Thanks to our friends Petra and Aylwin we have a brand new pasta machine. I still think of it as a toy and not a serious tool. It takes all the manual work away and lets me experiment. I have done metre long spaghetti, enormous lasagne sheets fitting perfectly to lasagne pan, and my all-time favourite tagliatelle, all in three different colours, plain white, spinach green and tomato red.
Why do Italian grandmas have arms like Sylvester Stallone?
If you ever tried to make pasta at home and I am not talking about cooking it, but rather making it from scratch, meaning mixing flour and liquid (eggs or water), than you would know that it takes an enormous power. Making dough is fairly easy. Basic recipe requires only two ingredients: flour and water; possibly eggs instead of water in case flour does not have enough proteins to make the dough stick together. Mixing it is also not a big deal. It gets a bit harder towards the end, but you can do it. But rolling the pasta dough manually is a daunting task that requires regular visits to fitness studio and lifting an equivalent of a whale per day for at least a few months before you try it for the first time.
Italian grandmas did not know about machines when making pasta and they don’t need to visit any fitness. It’s their lifestyle. They’ve been doing pasta for generations and their big arms are probably in their genetic pool already. Now, Sylvester is of Italian origin and I bet his mama was making pasta. That’s where his muscles come from.
Pasta made easy
I like being practical. Some people would call it lazy, but I enjoy using kitchen tools especially if they take manual work away from me, leaving me to rethink my next steps and enjoy all these different creations. The first step towards making a positive fresh homemade pasta experience is buying a simple pasta maker. If you are not sure if you would like to do it many times, you can also borrow it from a friend. A simple pasta maker on the photo below can roll the dough to desired thickness (seven steps) and also cut two different shapes of pasta, tagliatelle and noodles.
This simple invention can also assist you partly with making the dough. Instead of kneading it all over and over again, you can just let it through the rollers at the maximum thickness, and thus making the texture more even. Next step after the dough is ready is to roll it to desired thickness. The machine above allows seven different levels of thickness. I would recommend levels 2 and 3 for tagliatelle or lasagne sheets, and level 1 for noodles. After you cut/slice the pasta dough you are ready to go.