The girls and I decided to make fresh pasta when I harvested tomatoes and made homemade sauce. Homegrown tomatoes (and some from a local market), fresh homegrown basil and oregano, and some wonderful-smelling time in the kitchen is one recipe for a wholesome, homemade dinner that night!
Making fresh pasta is pretty simple and the girls had a blast doing it! First, you mix three eggs (can’t wait for those ducks to start laying!), 1/4 tsp. salt and 3 cups of flour. (We didn’t use our hand crank wheat grinder to make the flour this time, but we will next chance!)
Next you mix the ingredients right on the table or large cutting board with a bench knife. Well, I had never heard of one and we certainly didn’t have one, so my inventive girls just said “Let’s use that Pampered Chef tool that makes wiggly vegetables!” Oh yes, the Crinkle Cutter. Why not? Well, it worked just fine.
After all the ingredients were incorporated, we kneaded the dough. One great thing about so many cooks by the kitchen is that a labor-intensive chore like 7-10 minutes of kneading can be broken down into a few minutes each set of hands! Once kneaded plenty, we rolled the dough into four little balls (one per girl) and let them sit for 15 minutes.
We don’t have a fancy pasta maker or press, let alone one with attachments that makes all the various shapes of pasta, (oooh, holiday gift idea!) so we just used our good old rolling pin and fists a-pounding! Look at the concentration on Molly’s face! She knows that the thinner she can roll her sheet, the better the pasta shapes will be!
Lex learned that by applying an egg wash to parts of the pasta shapes, it can act like a ‘glue’ to keep the pasta together. Putting the egg wash in a little mug allows you to keep a handle on it better. See how she cut small rectangles and then squished them to become bow ties? A little dab of the egg wash kept the ziti in place too!
Once everyone made their shapes of choice, and the sauce was nearly ready, Tessa and I cooked the pasta. Immediately we realized how much the FRESH pasta expands when placed in the boiling water! WOW, our bow ties were three times the size of store-bought ones. Note to selves: make smaller and thinner pasta shapes next time! But they still cooked up in only a couple minutes and tasted wonderful! You can add your own additional ingredients, like spinach or sun-dried tomatoes, if you want something extra special.
Tah – dah! Fresh pasta really made this meal, with homemade sauce and freshly harvested veggies and lettuce from the garden! The ground beef had been canned earlier, so it was ready to add to the sauce in the last few minutes. Add some homemade bread , hand made butter and fresh raw milk and it is a perfect meal for this family!