27 March, 2018
Somewhere Over The Rainbow – You’ll Find Artisan Pasta
When you think of a rainbow, I’m sure you don’t automatically think of rainbow-colored artisan pasta… or do you? If nothing else, this blog might encourage you to break out into the “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” song (either the Judy Garland version or the Isreal “IZ” Kamakawiso’ole version.)
I’m privileged to share this fabulous post from a fellow foodie and guest blogger, Robyn Feldberg (The Abundant Success Coach). You are in for a treat! Pictures alone are worth your time! Here’s Robyn!
“About three years ago, I bought a Philips Avance Pasta maker, and since then, I’ve put it to good use. This machine lets me make a pound of pasta in 15 minutes, and what’s not to love about being able to make and serve fresh pasta on a weeknight?
Since then, my love and appreciation for that machine and fresh pasta has grown exponentially and is perhaps rivaled today only by my love of dogs and babies.
And in much the same way I want to pet all the dogs and hold all the babies, I want to make and eat all the pasta, and unfortunately, the Philips can’t prepare all kinds of pasta, although it can do quite a few.
That said, I wanted more control over the finished product, and quite frankly, I wanted to challenge myself to do something that required more creativity and artistry than simply measuring ingredients and pressing a button. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
So I turned to my KitchenAid mixer, bought a book on artisan pasta making, bought some KitchenAid pasta attachments, started researching recipes and techniques, and set some lofty pasta making goals. Specifically, I wanted to make four different colors of pasta, striped pasta, fettuccine, and garganelli (like a hand-rolled penne with a seam).
To begin the endeavor, I cranked up the music in my kitchen and began by making my all-natural coloring. From my research, I knew I could use a fresh beet to make red, frozen spinach for green, and roasted red bell pepper for orange. So, after roasting the beet and defrosting the spinach, I pulled out my blender and pureed each veggie separately with enough water to make a pourable liquid and used that mixture in place of the water in Williams Sonoma’s recipe for fresh pasta.
I consecutively made four batches of dough, three colored and one plain, and wrapped each one up tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Before wrapping your dough in plastic wrap, make sure it’s the right consistency by following the directions in the recipe. Grab a small handful of the dough, roll it into a ball, and then pay attention to how it feels. If it’s too dry, add more liquid, and if it’s too wet or too sticky, add more flour, just a small spoonful at a time. Then let the pasta dough rest, tightly covered, at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Then I started rolling out the dough on the widest setting using the roller attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. Before beginning to roll out the dough, I recommend grabbing a nice handful, warming it slightly with your hands, and then using a rolling pin to roll it out to about a half inch and dusting it with flour. I found that using my pizza wheel to cut off the ends of the dough helped result in a cleaner edge when I initially ran the dough through the roller.
As instructed in the recipe, I kept rolling the dough, folding it in thirds, and gradually rolling it thinner and thinner. Some sheets I left uncut and some I cut using the fettuccine attachment.
With some of the uncut pieces, I cut 2-inch squares using a wavy edge cutter and then used a garganelli press to roll them up.
To make the striped pasta, I used scraps of each color dough and put them separately through the roller on the widest setting.
Then I cut each color into long, thin strips using a pizza wheel and then pieced the various colors together, side by side, using just a touch of water on a wet towel for better adhesion, before using my rolling pin to help everything seal together even more and running it through the roller.
I did get a little bit creative with the scraps and made something I appropriately titled tie-dye pasta. Basically, I just mixed a bunch of my scraps together, rolled them into a ball, and proceeded as usual.
My biggest tips/takeaways from this experience are:
- Trying to make four batches of pasta by oneself is way too much. I wound up spending way more time in the kitchen than I had bargained for–even though I enjoyed every minute and even though the pasta was delicious.
- Making pasta is a bit like raising children. In much the same way you have to listen to your kids, you have to listen to your dough, give it all your love, and trust it will turn out well with the right nurturing, some time, and gentle guidance.
- Going forward, I will probably always make my fettuccine using the KitchenAid mixer, but for weeknight meals, nothing will replace the Philips Avance Pasta Maker.
- You can freeze fresh pasta in nests immediately or air dry fresh pasta for two days, before bagging it up and then it will keep for a month.
- Making striped pasta is one of those things that I’ll probably never do again, but I’m glad I gave it a shot.”
Well, there you have it! Some of the best-looking pasta I’ve seen – and that’s saying something! Thank you Robyn for sharing your story, pasta experience, and pictures. This is certainly a rainbow pasta experience I will be trying in the near future!