About two weeks ago, we received a very large box in the middle of the day. I was surprised enough to receive a package, since we weren’t expecting anything, but I was even more surprised to see the contents of the box: a brand-new pasta machine. I double and triple-checked the address label, sure it must have been a mistake. Who could have sent us a pasta maker? And as delightful a gift as it was, I had to wonder…why would they have sent us a pasta maker?
When John came home, he called his mother, who confirmed that it was a gift from her and John’s stepdad. It was a housewarming present that had been ordered in August and had only just come. Mystery solved, much to my delight. I had spent the afternoon itching to open the box, but hadn’t dared to in case it was a mistake and we had to send it back.
No mistake was made, fortunately, and we got a chance to put it to work this weekend making fresh fettuccine. I couldn’t imagine a cooler kitchen present–John and I just about live off pasta. Here are some pictures of the process for your entertainment!
Step Zero: Reading the directions. Absolutely critical. I think pasta machines have more moving parts than my car. More moving parts than what I ever take apart and put back together in my car, anyway.
Step One & Two: Flour, salt, egg, and oil for two minutes. The spoon in the top of the lid pops out so you can add the water. The only trick is that you’re supposed to add water while the mixer paddle is going, which means a nice cloud of flour puffs out of the machine. A word of advice? Stand back a little. : )
Step Three: Extrusion! It’s exactly like a Playdough machine. The pasta stuck together quite a lot on the way out, so we ended up separating each strand by hand. Not quite sure if this step was necessary–we’ll have to play with it over time.
Step Four: Boil for 4-5 minutes. I wasn’t sure how to gauge the doneness of fresh pasta. It’s much faster than dry pasta, for obvious reasons. Does the ceiling test still work for fresh pasta?
Step Five: Enjoy! (And we did.)