The problem is summer time weather doesn't put me much in the mood to heat up my house with baking. So I've gradually come up with different ways of getting around baking regularly...which is often easier said then done, because one of The Man's first loves is bread. One of my coping skills to beat the summer heat is pasta.
I hate to invest in kitchen gadgets unless I really deem the worth of the space they take, and if I continue to enjoy my home-made pasta, I may be in the market for a used small pasta maker. But until them I'm making due with what I have, and I've found a couple of different ways to hand shape pasta. One note to the mamas out there, for now, pasta making is strictly a nap time activity for me, when little hands are out of the way and I want to do something quiet. If you have any sort of kitchen aid of food processor that kneads dough making the pasta dough this part of going to be very easy. You can find all sorts of variations in recipes, some use just flour and water, some use milk, some include grated cheese, or herbs, or even mashed potatoes. I would suggest making a plain batch for the first few times, until you have a sense of what the dough should feel like, and then playing with it some.
My pasta recipe is rather loosy-goose, but here it is:
- 3 cups of flour (I like to use whole soft white winter wheat because it's lighter both in color and texture)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or more)
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of water
A few nights ago I tried my hand at shaping some gnocchi, which is almost more like a dumpling. It was almost the texture of baked bread in the center. These would make great finger food for a baby I think. It is definitely the quickest way I have found to hand shape pasta. Hopefully you can discern each stage of shaping in this photo. The last step to take the cut sections of dough and roll them down the back of a fork, to make ridges on one side.
If you are interested in making your own pasta at home I hope you find this helpful, and if you know something I don't know about all this (because quite honestly I just wing all this) please do share.
I pray you will enjoy your dinner tonight, whatever it is! Me? We're having burgers with some of that horrible store bought bread, lol. Pasta was last night. *smile* c