When I was asked to use the PastaFresh, I thought to myself “Oh great, another appliance to take up counter space!” However I quickly learned it would become an appliance that I actually used more than once a week, which is my requirement to be allowed to take up valuable counter space.
First I started by thinking of all the things my family typically eats in a week and how I could incorporate the PastaFresh into my weekly dinner rotation. Here is what I determined I could use my PastaFresh for:
• Spaghetti (Obviously the first thing on the list) in my house this can be eaten twice in a 7 day period
• Pizza – I decided to make individual homemade pizza crusts and i used the PastaFresh to knead the dough
• Pie Crusts/Cookie Dough – again, I love the knead feature on the PastaFresh Machine
So I went to work, using my trusted friend “Google” to discover recipes for fresh pasta that I knew could please even my pickiest of eaters.
Now I am not going to lie, I am not one to read instructions, so I did not realize that the sliver bar has to be up in the lock position in order for the machine to work (it’s a safety feature so I am told) and therefore I had to throw out my first batch! Once that was sorted and out of the way, I begin to work on the second round. I am one who likes things to be easy and efficient or I know I won’t use them, so I set myself a goal of having dinner ready and on the table within 25 minutes. Here is what we did:
I started by cooking my ground beef and pasta sauce, I figured I would get this cooked up and allow it to simmer while I was making the pasta. Once the meat was fully cooked and the sauce was added, I moved it to a back burner on low heat so all the flavours could dance together. I then filled my pasta pot with water, added a pinch of salt, put on the lid and allowed that to get to a rapid boil while I began to make the pasta.
Right off the bat I loved that the only dish needed was a measuring cup for the flour! No messy dishes to clean up afterwards. I just tossed in the following ingredients into the PastaFresh:
• 2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
• 3 Eggs
• ¼ teaspoon of Salt
• ¼ teaspoon of Olive Oil
These ingredients make plain and simple pasta. I used the thin noodle adaptor to make Spaghetti and then half way through I switched the adaptor to the Penne one for some fun. The kneading process takes about 5 minutes. During this time I checked on the meat and put my garlic bread in the oven (YUM)! I watched the pasta during the kneading time and added about 1 ½ tablespoons of flour, just to ensure the pasta wasn’t too sticky.
By the end of the 5 minutes we would ready for the noodles to be made. I opened the top of the machine and helped push the dough over to the other side. Closed the lid back up (including the sliver bar LOL) and pressed the extrusion button. Within seconds out came our pasta. I kept the blower on and paused the extrusion from time to time to ensure the pasta wasn’t too sticky. This trick is to ensure the noodles don’t stick/clump together, I found the blower really helps with this. I cut the noodles as they came out, about every 6-8inches.
This whole process took about 5-8 minutes. By the time I had the pasta ready, the water had been at a nice rapid boil. I tossed my fresh noodles in the water for approximately 2 minutes. Once they were cooked and strained, I plated the noodles, added the meat sauce and we were good to go.
This was my first attempt at using the PastaFresh and feeding it to my kids. I had made “back up” pasta with the hard, dry “Grocery Store” noodles just to be safe (I couldn’t let them starve in case these were awful.) I am happy to report that all 3 of my kids chose to eat the PastaFresh Noodles and there were plenty of “Mom, this stuff tastes way better!” My kids’ rating was a 10/10 – which as a mom makes me happy!
PS – Cost to make a serving of 3-4 people $1.32
Next adventure: Pizza Dough