As a lot of you saw on Instagram a couple weeks ago, I made fresh pasta with mia madre, and it was FABULOUS! So, I used the Amazon gift card that we got as a wedding gift from my cousin and his girlfriend to purchase my own set of Kitchenaid Pasta Rollers! Now, I can be my own pasta fiend in the kitchen, and honestly, while it is faster and easier to just buy the pasta in a box at the store, the difference in taste is absolutely tenfold. I mean, there is ZERO comparison between making pasta from scratch and making pasta from a box. Fresh will always win out in my opinion. I don’t think I’ll do extruded pasta right now — that’s a whole different kind of mess that I’m not ready to tackle yet, specifically if I want macaroni — but I definitely want to try spaghetti again, definitely make some fettuccine alfredo for Frankie, and then try my hand at making colored pasta: spinach, roasted red pepper, beet, etc. The options are ENDLESS, but before we get ahead of ourselves, allow me to set the scene.
Three days after we got married, my mom signed us both up for a pasta cooking class as a pre-birthday treat for herself. My mom had expressed her own desire to make pasta from scratch, so for Christmas, I gifted her with her own set of rollers! She tried to make pasta on her own using the French Laundry recipe, but it didn’t turn out as she wanted it to. I had never tried to make it from scratch myself, and looking at YouTube videos can only be so helpful, you know? So allow me to say this: if you have the opportunity to go to a class and get some real hands-on experience, do it. Us going was incredibly helpful and allowed us both to get our hands dirty and to really get a sense for how the dough is supposed to feel, how to handle it, and how it’s supposed to come out in the end too!
We even made fresh pasta together a few weeks later when I came back for a visit in between jobs and moving (as if those two things weren’t stressful enough already…oh, and the new job is awesome, in case you wanted to know!) and it came out WONDERFULLY!! A little more kneading was needed (ha-ha, I’m punny) and I took that into consideration when I made pasta on my own in my new kitchen! Ps. The sauce in the photo above was a mascarpone, parmesan, lemon, & cream sauce, that we tossed with smoked salmon and spinach! It was sooooo scrumptious!
The pasta came out GREAT, but I definitely did not need to thin it out as much as I did…my final roll was at a 5, but I think for lasagna, twice through a 3 was the perfect thickness, so lesson learned on that one! But it’s really not as hard as people think it is, and I definitely felt more comfortable this time around that, in total, making, chilling, rolling, and cutting the dough took about the total of 45 minutes work. Not bad…considering the sauce took about 3 times as long to make (eye roll…but worth it).
Below is the recipe that Chef Mark provided, but I added more direction since his only included the first two steps, and not even with that much detail! I know he’s a professional chef, but for us homecooks, a little more direction doesn’t hurt, so I added in more instructions based on my making and cooking of the pasta! I hope it is helpful to you as well! Additional Note: Since this is not only JUST a new recipe, but also a recipe remake, I changed up the bechamel a little too, and added about half a tub of marscapone! Made it really creamy and smooth! Deeeeeelightful! — Cooking Maggie
BA’s Best Lasagna from Bon Appetit
- 20 oz all-purpose flour – plus extra for flouring your surface, parchment paper, and pasta
- 2 oz semolina flour
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients and mix in a standing mixer or large food processor until dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a teaspoon of room temperature water at a time until dough comes together easily, but isn’t wet or sticky.
- Flour your surface, and knead dough for about 10 minutes until you poke your finger into the dough and it mostly fills back up – it should be malleable. Cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate from 2 hours up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook/make your pasta dish, prepare a baking sheet with floured parchment paper, and pull out your dough from the fridge. Cut your dough into smaller pieces, and roll out a little on the floured surface so it will go through attachment easily. Put through pasta roller attachments till at your desired thinness, then put through the spaghetti or fettuccine attachment, OR cut into the desired length/width for ravioli/lasagna. Place prepared pasta in a single layer on your baking sheet lined with floured parchment paper.*
- Cook your fresh pasta for 1-2 minutes (or until you see noodles start to rise to the surface for spaghetti/fettuccine noodles).**
- Mix in with your preferred sauce, and enjoy!
* I would also flour your pasta a little on top so they don’t stick together prior to cooking, especially for noodles.
** For lasagna noodles, boil 1-3 noodles at a time for 90 seconds, then place in a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds, then lay out in a single layer on parchment paper – must use immediately.