Hello, and Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a great week.
We’ve recently been playing around with our new KitchenAid pasta attachment. My brother and sister in law gave us the attachment as a wedding present! We’re in love with it so far! We had both my parents and Nick’s parents over for dinner in the last month, and both times, we made homemade pasta. So we’ve been testing different recipes and methods.
It was actually Nick’s idea to have a monthly date night where we get to cook together. Can you imagine how happy that made me? Cooking is one of my favorite things to do and when I get to cook with my husband (who is almost never in the kitchen except for when he’s digging for snacks) it’s the best combination!
Last Friday night when Nick got home from work, we put our comfy clothes on and got to work! After opening a bottle of champagne, of course. We don’t normally drink champagne every week, by the way. We were gifted several bottles of champagne for the wedding, and they’ve been sitting in the fridge waiting to be opened.
We’ve been using Serious Eat’s recipe for fresh egg pasta— we made fettuccine twice and it’s worked really well. For spaghetti, we discovered not so much. It’s perfect for wide, flat noodles but causes an eggy taste for skinnier noodles like spaghetti. The recipe calls for 2 eggs + 4 egg yolks + 2 cups of all-purpose flour.
I want to buy semolina flour next and try out the recipe again. Semolina, as I’ve heard, creates a stronger noodle because of the higher gluten concentration.
The eggs are worked into the flour, and then it’s kneaded for about 3 minutes until it has the texture of play dough. Then you wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before putting it through the machine.
While we let the pasta rest, we made the meatballs! Well actually, Nick made them! He’s really good at seasoning foods. I handed him the ground beef, eggs and breadcrumbs and told him to go for it. I think he added basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic/onion powder, and probably a few more spices that I didn’t catch. I wish he would cook more often because he’s actually really good at it!
I love this style of cooking, by the way. We didn’t have a recipe for meatballs, but I knew it needed beef, breadcrumbs, eggs and spices. We just added a little at a time until the beef and spices stuck together and had a nice texture that didn’t crumble apart. We cooked them on the stove-top in some butter, and finished by pouring tomato sauce over the meatballs and letting it simmer while we processed the pasta.
Time to process the pasta! First, we used the attachment that flattens out the noodle. We flattened the dough to setting 7 and it was slightly translucent when we were finished.
Look how long that pasta ribbon is! This was one of four — the recipe makes about a pound of pasta.
Slicing it through into spaghetti… Nick had so much fun feeding the dough through the machine. It’s reminds us of playing with play dough when we were younger.
Finished product! This is boiled in salted water for 2-3 minutes. It cooks super fast!
The difference in taste between fresh and dried pasta is astounding. WOW! Especially topped with homemade meatballs and marinara sauce. We had Frank Sinatra playing in the background, lit some candles on the table, and enjoyed our bottle of champagne.
Just proves that you can enjoy a wonderful date night without even leaving your house!
Do you and your significant other have date nights at home?