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Homemade pasta is easy, fast, and fun. It tastes better than boxed pastas from the store. And, while-store-bought pastas do indeed come in a variety of shapes, they all have basically one bland and unexciting flavor; by contrast, as this wide-ranging and deliciously inventive book shows,
making pasta by hand at home lets you create and enjoy dozens and dozens of different flavors of noodles.
In her previous books—on such subjects as searing, marinating, and cast-iron cooking—chef, cooking teacher, and food blogger Lucy Vaserfirer has earned a reputation for expertly and gently
translating the methods of master chefs into simple-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that let home cooks cook like the pros. Here, Lucy does the same for pasta-making, showing you how easy it is to
use a sheeter, extruder, and cavatelli maker of any type, manual or electric, to create tasty pastas that will please everyone from grown-up gourmands to picky kids who want pasta at nearly every meal.
Lucy shares in these pages terrific purees that you can make, using a blender or a mixing bowl, that you then can turn into
all sorts of flavored pastas, from the familiar tomato or spinach pastas to noodles flavored with herbs like basil or chives, spices like pepper or saffron, and other flavors, such as beet, sweet potato, corn, and even, surprisingly enough, chocolate. She teaches you
how to make every kind of pasta shape with your pasta machine, including ones you can’t find in stores. She includes
durum and semolina pastas, the most common kinds, as well as
ancient-grain pastas. She even shows how to make
Asian noodles, such as udon, soba, and ramen, with your pasta machine. There are recipes, too, for fillings for ravioli, tortellini, and other stuffed pastas, as well as a feast of sauces for finished pasta dishes.
Whether you are a first-time owner of a pasta maker or a seasoned pro looking for exciting new ideas, this book has more than 100 splendid recipes, plus loads of clever tips and tricks, that will make you love your pasta machine and use it often.
From the Publisher
THE PLEASURES OF PASTA
Making pasta from scratch is like alchemy or magic. Pasta is something from practically nothing, nothing but flour and water, possibly eggs. The humblest of ingredients are transformed into the most glorious of foods.
Making pasta and noodles using your pasta machine is fun, fast, and easy. It’s a great outlet for your creativity, and it’s incredibly satisfying both literally and figuratively—because the results are so tasty! It delights the kid in you who still loves to sink his or her fingers into playdough. It stimulates your artistic side, for each piece of pasta is an edible little sculpture. It appeals to your crafty DIY desires to create something to take pride in using your own hands. And of course, it brings out your inner chef who loves to wow friends and family with a delicious feast. What I’m saying is making pasta is a joy. The only thing that’s better than making pasta is eating it!
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
This is like a choose your own adventure book . . .
Pick a pasta machine. Do you want to use your sheeter? Do you have an extruder? Do you feel like making cavatelli? Then skip directly to that chapter.
Pick a pasta dough for that machine.
Pick a pasta shape. If it’s a stuffed shape, pick a filling.
Pick a sauce. I make recommendations for pasta shapes and sauces, but feel free to mix and match as you like.
Cook, eat, and repeat!
Fettuccine with Corn and Smoked Salmon
Sweet corn is a delicious contrast to the salty richness of smoked salmon. Feel free to use more or less jalapeños to suit your taste, substitute Fresno chiles, or even use strips of roasted New Mexico green chiles in season.
Chocolate Egg Fettuccine with Roasted Strawberries, Crème Fraîche, and Balsamico
If you just can’t get enough pasta for dinner, perhaps you need some for dessert? This delicious dish is actually only lightly sweetened, so it’s sure to delight both sweet and savory fans at the same time. Make it during the summer when strawberries are ripe and juicy and red all the way through to the core.
Corzetti with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans
It may seem odd to pair pasta and potatoes together, but in this classic Ligurian dish, the starch of the potatoes gives the sauce an extra creaminess.
The recipe’s quite easy to throw together because all of the ingredients are boiled together right in the same pot. The only trick is getting the timing right so that everything’s done at the same moment. Just test for doneness often and use your best judgment on when the potatoes and green beans seem to be about 3 or 4 minutes away from being done to add the pasta.
This Japanese dish of chilled soba with an umami-rich dipping sauce is welcome on a hot day.
Kombu, or dried kelp; the sweetened cooking wine known as mirin; katsuobushi, which is also called bonito flakes; and nori seaweed are all available at Asian markets and in the international section of most well-stocked grocers.