Guest Blog Post: by Kazden Haugen
I have been wanting to try to make my own pasta for as long as I can remember. When the opportunity came up to try out Weston’s pasta machine, I couldn’t wait to give it a go. The pasta maker was easy to set up. I simply gave everything a good wash, clamped the appliance down and attached the rollers. The instruction booklet is clear and offers pasta tips, cleaning, assembly, rolling and cutting information. It also has a few recipes to try. Since we didn’t have any semolina flour on hand, I went with the recipe for White Flour Pasta Dough. I actually didn’t have white flour either, so my recipe used whole wheat flour.
Wheat Flour Pasta Dough
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
- 1 egg white
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A few drops of water
- Measure the flour into a bowl, or pour it in a mound onto a pastry board. Make a well in the center of the flour.
- Pour the egg, egg white and oil into the well in the flour.
- Mix together with a fork or your fingers until the dough can be gathered into a rough ball. Moisten any remaining dry bits of dough with drops of water and press them into the ball.
- Knead the dough until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended, and the dough is the same consistency throughout. If it sticks to your fingers, add some flour a little at a time. just until it no longer sticks. If it seems too dry, add water a few drops at a time. The dough will be stiff at this time, you will use the pasta machine to continue kneading it until it is smooth, shiny and elastic.
STEP BY STEP
The dough was a little stiff so I added drops of water until all the flour was incorporated.Kneading the dough was the most challenging part as the dough felt very firm at this point. I really didn’t think this ball could possibly become a thin sheet of pasta.Getting the hang of the machine was easy. I started on the thickest setting and kept sending it back through, adjusting thickness each time.The dough was so elastic, there was no worry of it breaking.Surprisingly, the dough didn’t stick to itself when it piled up under the machine.I kept the sheets in manageable lengths as we were planning to make lasagna with some of the noodles.A baking rack made a perfect pasta drying rack.Improvisation with hangars as drying racks worked well for the pasta I wanted to keep separated.Although the pasta was ready to cook and didn’t actually need to dry, we wanted to save it for dinner later that night. This pasta is nicely dried and ready to cook.Into boiling, salted water it went. The pasta was tender in a matter of minutes.I drained the pasta and put the noodles back into the pot.In went my homemade Basil & Watercress Pesto with a little precooked bacon. It only needed to be warmed on low heat.Sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese, the pasta was ready to serve.
For my Basil Watercress Pesto, I used my mom’s pesto recipe, subbing out 1/2 cup of the basil leaves for 1/2 cup watercress leaves.
I want to thank Weston Products for the opportunity to try out their pasta maker, it was a lot of fun to use. My family will be enjoying homemade pasta for many more meals!