Cooking with the Caspers

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The Caspers Make Pasta From Scratch

First Attempt

Pasta. The folks on the Food Network make it look so easy! And every culture seems to have its noodle. We decided to go the simplest route we could find, tagliatelle (which just means noodles!) made with flour, eggs, and a bit of olive oil.

 

The accepted ratio is 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs. Some recipes say add salt, some say olive oil, some say water. Some say nothing else at all! After mixing 4 c AP (All Purpose, good for a first attempt, though not the best for perfect pasta) flour with 6 (local & corn-fed) eggs, our dough was dry, and hard to knead for the required time. We found out later that spritzing with some water would have likely made the dough perfect, so if you're making pasta and the dough seems too dry, don't worry! It can be fixed!

Or, in our case, it can be flattened regardless, but not by Mrs. Casper. This was a task for Mr. Casper (and kitchen assistant Hoagie). The first few attempts, hand rolled with a marble rolling pin, were close to perfect, though dry. Thin noodles with an even cut draped over our drying bowl. Unfortunately, the sheer effort of rolling out so much dough, and dough that was too dry, made for some inconsistency.

AP Flour & local eggs

Drying the pasta

Rollin' out with Hoagie

Food, however, is not to be wasted. After letting them dry on our "rack" for a bit, we tossed the fresh tagliatelle into boiling salted water, and let them cook a little longer than the standard 3-4 minutes. The noodles were pulled directly from the pot into a waiting pain, and became Carbonara.

And now, for an important lesson: When faced with an imperfect dish, it's often best to just cover it in cheese. In this case, Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated.

After this, Mr. Casper bought the house a pasta roller.

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