03 Dec

My New Baby

Ordinarily, I would bore social media with this, but… ha!

While I was losing hair over that fustercluck yesterday (which is ongoing, I see by the absence of the Facebook feed in my widgets…), I received a timely gift from myself.

A pasta roller! Blue to match my stand mixer! (I use “match” loosely. My KitchenAid is in storage because I’m displaced, so I can’t compare. If they clash, I’ll separate them when I get my own kitchen.)

To soothe my nerves, I meditated on pasta late into the night. Since my previous attempt at pasta (I tried rolling it with a rolling pin, which I don’t recommend — you think it’s thin enough, but you’re wrong) was plain, I stepped up my game with spinach this time.

Improvised recipe: 100 g all-purpose flour, 100 g “premium pasta blend” (“golden semolina and extra fancy durum” — don’t I feel posh), 100 g of fresh spinach (wilt it in a pan with a tablespoon of water, cool, and wring as dry as possible), and 2 eggs. Whiz the drained spinach and eggs in a blender or food processor. Mix the liquid into the flour. (I did it by hand, but you can probably do it in a food processor.) I had to add a few drops of water to bring everything together because I took wringing out my spinach VERY SERIOUSLY. Knead it until smooth and nonsticky (as the pasta roller manual says, “Good pasta dough never sticks!”). Divide it in two, wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Roll, cut, cook, and use as desired.

These little noodles (“tagliolini,” according to the blade manufacturer) are straight up ramen. Thin and tangly and springy. This was half the dough (100 g of flour and 1 egg, for those keeping track) and made what I consider four main-dish servings after adding some mushrooms, frozen spinach, cream, parm, and chicken. Every other recipe I looked at was like “500 g of flour, 5 eggs, serves 6” (five times the noodles in that picture serves six?!), so I’m mentally calculating what other people consider a serving and getting peeved that I’m chubby. Maybe I’ll try the Trough of Pasta Diet for the New Year.

The fettucine is… well, fettucine. I bagged that up and put it in the freezer because even the tiny batch of dough I made resulted in an enormous amount of pasta. As in, I was STARTLED to find the second lump of dough still on the counter after I rolled out the ramen.

While I was doing my pasta meditation, I was thinking about how inconsistent my level of fussiness is. Someone gave me a teapot — not a kettle that you heat the water in, but a pot you pour already-hot water into and let the tea steep, and then pour the finished tea into a cup. It’s adorable, but I will never use it because that whole middle step seems like such a huge waste of time and effort when I can just steep tea right my cup. But I have no problem winging a pasta recipe, making dough, spending an hour cranking it out, and making a huge mess of the kitchen that I then have to clean while dried and even “fresh” pastas are readily available at the store, mess-free, simply dump in the pot and go. I was trying to pin down my tolerance, and every example of I WILL DO ALL OF THE FUSS seemed to be dough-related.

The only logical conclusion is that I am the secret shame of the Pillsbury Doughboy.

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