Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Operation Pasta Extrusion

Another kitchen contraption somehow made its way into our place... Hello, KitchenAid Pasta Extruder.  I didn't want it to have the same fate as the poor sausage grinder, or the hapless tortilla press or cream whipper, so as soon as it arrived, I asked my friends to come over and help make use of it.

Between bites of meat, cheese, fruit, smoked trout dip, and fresh olive bread, we somehow got four batches of pasta dough made.  (Bread and pasta dough recipe to follow.  No recipe on the trout dip, we forgot to take photos of it, haha)

Then, we (seven girls) all crowded into the (tiny) kitchen and made everything from bucatini to ravioli.  We were quite literally rubbing elbows in there!

Somehow, we pulled it off.  The joint effort of all party attendees resulted in five delicious pasta dishes.  The best part was everyone's enthusiasm (or fear?) about getting hands on, as depicted in their facial expressions.  Operation pasta extrusion was a success!

In order to do work, we needed fuel.  Our spread was pretty awesome, thanks to everybody's contributions.  Gotta credit Costco for carrying some impressive charcuterie, cheese, and crackers, though.

It was the perfect occasion to whip out Wes's handcrafted endgrain cheeseboard.  I still don't quite understand how he pieced it all together.  But I can explain how he made the glorious olive bread in the Dutch oven!

Recipe was adapted from a no-knead bread recipe on NY Times Cooking, with added kalamata olives.


3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup chopped kalamata olives


1.  In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2.  Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3.  Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Dust a pan or bowl with flower and put the dough seam side down.  Cover with saran wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes (1-2 hours preferred). When it is ready, dough will have increased in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart dutch oven in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Transfer the dough to the hot dutch oven (seam side up). Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Left: Night before.  Right: Morning after - the dough has puffed up!  Like magic!

The pasta recipe that we used was the one by Marc Vetri.  Yes, the one that requires nine egg yolks.


1 1/4 cup flour (Type 00 recommended, but we simply used all-purpose)
1/3 cup semolina flour
9 large egg yolks
4 tsp water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. Combine both flours. Place eggs, water, flour, and olive oil in mixer bowl, and mix by hand or with Kitchenaid beater.
2. Knead dough for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and silky in texture without any grainy lumps (or, use the dough hook attachment and knead for about 2 minutes on Speed 2. Then, remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 1-2 minutes). Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Rest in refrigerator for at least 1 hour until use. Prior to rolling, let dough thaw at room temperature.
3. Form the dough into a log, roughly 6 inches in length. Cut dough into thirds then into halves for total 6 pieces, to make it easier to feed through the pasta roller.
4. Dust the dough with flour (and the roller if you want to) - to prevent sticking. On setting 1, roll pasta dough through the machine. Fold dough in half "hamburger" style and feed through machine again on setting 1. Repeat this 1-2 more times to give dough more texture. Dust dough again if needed.
5. Next, turn machine to setting 2 and feed dough through machine. Repeat on next settings until you get your desired thickness. We stopped at setting 5, except for that time that I was too busy chatting with Vivian and went on the setting 7, which yielded a pasta sheet that was thinner than Kleenex... of course, it broke and I had to start all over from setting 1 again!
6. Cut into strips with a pasta cutter (that fun squiggly wheel thing that looks like a Play-Dough accessory).
7. To cook, bring water to a boil with salt. Add pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes to desired consistency. If frozen, cook for 5-6 minutes.

First, we got out the pasta press and just rolled out some flat dough for ravioli and fettuccine.

Then, pasta extruder!! (Not a lot of pics because at this point, I was scrambling to help make sauce and Wes was showing everybody / figuring out how to properly use this machine)  We just randomly stuffed dough into the top and stared at the bottom.  Many ooh's and aah's and Snapchatter.

When do we cut it off??

(btw, I can't really look at this picture because of trypophobia - irrational fear of looking at pores.  I googled that term and it really exists)


 (thick, spaghetti-like pasta tubes)

Expertly engineered by Vivian.

Finally, dinner!

Spicy chicken ragu, by Vivian

Butternut squash goat cheese ravioli with an olive oil sage sauce and toasted hazelnuts, by Vivian.
Recipe on her blog!

Avocado pesto, by Hande.  So slurpingly delicious with this pasta shape!

White wine garlic cream sauce, by Khanh
(We used this beautifully colored jumbo farfalle that was gifted to us from Italy.)

Arrabiata sauce, with added spicy Italian sausage and other things, by Trader Joe's

We definitely had enough to go around, plus bags upon bags of leftovers.

Mission accomplished!  And I suppose we got to celebrate my birthday too; thank you all for coming over to play with food together!

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