It’s the Holidays! …not.

There are many reasons why family is great, especially sisters, and I’m constantly reminded of this fact around the holidays. My all-time favorite reason to love ’em is that sometimes you’ll get a mid-September call asking if you have some random piece of kitchenware. If you say no, chances are a package will arrive holding an early Christmas gift, many months in advance.

My sister C* (the one who instilled in me my bargain-seeking, ruthless-cheapskate desire to get the best deal possible and to take delight in the hunt) struck gold and wanted to send this perfect gift to me as quick as possible.

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Say hello to the newest Hipster Home addition, Mildred the Pasta Machine!

I’m no stranger to homemade pasta. It happened once before, like a violent explosion of flour and egg. A newly unearthed blog, The Amateur Gourmet, was making pasta and he said that a pasta machine is your best bet unless you’re an Italian grandmother. Did you just hear him question my abilities? That is a CHALLENGE. As a half Italian lady nowhere near grandma status, I decided, irrationally, that there was something to prove here. I huffed and puffed and rolled that stubborn dough out.  The sweat, grunting, bruises and broken rolling pin were worth it. Fresh pasta, afternoon delight!  I knew that if I could roll out pasta by hand ONCE, that I’d be free to use a machine the rest of my life. Cue new machine.

Mildred and I got working the other night, just to experiment. I’m including no recipes because frankly, I don’t think Mildred and I are on those kind of terms yet. I will say that pasta dough for ravioli was made combining eggs, flour, salt and olive oil. It then rested inside some cuddly plastic wrap while I worked on the filling.
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The insides were a freestyle concoction of caramelized onions, toasted pine nuts and some roasted Red Kuri squash (yes, THAT ONE from a month ago!)
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After it was seasoned to satisfaction, time to wrangle up some thin sheets of pasta dough! This was also improvised as I had a hard time finding any suggestions as to how thick ravioli pasta should be rolled out too. I was also going to use the ravioli mold but decided to make them irregularly by hand. OH MONSTROUS RAVIOLI!

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Hmm, the next question was what should go on the ravioli? The Hipster Home’s own Mr. set out to make another bowl-lickable sauce, that of cream, nutmeg, parmesan reggiano and butter. White Sauce Ahoy! Delicious, hearty, stick to your ribs autumnal meal- Ding!

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Lessons learned: the thinnest setting of my pasta machine is TOO THIN FOR ANYTHING. I also tried my hand at some other cut pasta and it was way way too delicate. Also: don’t overfill your ravioli! It messes with the proportion of pasta/filling/sauce. Finally a note-to-self: this was easy, tasty and low-mess. Make it more often, dummy!

Have you made pasta before? Got any pointers or great pasta recipess? DO SHARE!!!!

*P.S. Did I mention my sister has a wicked sense of humor? Look what we got in the box:

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(it still makes me laugh, no one has eaten it yet!)

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