Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Celebrating One Year with Homemade Noodles

Isn't the traditional one year anniversary gift noodles? I thought so. 

When I reflect on my first year of blogging, I wonder if I have actually achieved anything. Let's look at a few goals of my blog. 
  1. Bragging....JK....Not really. Achieved? Yes.
  2. On the crafty side, to become inspired into a routine of creativity. Achieved? Yes. I have devoted more time to creative projects this year than ever before, and i have some great pieces to show for it.
  3. On the cooking side, to show my readers that homemade is always greater than. I don't really know how much I have to teach you about cooking, but if things like homemade jam, spaghetti sauce, cheese, and pie crust are intimidating to you, I want to show you, my dear reader, that you can tackle anything.  My heart breaks for my many, many students who have never made pancakes, decorated cookies, let alone baked a pie.  I think these are life experiences that everyone should have, and I hope that I can have just a modicum of inspiration in your cooking. Achieved? Maybe. 
On that note, here's my experience with homemade pasta.

This was my second homemade noodle endeavor. I didn't have a pasta roller the first time, so I rolled it out by hand. It is very possible, but the pasta roller makes it easier to get nice, even, pretty noodles. A friend game me a pasta roller she doesn't use anymore. So, sorry Ron Popeil, I've moved on. (Confession: When searching for this link, I did get sucked in for the last time though!)

There are two ingredients in this recipe: eggs and white flour. And the ratio is simple: 2 eggs for every cup of flour. I doubled the recipe, and it made about 5-6 servings-worth of pasta. 

Step 1: Pour the flour on the counter and make a well. 

Step 2: Roll your sleeves up and wash your hands! It's about to get messy up in here; hence, no photos. Crack the eggs in the well and mix it all together with your hands. Knead the dough until it's no longer sticky, adding a little bit more flour if necessary. Pioneer Woman has some great photos of this stage. Just pretend those are mine, mmmkay? 



Step 3: Divide the dough into smaller portions to run through the pasta roller or roll out by hand. Then cut into strips, again using the pasta roller or a pizza cutter. 

Step 4: Dump the noodles into extremely salted boiling water to cook or hang them out to dry. If you cook them before they dry, just be careful as they cook very quickly. 

Step 5: Drain the noodles. Admire their tenderness and beauty for a moment. 


Step 6: (Really should be step 1.) Make your favorite spaghetti sauce. May I recommend one? I doctored mine with ground beef and mushrooms. 

Step 7: Dive in! You've earned it!