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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

04.22.2002

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noodling around
make your own fresh pasta noodles
1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

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cutting the dough
Most pasta machines come with an attachment that lets you cut fettucine and angel hair. You can buy additional attachments as well, to get different sized noodles. Basically, the cutting attachments work the same as the rolling mechanism: feed the dough through and turn the hand crank, and out spit your noodles. Again, you can either hang the noodles on a drying rack or spread them out on the tablecloth.

Of course, you can also save a little money and cut the noodles by hand. When the dough is dry enough not to be sticky, but still fully pliable, roll it up gently, then cut it into whatever width you like. Use a plain old paring knife for straight-edged noodles, or a pastry cutter to get curled-edge noodles. Unfurl the cut strips, and voila! Instant noodles. Donít worry if your noodles arenít perfectly even Ö itís all part of that homemade charm.

to save them for later (up to 4 days)
If youíre planning to enjoy your pasta right away, skip on down to the next section. If, on the other hand, youíd like to save your noodles for another day, proceed as follows. Divide the noodles into portions, and sprinkle with flour. Loosely coil each portion and place on a flat floured baking sheet. Dust with a bit more flour Ė itís important to keep the pasta dry to keep it from turning into a sticky, gummy, clumpy mess. Cover with floured saran wrap or cloth, and refrigerate.

get cooking
Cooking fresh pasta is essentially the same as cooking dried pasta, except that the actual cooking time will be much, much shorter. Fettucine generally cooks in about 4 minutes or so; thinner noodles will finish even more quickly. Basically, once the noodles have floated up to the top, give a noodle a taste test Ė as with any pasta, it should be al dente (cooked through, but firm to the bite). As soon as itís done, drain the pasta in a colander. Toss with your favorite sauce (browse the pasta recipes in our recipe index for ideas) and enjoy.

Just one word of warning: after one bite of your delicious fresh homemade pasta, you may very well find yourself addicted. It just might spoil your appetite for the no-fuss dried stuff forever.

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