Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen - Home made Pasta

Blog-checking lines: Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess.  Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine.  She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

I was very excited by this months challenge.  I have never made home made pasta before.  Even Hilary's only tried it once.  The good thing is that we had all the toys - pasta roller, drying rack, even ravioli trays - that Hilary had gotten for a birthday gift years ago.  They all lived in their boxes tucked away in the cupboard.  The drying rack would get pulled out every now and then to use to dry Ziplock bags.

I had the house to myself one Saturday (Hilary was working and Liam was at a sleepover) so I set to work.  I had read countless recipes and watched dozens of videos; it was time to get my hands dirty.  I made 2 different recipes, 1 with all semolina flour, and one that was mostly white flour with only a 1/4 cup of semolina.  Everything I had read said that pasta made with semolina flour tastes better but is much harder to work with.  I was fully believing that as I was mixing it, since the flour has the texture of corn meal and my dough felt like I had dropped it in a sand box.  I didn't think it would turn out into nice smooth pasta noodles at all.  By contrast the white flour dough was easy to mix and formed into a nice ball very quickly.


After letting the doughs rest, it was time to start rolling.  I started with the semolina and it seemed like the difficulties were going to continue.  But after 2-3 passes through the roller it was smooth and easy to work with.


I was so excited when I ran the first sheet through the cutters and it came out looking like actual spaghetti!

The white flour pasta turned out to be much harder to work with.  It was sticky and required the addition of a lot of flour before each pass through the rollers, otherwise it got stuck and made a big mess. The colour of the semolina pasta is also a much richer yellow and just looks nicer.


I served the pasta using one of my favourite recipes that Hilary makes - cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and Brie all tossed on hot pasta.  It's a delicious blend of flavours and goes best with fresh pasta,


This was a great Daring Kitchen Challenge.  Without that push I would have NEVER considered trying to make my own pasta.  I don't think I'll be doing it every weekend, but I will definitely try it again.

16 comments:

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Well done. I love the comparison between using the semolina flour and the normal flour. I have never tried it with semolina flour so will have to use that next time. I think it's easy to get hold of in the supermarket these days, isn't it?

Melanie said...

Tomatoes, brie, AND fresh basil? That sounds fantastic! Thank you for the comparison with semolina! I've never used it before and was wondering how it would changes things up. Now I'll be prepared and won't freak out when it's not so smooth at first!

Carolyn said...

That looks so yummy and creamy--great combination of flavors! Challenge well done!!
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Jojo said...

Maybe you've discovered a new talent - it looks good! Well done.

Rochelle said...

Your pasta came out great! I love the brie and cherry tomatoes that you used to dress it with too.

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Bravo! Pasta with tomatoes, basil and brie is one of our favorite combinations (just made it again this week in fact!). Great job on your pasta - it looks perfect!

oggi said...

Great job on the challenge.:)

The Indian-style semolina flour I used for a second batch of egg noodles is a lot finer than the grocery variety; very easy to work with.

Don't Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys! said...

I love your completed dish. You used my kind of flavors. Yum yum! Great job!

blepharisma said...

Yup, that sounds delicious! I should totally toss brie in with hot pasta sometime... never thought to do that! I've never tried to make pasta with semolina. I probably should some day - I've tried all sorts of other flours!

Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said...

Your pasta looks SOOO much better than mine! Beautiful job!

Anonymous said...

I am loving the professional-looking noodles you created there! Also: I'm so glad you tried both recipes! I found the flour (with a little semolina) to be tough going, but maybe if I increased my semolina ratio, I'd have an easier time rolling it out.
Hmm... something to consider : )

Mary said...

I like the side-by-side comparison of the flours. Which tasted better when cooked? I don't take my pasta making gear out of storage often enough either, but this challenge reminded me that it's not that much work for a big reward.
:)

wendyweekendgourmet said...

Your pasta came out lovely! And brie, basil, and tomatoes? Sounds like heaven! Must remember that combo for future pasta nights!!!

Suzler said...

I love the photo of all the hanging strands of pasta. Interesting to hear about the different flours too. I must give the semolina flour a try.

Your final dish looks absolutely delicious! I just love melted brie, and combined with the basil/tomatoes. Sound perfect.

Lisa said...

I loved reading this! I use a bit of semoliba in my pasta dough, but mostly use it to keep the pasta from sticking after it's rolled out, since I tend to stack sheets due to not enough room. Noodles I can hang dry, but sheets, always semolina. So, which pasta did you like better texture and flavor wise? All semolina or the mix? Both look amazing! Love the cherry tomato, brie, basil topping!

NOORISH said...

That pasta recipe sounds so simple and delicious! Yum :)