Creatively Transforming Food

Fresh Pasta

On a sultry summer’s morning, as  only those familiar with the Eastern Shore know, I found myself wandering around a local  arts and craft venue near the Wicomico River. I was teased by a vendor selling fresh herbs, fresh pasta as well as rosemary focaccia bread. When tasted the bread sample, my senses were immediately taken to Italy when I toured  with other high school students in 1974. I circled back around to their stall before leaving to pick up bread and pasta for dinner only to discover they sold out of the bread . Well, I was on a mission to discover how to create that crusty sensation and the pasta which I was able to purchase and devour without any hesitation. Let’s start with the pasta. I searched Amazon for Pasta machines, read various reviews and settled on the Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Maker by Marcato (Made in Italy). To compliment the pasta machine, it  required the knowledge through precise descriptions and illustrations in The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.  I was just like a little kid on Christmas Eve awaiting the delivery of my new toy. I’m sure the delivery man was bewildered by my fascination and impatience, upon his arrival. If only he knew what potential that little box had as he brought it up the inclined driveway to my front door, he might have  asked to stay for dinner! It took a few tries to perfect the strategy, but I’m satisfied with outcome. This could be used in any pasta recipe, but seems to be perfect for Fettuccine Alfredo ! The Fresh Egg Pasta was created the using  food processor method they described. (Their step-by-step illustrations  are a wonderful addition to their recipes.) To this, I added the beaten eggs. Water is added until the dough forms a rough ball. The dough is then briefly kneaded until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let it relax. Once it has had its resting period, I cut the circle into 6 sections. IMG_0761 (2)IMG_0762 (2) The dough is fed through the machine as instructed. Make sure you have room to place these since they become extensive in length. The real fun comes from feeding these into the machine to be cut into fettuccine. The six long strips of pasta are cut in half before being inserted into the fettuccine attachment. I nest them as they come out of the machine while the water is coming to a boil.

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Cranking out perfection!

 

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You should see your fingers through the dough. Now we are ready!

 

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Perfect Fettuccine

 

Fettuccine Nests

Prep the Alfredo sauce prior to boiling the pasta. Combine the following until butter is melted and cream begins to simmer, then remove from the heat.

  • 1-1/3 cups of heavy cream
  • 5 T. unsalted butter

Drop pasta nests into the salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until it’s almost al dente. Yup, that’s all it takes because it’s fresh! I love my Rachel Ray pasta pot my sisters-in-law gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago. Wonderful choice, Ellen and Jen! IMG_0775 (2)  

Drain and add to cream mixture along with:

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • A few turns of the pepper grinder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Cook over low heat until sauce is evenly distributed and thickened.

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Fettuccine Perfection !

Serve immediately and enjoy! This is only one of a multitude of mouth-watering recipes found within The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles. You should definitely make this purchase and enjoy creating tantalizing recipes to try at your next cooking event with friends.  Look for the Rosemary Focaccia Bread recipe to serve with it. I will post that soon! Ciao!


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