Friday, November 19, 2010

Pasta, Take 2: Tortellini

After my last pasta making attempt and the death of my electric pasta machine, a good family friend gave me a Pasta Queen hand-crank pasta machine.

It comes with a linguini cutter and a spaghetti cutter.  I mixed up 1lb (by weight, obviously) of whole wheat flour and 5 eggs in my bread machine on the pasta setting, though it is easy enough to do by hand if you like.  I then let the dough sit for a few minutes and cut it into slices. 

The hand crank machine has 7 roller settings, from 1-7.  1 is the widest setting and 7 the narrowest.  You start out by lightly flouring one of the slices and running it through 1.  Then you fold it over and lightly flour again, until it comes out consistently.  Then you pass it through each other setting one time, getting thinner as you go.  I made two mistakes the first time I did this.  First, I didn't cut my slice in half and as the dough got thinner, it became very long and unwieldy.  Secondly, I ran the dough all the way through to setting 7.  It was very delicate and soft, but so thin it was almost impossible to cut and when I tried, I wound up with a jumbled mess that had to be pitched. 

Afterwards, I took it easy and never rolled it past setting 5.  I also did a bunch of linguini, before attempting spaghetti again.  I don't actually own a pasta drying rack, so I laid it all out to dry on cookie and pie cooling racks.  The idea is to get as much air to it as possible.  Do

Of course, I couldn't be satisfied with just plank pasta, what challenge is that?  I decided to also make tortellini.  Nick'll be surprised when he gets home if I can make his favorite arugula side with homemade tortellini when he gets home.   I rolled the pasta out in sheets without cutting it and used a mason jar as a cookie cutter to make circles.  I mixed some ricotta with grated Parmesan & Romano, garlic & Italian seasonings and put a VERY small dollop in the middle.  This mix is awesome and plays an important role in my favorite stromboli, which I will share soon.  I then wetted the edges of the circle, folded it in half and pinched around.  I then took the two corners and pinched them together.  Voila! Tortellini.  It will probably need to be Flipped as it dries. 

If not being cooked immediately, all homemade pasta should be dried to touch and frozen until use.  

No comments:

Post a Comment