First: the pesto. Well, as you might remember, I already plainly adore making pesto, so this was mostly to show my brother how easy it is. (Answer: so easy!)
I bought three bunches of basil at the farmer's market on Sunday morning. Sometimes it's kind of tough to eyeball how much you need of an item when you're not in your kitchen, isn't it? I ended up with about a hundred pounds of basil. (You know what that means, don't you? Extra pesto to take home!)
We started with this:
Next up was the main event: the pasta. After borrowing my aunt's pasta maker to make ravioli last fall, my mom had been angling for one ever since. My sibs and I got her one for her birthday, and it sounds like she has been just loving it. But we hadn't seen it in action yet!
First: mixing flour, semolina, and eggs. That's it! I mixed the flour in too aggressively and it made my batch a little tough. Don't do that. My brother looks smug in the following picture, like he already knows I've botched it. But the good news? My mom said it's pretty difficult to really mess the dough up.
Sidenote: I don't love the layout of vertical photos in Blogger. Sometimes they take up too much space when they are large-size. But extra-large size is very, very large. Thoughts to ponder, right?
Then the dough rests. Then you knead it very seriously for 10-15 minutes. Or maybe your mom spells you from kneading so you can take a few photos.
You were probably wondering how Wish was doing during this whole process. Just about like this:
|No meat? I'm bored!|
And that's where the fun really begins. You chop the dough up into fourths or sixths or whatever you fancy, and then put the dough through the crusher (roller is probably the more accurate word) several times, each time making the sheet of dough narrower and narrower.
I don't know how people or fictional characters such as Strega Nona do this themselves. It is sort of a three-person task: one to hold the dough going into the roller/crusher, one to pull the dough out, and one to crank the machine's handle. (Enter my sister!)
And then the dough gets veerrrrry stretched out!
You put the dough back on clean towels on the counter and let it relax some more.
Then it's time to make the noodles! This happens via an attachment you put on the machine.
Check it out!
They don't have to be neatly arranged, either. Piles and piles of noodles!
Drop them into the pot of water and cook them for a few minutes. A little while later, after Mom stirred the pasta into pesto-cream sauce and added shrimp for the meat-eaters, you could say that we had pasta coming out of our ears!
|Thanks to Mom for teeing up this joke!|
Making pasta is much less laborious and much more fun than it seems! It was kind of mesmerizing to watch the sheets of pasta turn into little ribbons, and we got to enjoy the fettuccine of our labor (so to speak) before heading outside for cherry-peach cobbler on the porch. And we made a double-double batch, so I literally have about 15 pounds of pesto pasta in my fridge now. Yum.
Try it sometime! Thanks to Mom for teaching us!