My mom's family is very Italian. My grandma is Roman Catholic and she middle-named my mom and all of her sisters after the "Holy Mother". We eat fish every Christmas eve, baked ziti on Thanksgiving and the volume of a family dinner can be deafening to the unaccustomed. Not only that, but my Italian Great-Grandfather was an accomplished chef. My mom always says I cook like him... not so much because of the food, but because I am such a HOPELESSLY messy cook.
But, we are also American. Pasta comes out of a box and sauce, while often homemade, is regularly stretched with a jug of Ragu.
This past weekend, while out in the yard doing a work burn of the branches of my fallen poplar tree, my neighbor offered me a pasta machine she had purchased at a garage sale and didn't have time to use it.
This morning, armed with a whole wheat pasta recipe and my new toy, I set out to make my forefathers proud.
2 1/2 c. Whole Wheat Flour (The finer the better)
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs, Beaten
1/3 c. Water
1 tsp. Olive Oil
I tossed everything into the machine & mixed, tweaking the texture until it resembled the pea-sized chunks described in the manual, and set it to extrude. About halfway through (one full-length disc of pasta already extruded), the dough turned into rubber. The extruder quit extruding and the machine stopped, never to start again. It was probably on its last legs anyway, and I DID get a small amount of very good, professional-looking pasta out of it. I hung it on Nick's boy scout pie rack (suspended by two rolls of paper towels) as though it were a pasta rack and it dried out in a jiff! I can't wait to try it. I think I might also invest in a manual extruder one of these days and make a habit of it.