There’s no better way to spend a Friday evening than with a couple close friends sharing stories & laughter and cooking up some delicious food. Kelly and I have two friends we especially love to cook with, Andie & Nicole. Over the winter we promised we’d teach them and our friend Bryan how to make homemade pasta and we finally buckled down and did it! We gathered the ingredients including imported Pecorino Romano Cheese & Semolina flour from El Rancho Grande Restaurant and KitchenAid attachments from TKS. To go along with the pasta Andie & Nicole made Sangria and Bryan brought the garlic bread and salad essentials. And of course, no party is complete without Rufus, our wire-haired Jack Russel!
First thing’s first – in batches, I showed the girls and Bryan how to make the pasta dough while Kelly started the sauces. We made 6 small balls of pasta dough, which turns out is enough to feed an army! Basic egg pasta dough for 2-4 servings is 1 1/4 cup unbleached flower, a couple tablespoons of semolina flour, and 2 large eggs. You place the flour on a clean surface and make a well in the middle, then crack the eggs in. Draw in the flour just like you would for pizza dough and when a lumpy mass forms, start kneading it, adding more flour until a dough ball forms. You know the dough is ready to rest when you can press your thumb into it and the dough springs back quickly.
As the pasta was resting, we continued to sip on Sangria and made our salad and garlic bread. And told more stories, of course. Once the dough had rested for an hour (at least), we made wide Fettuccine Noodles using both a hand pasta machine and KitchenAid attachments. This was the 1st time I used the KitchenAid attachments and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to using the hand-roller again. It really made life easy! I highly recommend purchasing them if you ever plan to make homemade pasta.
On our list of things to make, we also had cheese ravioli but we were all so starving by the time we finally got our Fettuccine rolled out that we cooked that and all sat and ate “round 1” together. Andie & Nicole were shocked at how quickly the fresh noodles cooked. In a pot of salted boiling water, it doesn’t even take 5 minutes to cook fresh noodles! So, we grated our Fresh Pecorino Romano and all shared the fruits of our labor together. Even Rufus got to sit with us and enjoy some good, honest food.
Then – it was Ravioli time… this is my FAVORITE time. It might be a little more time consuming and difficult to make, but o.m.g. is it ever worth it! Bryan and I kneaded the dough and rolled out long sheets for the making of the cheese ravioli while Kelly, Andie, and Nicole actually made the ravioli. We used a ravioli stamp, which seemed a little dull. You really had to press hard to get a good, clean cut out and even then sometimes you had to extra seal it with a fork. I think we’re going to invest in a ravioli cutter that’s more like a pizza cutter or even pasta scissors.
We ended up making two large cookie sheets of ravioli and were all “done” with rolling/making pasta for one night! We each tasted a ravioli with sauce and froze the rest for another day.
After the feast we all headed outside and had a little bonfire. All-in-all, although pasta (especially ravioli) can be time-consuming to make there’s no better way than to make it with friends who also enjoy a passion for food. Thanks to Andie and Nicole for letting us mess up your kitchen and Bryan for joining us in the fun! I can’t wait to see what our next food adventure is going to be!!