Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thoughts on the Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Maker

My pasta-creating endeavors have been with the Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Maker (which, I would like to say, is a mouthful to utter to anyone).

I spent much of Saturday making noodles and sauce in my kitchen and have just done another batch of noodles earlier this evening, putting me on about eight or so batches done since unpacking the thing from its box.

I think I'm getting the hang of it.

My first batch of noodles was iffy, at best. And that's not counting the disasters that never even made it into the pasta maker.

The less said of those, the better.

As time has gone on, I've started to get the hang of the details.

The recipe I use is:
  • 1 and a half(ish) cups of flour (a 50-50 mix of whole wheat and white flour)
  • 2 eggs (or egg-beater equivalent)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
For the record, I do not know the ultimate origin of that recipe. Anyway:
  1. Pour the flour into a bowl.
  2. Make a deep indentation in the middle of the flour.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, and water into the indentation. You've got something that looks like a science project volcano at this point.
  4. With a fork or something, beat that concoction in the pile of flour until it's too sticky to use an implement for.
  5. With your hands, knead the dough until it's reasonably smooth and pliable. Try to get it so you don't have cakey bits of flour coming off and it's not too dry. (Full disclosure: I always have flour left over and have not yet mastered this step)
  6. Make a ball of the dough, then put it on a lightly floured surface and cover it with a paper towel or bowl for about fifteen minutes or so.
  7. Set up the pasta maker so you have room on both sides for the output and it's secure with its clamp.
  8. Cut off a chunk of the dough and run it through the pasta maker's rollers on the lowest setting. I find it's best not to get too big a piece of dough so I am for about a quarter-inch thick and two inches wide.
  9. Lump the output together. Repeat putting it through the roller.
  10. Repeat until it's sticking into something vaguely cohesive. Then fold it and run it through the rollers again.
  11. Set the rollers up the next increment.
  12. Put the dough through the rollers, then fold and put it through again.
  13. Increment the roller setting (making the dough thinner each time), and run folded dough through each time.
  14. When it's as thick as you want it, run it through the cutting portion and lay the proto-noodles on a wire rack to dry.

Store in a cool, dry place. Should last a week or so.

Sounds idiot-proof, doesn't it? Well, I am a special kind of idiot and managed to mangle this a few times. My devotion to His Noodley Goodness as part of my role as a minister in the Church of the FSM drives me to master this seemingly-simple task.

Keeps dinner simple.

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