Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Best Pasta, Ever
Recently there have been some major changes in the Red Ramekin kitchen, the most important being the kitchen itself. As I've mentioned before, Jonathan and I have recently moved to a new apartment, and we have a cozy new kitchen to which we are quickly growing accustomed. Another notable change is that the Red Ramekin kitchen now boasts its very own, cherry-red stand mixer. Yes, our lives are just full of excitement!
Seriously, though, this shiny new appliance has opened up a new world of culinary possibilities, and we are snatching up the requisite KitchenAid attachments to prove it. A recent acquisition is the pasta roller/cutter attachment, which was a graduation gift to me from Jonathan's mom, Donna. It's been sitting in the box for a couple of weeks, but last night we hosted a small dinner gathering and had the perfect chance to take it for a spin. And did it ever spin.
I've only made fresh pasta once before, and that was all by hand. In a kitchen with limited counter space, though, the machine really comes in handy, since it eliminates the step of rolling out the dough into a rectangle roughly the size of Rhode Island. The machine allows for slim, sleek sheets, and then cuts them into perfectly even noodles.
Last night I made whole wheat fettuccine, dressed with my delicious pea pesto. The recipe was very basic and contained only flour, eggs, salt, and water. The noodles, however, were unlike any I've ever had; chewy and surprisingly flavorful, and with much more gusto than ordinary dried pasta. The pea pesto was the perfect accompaniment, although I couldn't help sneaking some unadorned noodles from the pot, too. Even with just a touch of olive oil, they were wholly addictive. Indeed, I'd venture to say this was the best pasta I've ever had. Although Jonathan is anxious to try a more traditional white flour pasta, we were both thrilled by the whole wheat version, which had a texture perfect for sopping up a healthy glug of olive oil and any number of delicious sauces.
And of course, nothing impresses dinner guests more than a tangled nest of fresh pasta that goes from cutter to plate in a matter of mere minutes. I'm already looking forward to our next pasta night!