This past weekend I embarked on a 3 hour experiment of making homemade pasta and I am here to share the good, the bad, and the ugly from it. Just kidding, there was no ugly part of the process, except for the mess we made in the kitchen. But, there were some bads that we learned from... And that is why this post is "Take One" of homemade pasta- I vow to continue to work on my pasta making skills and become a pasta connoisseur.
I didn't put this blog post into the Homemade and Healthy section because (1) the recipes I used are from other people and (2) I try to limit the amount of pasta I eat, as it is not the healthiest option out there. But, making homemade pasta is a much healthier alternative than ordering pasta at a restaurant because of portion sizes. In restaurants, they give you a whole bowl that could equate to 5X the amount of a regular serving size! I am usually part of the Clean Plate Club when I go out to eat, so this amount can be dangerous. So, by making your own pasta, you can control how much you make and what ingredients to put in it!
I bought my mom the William Sonoma Imperia Pasta Machine that can make different types of pasta like angel hair, linguine, fettuccine, etc. Since we were making raviolis, we rolled the dough through the machine at different settings of thickness, and then pressed it into the William Sonoma Ravioli Mold.
We first made two types of fillings- (1) veal and prosciutto meat filling and (2) ricotta cheese and spinach filling. Then, while those were made and the marinara sauce was simmering, we started with the pasta dough. We made a mound of flour and dug out a hole in the center. This is where the slightly beaten eggs were poured in to. Then, we slowly incorporated the egg into the flour until it became doughy.
Once dough was created, we got a great arm workout in and kneaded the dough. We let it sit for 20 minutes in saran wrap, and then it was ready to be put through the machine! In 6 separate sheets, we rolled the dough through the machine about 3 times each at different levels of thickness, making the dough thinner and longer each time.
We pressed one layer of dough into the ravioli tray and filled them with either meat or cheese. Another layer of dough was added on top and pressed down to cut into 12 individual raviolis.
Cooking the ravioli is the shortest part, as it only takes 5-7 minutes to cook in the boiling water! They came out (mostly) perfect and tasted AMAZING! The mix of the meat raviolis with the cheese ones were great, and we just added fresh and light marinara on top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Learning from our mistakes:
Even though the pasta turned out delicious and we had a lot of fun, there were many difficulties and mistakes made! Here what we will do differently for next time-
(1) Measure the flour perfectly- It can't be close enough, or just about right. It needs to be the perfect amount. I think we added too much flour and the dough was stiff, so it made it hard to stretch out into long, thin sheets.
(2) Don't let the sheets of dough sit out- The dough got even stiffer when we let it sit for even a couple minutes before cutting them into ravioli shapes. We weren't able to stretch out the dough to fit the ravioli tray, so the amount of raviolis we could make were limited.
(3) Go lighter on the stuffing- We went a little over-kill on stuffing the raviolis. This made cutting the raviolis out of the tray harder, and created some small holes in the dough.
(4) Make the fillings and sauce on a different day- I think it would be easier to make everything but the pasta beforehand and put it all in the freezer. It is just a long process to do all on the same night, so this could make it seem less daunting and time-consuming.
All in all, we had a blast and the ravioli turned out delicious. I can't wait to continue to learn and experiment with different types of pasta, fillings and sauces!
About this Section
This section highlights any type of noteworthy experience I've had with food. It also covers some of my traveling adventures! I am an avid traveler and love trying out new cuisines and local foods wherever I go. I will give any and all the details of the food I've tasted around the world.