I’ve always been intrigued, and somewhat intimidated, at the thought of making fresh pasta. Visiting the Williams Sonoma website one day, I was seduced by their video on easy it was using the Kitchen Aid Mixer attachment. In no time at all, son Adam and I were up to our elbows in flour and eggs, having a wonderful time making Tagliatelle with Asparagus and Pine Nuts, from The Pasta Book by Julia Della Croce.
The dough contains surprisingly few ingredients: eggs, flour, salt and a little olive oil. Combining them is a little more tricky. We elected the “by hand” method and were soon convulsed in laughter as we attempted to beat the eggs and oil together in a well of flour. The idea is to gradually incorporate the flour while not breaching the walls of the well. Well, we breached. Repeatedly. It didn’t seem to matter, however, and soon our mess looked just like the one in the book. The tough part was getting the final elastic dough. That took twenty minutes of valiant effort on both our parts to knead the dough into submission, but we succeeded and triumphed!
Then came the fun part – feeding the dough through the rollers to achieve the desired thinness, steadily reducing the width of the roller gap with each pass until the last notch is reached. The pasta grows enormously long in the process, and is then cut into 14-16″ sections for the final run through the cutting blade attachment.
The verdict? Well worth the effort. We have little doubt that a bit of practice will smooth out the process. Next time we would skip the final setting on the rollers as we found the pasta a touch thin for tagliatelle, but it was extremely light and tasty. There were no leftovers.