Friday, February 25, 2011

Making Pasta and How I Got a Brand New Kitchenaid Mixer for Free

I got a pasta machine as a gift for Christmas and finally got around to using it last weekend; it’s the Kitchenaid stand mixer pasta roller and cutter attachment.

Back in October, I wrote about making tortellini from scratch and rolling the dough out by hand. As I remark in that post, the entire time spent sweating it out, pushing and tugging at my rolling pin, I was wishing that I had a pasta machine.

Well, wish granted! Much to my excitement and to the relief of my unfit arms, this quick attachment makes enjoying fresh pasta at home much simpler. All you have to do is stick it into the mixer and it runs off of the motor, flattening pasta dough in seconds.

Homemade Fettuccine with Puttanesca Sauce

I made really nice dough, and all was going well. Beautiful long sheets of pasta dough were rolling through the attachment until just lightly translucent. Then, I noticed that the mixer was starting to get a little warm. A couple of minutes later, it started to make a funny noise and smelled like burning. Ok, that’s not right—I shut it down.

WTF? It can’t be the pasta attachment, I thought; it’s the same thing as just running the mixer. I let it cool down for a bit, and tried again, but when I turned it back on it was suffering real bad. Just like that, my trusty Kitchenaid mixer crapped out on me—and right in the middle of my much-anticipated pasta making!

While I never got the chance to try out the pasta cutter attachment, I was able to roll out a decent amount of dough before the mixer went AWOL, so I just cut out fettuccine myself. To cut pasta, all you have to do is loosely roll up the sheet of dough and slice into strips. When unraveled, the pasta will be long and generally uniform. I think my fettuccine came out pretty good, if I do say so myself!

As for the mixer, it turns out that the little switch on the side that changes the speeds was broken. We blamed it on age, saying that it was just its time to go. Time to get a new one—sigh. So long, mixer! We all know that the Kitchenaid stand mixers are pretty pricey, but they are a great investment if you love to cook and bake.

But listen to this…we brought it back to Bed Bath & Beyond where it was purchased--like 7 years ago, and they just gave us a new one. For free, no problem, brand new! It’s true! It turns out that no matter how effed up or old an appliance is, if you bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond and it breaks, they will just replace it. You don't even need a receipt, just bring back the old one with all of its parts. Sweet!

Here is my recipe for the homemade pasta and the puttanesca sauce that I put on top. Everything is from scratch—I didn’t even use canned tomatoes. Simple and delicious!

Homemade Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce:
Yield: 6 Servings

- 1 pound AP Flour + as needed
- Pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 fl oz water (or as needed)
• To make pasta: mix salt and flour together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; add eggs and water to well. Work as quickly as possible, gradually pulling the flour into the wet ingredients, and stir until a loose mass forms. As dough is mixed, you may need to adjust with additional flour or water. (The pasta dough can also be mixed in a food processor or electric mixer). Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the texture becomes smooth and elastic. Gather the kneaded dough into a ball, cover and let relax at room temperature for at least an hour. When the dough has finished resting, roll out by hand or with a pasta roller and cut into desired shapes.

Puttanesca Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- ½ onion, small dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-7 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced**
- ½ cup sliced green olives
- ½ cup red wine (you can use white if you want)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dried basil and oregano to taste
• Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Sweat onions, then add garlic and pepper flakes. After about a minute, add diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Let the tomatoes cook down, then add olives.
• Add wine and cook down for about 2 minutes, then add chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper, dried basil and oregano, and let the sauce cook down until it becomes thicker.
** To peel and seed tomatoes: cut out the stem end with a paring knife, and cut a small “X” into the bottom. Bring a pot of water to a light simmer. Drop tomatoes into the water. After a few seconds you will see the line from the “X” begin to extend across the tomato. Remember, you do not want to cook the tomato, just loosen the skin. Immediately remove tomatoes from water and shock in an ice water bath. Peel and seed.

P.S. Don’t forget, homemade pasta take much less time to boil than dried. Keep an eye on it, and keep tasting. It will literally be done in like three minutes.


Foodtographer said...

That is called customer service. I returned a vacuum cleaner TWICE to Bed,Bath and Beyond within a 2 year period and they replaced it no charge. No receipt. As for the pasta, looks great. Need to try it when I get a pasta machine...hint hint...j/k..

MaryMoh said...

It's wonderful that you make your own pasta. It's quite like homemade noodles. I think it's fun to make and therapeutic :D I'm amazed that you can cut it so evenly.

Claudia said...

Color me very impressed by Bed, Bath and Beyond! Happiness for you! Noted that welcoming pasta... it's on my list. The photos alone nourish me.

Roxan said...

I love making pasta too, but I don't the kitchenaid mixer attachment. It's so expensive! I have the other kind that has a hand crank on it. It's kinda fun!

Pacheco Patty said...

It's so cool that you make your own noodles, they look perfect. Have you thought about making pasta professionally? There is a girl who makes pasta and sells it at our farmer's market. It looks like a lot of work. I have a pasta machine but I only use it to make sheets for raviolis, I need to branch out, lol! I can't believe that Bed and Bath gave you a new mixer. Lucky you:-)

Victoria said...

Hold the phone, they don't even ask for a receipt? I bought mine there too, and fortunately mine has not crapped out on me (and I really hope it never does), but wouldn't everyone just show up and claim they bought it there? Good to know though! Glad you finally got that pasta roller attachment, I have one too and it's fabulous!

Adelina said...

Nice that you did not give up. Beautiful pasta dish! Congrats on your new Kitchenaid! Good to hear that you were treated well.

Alice said...

oh my gosh, awesome! my mixer was given to me too, so i don't know where it came from, but i sure hope it was BB&B! those things should last forever anyway! your fettucine looks lovely, i can't believe you cut it by hand! i'll have to remember your roll-up trick.

Hester aka The Chef Doc said...

Hoorah for homemade pasta as well as new appliances :-) Happy times, Marisa!

philaction said...

I think homemade pasta really tastes better and you can mix-in greens and even squid ink for the black one. Browsing for Kitchenaid 600 took me to too many great blogs and I found great recipes. You're really lucky to get your kitchenaid replaced.