Monday, November 12, 2007

Homemade Pasta with Bolognese Sauce


I got a KA Pasta Attachment for my birthday and finally decided to try it yesterday. I learned a lot from my first round of pasta making. My pasta was certainly very rustic looking! I used a recipe I found on William Sonoma's website and I had a lot of trouble with the dough. I've since looked at other recipes and I think my dough was too dry. Next time I will make a dough that mixes in the food processor rather than the mixer. Despite the learning curve involved, I can't wait to try my hand at homemade raviolis and more fresh pasta, maybe even spinach pasta! For the sauce recipe, I tried Marcella Hazan's bolognese sauce. I saw lots of rave reviews for this recipe and it involved ingredients I had on hand. Overall, the recipe was good but a bit involved to make timewise. I can't really find any criticisms as it was a good solid meal but I just don't think it was the most amazing sauce I have ever had. I actually have 2 or 3 recipes I like much better.

Fresh Pasta

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 eggs
2 Tbs. water, plus more as needed

Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the all-purpose and semolina flours, salt and olive oil. Beat on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds.

In a small pitcher or other pourable container, whisk together the eggs and water. With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture and beat until the flour has been absorbed into the egg mixture, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer and, using your hands, squeeze a small amount of dough into a ball. It should be moist enough to hold together but not sticky; if it is too dry, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into 2 balls. Wrap separately with plastic wrap, then flatten each ball into a disk. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Attach the pasta roller to the electric mixer according to the manufacturers instructions.

Unwrap 1 dough disk and dust lightly with all-purpose flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and no wider than the pasta roller. Roll the dough through the rollers once at the widest setting, then lay the pasta on the work surface and fold it into thirds. Repeat the process 2 more times, rolling out the dough, rolling it through the rollers at the widest setting, and folding it into thirds each time.

Now thin the dough by rolling it through the rollers at the second-to-widest setting. Repeat, setting the rollers one notch narrower each time, until the desired thinness is reached. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and roll out the other dough disk.

Attach a pasta cutter to the mixer according to the manufacturers instructions and cut the pasta into the desired shape. If not cooking the pasta immediately, transfer it to a baking sheet and dust lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Makes about 1 lb. dough.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen


Recipe: Marcella Hazan's Bolognese Sauce

Makes 2 heaping cups sauce; 4 to 6 servings

- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

- 4 tablespoons butter, divided

- ½ cup chopped onion

- 2/3 cup chopped celery

- 2/3 cup chopped carrot

- ¾ pound ground beef chuck

- Salt

- Fresh ground black pepper

- 1 cup whole milk

- Whole nutmeg

- 1 cup dry white wine

- 1-½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, torn into pieces, with juice

- 1-¼ to 1-½ pounds pasta (preferably spaghetti), cooked and drained

- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table

1. Put oil, 3 tablespoons butter and chopped onion in a heavy 3-½-quart pot and turn heat to medium. Cook and stir onion until it has become translucent, then add chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat well.

2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble meat with a fork, stir well and cook until beef has lost its raw, red color.

3. Add milk and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating, about 1/8 teaspoon, fresh nutmeg and stir.

4. Add wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated. Add tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When tomatoes begin to bubble, turn heat down so that sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface.

5. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it will begin to dry out and the fat will separate from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add ½ cup water as necessary. At the end of cooking, however, the water should be completely evaporated and the fat should separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.

6. Add remaining tablespoon butter to the hot pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.

From "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan





1 comment:

MrsPresley said...

isn't pasta making fun? :) i have the KA attachment as well, but tried making mine by hand w/o the food processor or mixer and just used the attachment to roll out the pasta... it really wasn't as difficult as i thought it would be. it's definitely important to make sure you put the right amount of flour in it... which, like in bread making, will vary depending on the moisture in your environment. good luck w/your next attempt, this already looks great so i'm sure next time will be even better :)