Saturday, October 06, 2007

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Apparently, I can take even the simplest meal and turn it into a production. This spaghetti and meatball dinner took two days to make—from harvesting the
San Marzano sauce tomatoes, to simmering and reducing them for 24 hours, to making the pasta and the meatballs, to getting it to the table. Boy was it delicious, though, and well worth the wait. Let's hear it for slow food! With any luck, I'll get one more tomato harvest from this unseasonably warm weather, and we'll be set for the winter with tomato paste.

Little did I know, the pasta machine I got for my birthday actually does have a motor—in the form of a little boy named Sam who had a total blast turning the crank for me. Thank goodness I didn't spend that small fortune for the KitchenAid pasta attachment! Sam and I made angel hair pasta yesterday, and it was amazingly delicate. I'm so psyched to be able to make our own pasta! Sam even ran out to collect eggs so that we would have room temperature eggs for making the dough. The kids took one look at the raviolisimo attachment and couldn't wait to try making stuffed raviolis. Looks like I'll be making some goat cheese in the next week or so to give that a try.

The hardest part of the process was kneading the dough, which took about 10 or 15 minutes. We used 2 cups of all-purpose flour, since I didn't have any semolina in the house, and 2 large eggs. That made enough pasta for one dinner for our family of five. The kids enjoyed it, though as with anything, it will take some getting used to as they shift from the store-bought pasta they've always known. I'm hoping to make and dry some basil fettucini today while the basil's still fresh—the sundried tomato pasta I can make any time.

16 comments:

Christy said...

Logan loves turning the crank too. It is so much fun to make pasta with him. I let the kitchen aid do the kneading. I haven't had much luck with the ravioli attachment, but will have to try it again. I don't use semolina in my pasta either. I'd like to hear how drying it goes and how you do it, I haven't tried drying any yet.

Christy said...

Hey, are you going to be going to the lambing and kidding school on Dec. 8 at Carroll Community College? I'm planning on going.

karl said...

what fun. our kids love to help crank also. tabitha just tried semolina a few pasta productions ago and loves it. that machine really shows it's stuff.

there are all kinds of home schooling opportunities around a production like that. your kids will forever hold your spaghetti as the high-water-mark, a gauge by which all other pasta will be held. next time a dinner takes two or three days just think of it as immortalizing yourself just a little bit more.

Danielle said...

No, Christy, unfortunately, we're going to be away that day. I'm pretty bummed because I would have liked to attend, but what I'm really waiting for is a local FAMACHA certification class.

Karl, I know exactly what you're saying. We've already "ruined" the kids for lots of foods because they know what good food tastes like—feeding them on road trips becomes particularly tricky.

I was able to get some semolina at the grocery store yesterday and will try it today. Jim wants sundried tomato fettucini with alfredo sauce for his birthday dinner this evening.

Madeline said...

Mmmmm. I think the KitchenAid mixer does a great job of kneading. And how great of Sam to be the motor for the pasta maker.

Danielle said...

I'll definitely try the KitchenAid. I'm assuming you guys use the dough hook? I've never made dough in mine—I've just always used my bread machine because it has that wonderful timer setting. I rarely ever cook the bread in the machine, though; it's mostly just a dough maker for me.

Oh, and Jim says I need to clarify that the 2 cups/2 eggs made barely enough for us—without the meatballs there wouldn't have been enough food. I guess that's a request to up the recpie, huh?

Christy said...

Yep, I use the dough hook. I love using it to knead. I'll have to check out the certification class. I'm looking forward to the lambing and kidding school.

SegoLily said...

How wonderful! I've always wanted to make fresh pasta - especially since I eat so much of it.

Danielle said...

I tried the KitchenAid last night, but it couldn't power through the dough. What recipes do you guys use?

I didn't notice much of a difference, personally, with the semolina flour vs. the all purpose. Next time I'd like to try some whole wheat pastry flour and see how that does.

Thanks for the tips and advice!

Madeline said...

I haven't made pasta dough before but kneaded spelt and whole wheat bread doughs in my KitchenAid and they were some heavy doughs! Maybe it is about the model you're using? Mine is the pro 5.

Madeline said...

Me again. Are those your turkeys in the picture at the top? Wow! Gillen is down to two (due to predators): Those are beautiful.

Danielle said...

Yes, those are our turkeys. The Narri is our Jake who fathered our first farm poults this spring; the royal palm is one of our new hatchery poults from this spring. I'm telling you, the hard-boiled yolk/ yogurt mix works wonders. ;)

On another note, the dang pasta dough broke my mixer! It's now in the small appliance shop getting fixed. :-/ The KitchenAid website specifies that the dough hook is for "yeast" doughs—the stiff pasta dough was just too much to ask of the machine. I have the Artisan model, and that may indeed be the difference.

Madeline said...

Damn! I did only non-yeast doughs but do have more power in this model. You'll have to talk to Gillen, when you visit, about the egg/yogurt mix. He didn't want to do it. But we really think we lost the first few due to hot housing and we definitely lost too many to a dog and then to some unknown farm predator who also took out 26 of my MILs chickens!

Christy said...

Your turkeys are gorgeous! How much are you selling them for for Thanksgiving?

I've done pasta dough with my Kitchenaid. I'm sorry it broke yours!

Wendy said...

Your pasta maker looks a lot like ours ;). We've gotten a lot of use out of it, and my girls really love turning the handle, too.

The great thing about this pasta as opposed to the dried store-bought is that it's so versatile. We usually make "spaghetti", and it's just the right size and consistency to use as Lo-Mein noodles.

I always use just regular (local) all-purpose flour and eggs as my dough.

Christy said...

Are you going to the Farmer Education and Resource Day on Nov. 3? http://frederick.umd.edu/MSFC%20Farmer%20Ed%20Day.cfm It should be pretty close to you. I just registered.