A pasta warning

I’m going to warn you about something. Don’t, I mean don’t, ever try homemade pasta. If you do, you will never want to go back to the pitiful dried up stuff in the box. It’s a sad dilemma, but one we now face in my household.

My husband Morgan was given the pasta maker attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer as a birthday gift. He teases me about how he always seems to get gifts that I benefit from too. It’s not my fault he likes kitchen gadgets! He said he wanted the pasta attachment and so that’s what my dad chose to give him for his birthday. I may or may not have been the one to suggest this to my dad.

img_2488As I may have mentioned, I am not good with dough. Well, other than spending it. Morgan, however, has mastered this skill. On his first run with the pasta maker, he made homemade spaghetti. Once the dough is made, it runs through the roller attachment several times which smooths and flattens it to the desired thickness. A second attachment is then used to cut the noodles. One important thing to remember when making homemade pasta is that it doesn’t take nearly as long to cook.

Since acquiring this magical new device, Morgan has made us homemade spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken Alfredo with fettuccine and Italian sausage and mozzarella stuffed ravioli. I have a hard time deciding which of these dishes has been my favorite. For the ravioli he made last week, he also made a homemade tomato cream sauce that was good enough I could have eaten the entire pot, with or without any noodles.

If you have a pasta attachment and want to try making homemade noodles, Morgan’s recipe is below. Even if you do use store-bought noodles, I recommend trying this homemade tomato cream sauce, it is divine!

Morgan’s Pasta Dough (makes half a pound)

Ingredients:

• 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

• 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour

• 2 eggs

Instructions:

Whisk flours together to combine. In a separate bowl whisk eggs. Make a well in center of flour and pour in whisked eggs. Use a fork to slowly stir flour into the egg. If dough is not combining properly, add a teaspoon or less of water till dough combines. Once dough is combined to the right consistency dump it onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Knead dough for at least 10 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 to 40 minutes to rest. Follow pasta maker instructions to roll dough and cut into desired pasta shape. Reminder: fresh pasta takes less time to cook than store bought.

Morgan’s Tomato Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1/2 tablespoon basil

•1/2 tablespoon oregano

• 2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

• pinch of crushed red pepper

• 1 medium onion, diced

• 3 ounces (or half a small can) of tomato paste

• 1 large can diced tomatoes

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Half a carton of heavy cream

Instructions:

Add olive oil to saucepan on medium heat. Add in herbs and garlic and saute for less than a minute. Add in diced onions and cook until lightly brown in color. Add in tomato paste and cook for a minute or less to awaken flavors. Add diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Slowly stir in half a carton of heavy cream. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth. Serve over your favorite pasta.

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