My sister Orla bought me a pasta machine for Christmas and I finally got around to trying it out on Saturday.
Myself and Sibéal decided to make a mix of tagliatelle and spaghetti. Neither of us had made it before and her excuse is that she is only 3.
I had the usual recipe problem of not knowing which one to use. Jamie Oliver’s Italy book said 6 eggs and 600g of flour and that’s it. Another no-name one also added oil and water and salt. I went with Jamie but the dough was far too dry, so I added a bit of oil and that seemed to do the trick.
I clamped the machine to the worktop and ran into the first big problem, I don’t have three hands. Oh for that extra 1970’s ad washing-up hand to appear. You have to feed the dough in, feed it out on the other side and crank the handle. The first run through was not impressive:
This was mainly because i was attempting to fix a 2 inch think lump of dough through a millimetre wide gap.
Two more attempts went a lot better and we ended up with something which looked vaguely like a long sheet of lasagne. I then ran it through the wider cutters and got my tagliatelle.
Sibéal took over for the narrower cutters and ended up with far better looking spaghetti.
Fatal flaw was then discovered - we hadn’t floured the dough so all the strands stuck together again. I valiantly tugged them apart for twenty minutes, dumped the lot in boiling water and ended up with something that looked and vaguely tasted like pasta. None of the kids would touch it and they were right as the tagliatelle was undercooked and the spaghetti overcooked. Bin.
I’m unfazed and will go at spaghetti again. Or maybe lasagne if I lose my nerve. Any top tips for the next time? Except maybe looking at PodChef Neal’s pasta videos before we start? Should we rest the dough even when using a machine? Was the cheap book right when it said you only need minimal kneading if you are using the machine since it does it for you?