Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fresh Pasta (Squash Maltagliati)

After watching an episode of Jamie at Home where he whipped up a fresh pasta meal in less than 10 minutes -- yes, that included making the dough, kneading, cutting, and making the sauce -- we were left baffled yet inspired.

I know that making fresh pasta doesn't really take a lot of time (with the rewards very great), but it just seemed so effortless on his part.

So, we had to prove ourselves and make fresh pasta! Not only that, but to make it effortlessly.

We decided to make squash maltagliati.

("Poorly made" is what that means according to Mario. Yes, we're on a first name basis.)

OK, so I cheated in several ways.

First of all, I used canned pumpkin. I know, I know. But, I did actually roast and purée some squash (and yams), as evidenced here:

(Where the purée ends up, you'll have to wait and see!)

I don't know if this really counts as cheating, but, I used the food processor to mix the ingredients instead of the traditional well method. We still kneaded the dough by hand!

No, not really cheating. Jamie used the food processor, Anne Burrell on Iron Chef uses the food processor, and Bittman recommends the food processor. The food processor just saves the mess-making step of building a well on the counter. In terms of the coming together of the pasta, it's all in the kneading.

So that's 6 eggs and about 5 cups of all-purpose flour. I also added a couple tablespoons of (canned) pumpkin purée. I ended up adding more flour in the machine, as I forgot to account for the extra liquid from the pumpkin.

Here it is turned out from the food processor. I actually wanted it to have a more vibrant orange color, but it was not to be.

Let the kneading begin!

We divided the dough in two and kneaded each half. As JS would claim, her kneading resulted in a much smoother and silkier dough. So, she actually finished kneading my dough ball as well.

So cute.

We wrapped the dough balls and put them in the fridge for a bit, they say for at least 30 minutes.

Our Kitchen-Aid with the pasta attachment ready and waiting:

We decided to roll the pasta out to setting #4. It's a bit thicker than normal, but we really wanted a toothy texture in our maltagliati to go with the sauce we were planning.

(I should get money from Home Depot for that placement ad.)

We cut them in wide strips, unevenly and poorly made, of course. (Although, I think true maltagliati are big diamond shapes. But hey, we're going by the shape "meaning".)

Our maltagliati was made even more maltagliati-esque by a little helper who insisted on "helping". We blame him for the über-maltagliati-ness of our pasta.

Now they just await their death in a boiling water bath. Stay tuned...

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