We are having some people in for a home-made pasta party next week. We have one of those metal pasta makers, the kind you clamp on to your table and crank the dough through till it’s flat enough. But I’m not allowed to use it, so today I decided to try my own thing.
I have one of those fancy Omega juicers, the kind you can make all sorts of things with, one of which is apparently pasta. It comes with a bunch of different nozzles that go on the front where the pulp normally comes out. I’ve been wanting to try the pasta feature forever.
I thought if I were going to all this trouble, why not make it impressive? So I thought I’d make beet flavoured pasta.
First I needed beets. I used the juicer in the normal way and juiced three small beets. Then I put the juice in a small sauce pan and reduced it down till it was almost syrupy. My resident Chef told me to do that instead of just using the straight juice, otherwise the pasta will just come out pink instead of red.
Meanwhile, I made the pasta dough in the KitchenAid mix master. It was a multiple appliance day!
Having never made pasta dough before, I used the recipe found on this website:
Only when the recipe calls for water, I used the reduced beet juice instead.
Once the dough was ready, then came the fun part. Might I just say for the record, that I highly recommend this part as two person operation. I did it alone, but it took a lot of maneuvering and a lot of time.
It helps if you put a bit of flour in and around the feeder of the juicer before you start shoving the dough in. Roll the dough into a nice sausage shape, a little thinner than the opening of the feeder. Start the juicer and slowly lower the dough into the feeder. Once it reaches the auger it will start to be pulled in, but eventually you will have to help it with the plunger.
This is where it gets all crazy and you need an extra set of hands. You are squashing the dough in on top and then the noodles start coming out the front. I found I had to keep stopping and starting so that I could cut off the lengths of pasta and lay them out. They were coming out four strands at a time and if you aren’t fast they will stick together. If this happens and you can’t gently pull them apart, no worries, just shove them back in the feeder for another go round.
It took me a couple of goes to get the hang of it, but once you do, it will be fine. The problem was what to do with the noodles once they came out of the machine. My only thought was from all those movies I’ve seen set in Italian kitchens where they “dry” the pasta. I put some tea towels on the back of my kitchen chairs and voila! Pasta driers!