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Noodles

pasta noodles

Yesterday I sprained my knee trying to break up a potential fight.  Long story.  So, that leaves me with a few days at home.  I got really bored since I finished watching season 2 of Torchwood and got caught up with LOST, and I decided that I would start making dinner at 2pm.  Yup.  Bored.  I have never stayed home from work before without being sick so this injured concept is hard to grasp. 

Tonight we are having something with noodles.  I could make noodles while leaning on my worktable and making noodles is very relaxing.  The hum of the KitchenAid doing all the hard work and the soft feel of the leathery noodle sheets makes my mouth water.  It also helps that I have some good Pecorino Romano. 

Anyways.  Here is my noodle recipe.  I have tried many others, like Ratio’s recipe, and this is the one that works every time for me. 

1.5 cups Semolina flour
.5 cups All purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 Tbl water
1 Tbl olive oil (optional) 

In my noodles today I added two cloves of crushed garlic.  I only add things to my noodles when I am using a simple sauce.  If I am making a marinara I don’t bother flavoring my noodles. 

pasta noodle

I use a KitchenAid for this whole process because it makes my life better.  I am glad that Italian grandmothers made their noodles by hand, but I live in an era of electricity and convenience.  If you want to make it by hand just scoop your flour into a bowl, create a well in the middle, crack your eggs into the well, and add water when necessary.  Mix by hand or use a spoon.  Your dough shouldn’t be sticky but you don’t want it dry either.  After a few times of making noodles you will get a feel for what the consistency should be.  Once all of your ingredients have been mixed kneed by hand for a few minutes until the dough becomes smooth.  In a KA throw all of your ingredients in together, put on the paddle attachment, and mix until your dough looks like a bowl of pea sized balls.  Squish your dough together with your hands and kneed for a few minutes until dough becomes smooth.  No matter what method you choose you should let your dough rest for 10-20 minutes in a covered bowl or in a ziploc bag.  Resting allows gluten to form and the flour to hydrate. 

Once you have let your noodle dough rest you can begin to shape it.  This really depends on what you want to do with your dough.  You could use this dough to make spaghetti noodles or you could even take the time to make hand-made cavatelli.  This part is really up to you. 

Home-made noodles cook much faster than dried box noodles.  My rule of thumb is 2 minutes in boiling water.  This hasn’t failed me yet.  To cook the above recipe get 2-3 quarts of water to a boil and mix in 1/3 cup kosher salt.  This seems like a lot of salt, and it is, but this is the one part that you can’t escape.  The grandmas have you here.  If you are using your noodle water in a recipe you might want to skip the salt.  If you are using marinara sauce or some very flavorful sauce on your noodles add the salt. 

In my pictures you will see that I have my noodles on a drying rack.  This isn’t a necessary step.  Most times I start making noodles and getting water to a boil at the same time.  Once you have your dough ready it only takes a couple of minutes to go from dough to noodle.  One trick that I have learned is to let your noodle sheets dry out for a few minutes before cutting them.  If you let the sheets dry out for 10 minutes in the open air they won’t stick together and make noodle clumps.  I put my noodles on the drying rack today because I made noodles at 2pm for a 6pm dinner.  Again, I was bored.

I’m not going to say what dish I used my noodles in, because I want to save that for a different post.  For now, just sit in suspense.

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