with one of our wines, but I opted for a red ale.
Tags: fettuccine, food, pasta, tomatoes, wine
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