Pasta Time

Reader Contribution by Marlena Chestnut Shifflett
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In the pursuit of frugality and self-sufficiency, I realized that the first thing I needed to take a good hard look at was my shopping cart. I quickly realized that two of the most frequently purchased items are pasta and bread. I was already enrolled in a bread-making lesson with a local farmer, but was uncertain about making pasta at home. With a little motivation and reassurance from my good friend Danielle, who said she had complete faith in my abilities, I decided to give it a shot. I tend to never do anything the “normal” way, so at a little past midnight one night, my husband and I decided to break out the pasta maker that had been a gift several years back, but had never been used. The pasta maker, of course, did not come with a recipe, so I found one online that seemed simple enough. Once I got started I couldn’t stop!

Several hours later, just shy of the sun coming back up, I had pasta drying on every flat surface of my kitchen. We made fettuccine, spaghetti, rigatoni and lasagna noodles. No fancy pasta dryer necessary, I laid them out to dry on baking sheets, and a make shift rack I created out of a large pot with a wooden spoon resting across it.

The recipe is very simple, and if you don’t have a pasta maker, you could just mix the dough, roll it out with a rolling pin, and cut to desired noodle. I dried the pasta thoroughly so that it can be stored in the pantry, but for those who are less patient, or don’t want to fool with the drying process, you can just allow the pasta to dry enough that it doesn’t stick together, and them put in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer until time to use it. You don’t have to thaw the pasta before use, just straight from the freezer to the pot of boiling water.

Personally, I love the fresh pasta, and plan to make an effort to never buy pasta again, especially now that I know how simple it can be to make, and how much cheaper than buying the store-bought stuff. If you are anything like me and tend to “go big,” enough pasta can be made at one time to last at least a couple of weeks, depending on how often you eat it.

Pasta Recipe:

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large eggs

2 cups flour

First, whisk wet ingredients together, then slowly add flour until a dough is formed. Add dough to pasta maker, or roll out thin with a rolling pin, cut into desired noodle. Allow to dry thoroughly if planning to store, or allow to dry enough to prevent sticking and place in the freezer.

I look forward to coming up with my own variations to this recipe, by adding herbs and spices as well as different vegetable juices in place of the water to make my own unique combinations! It’s a recipe to have fun with and make your own. Not to mention all that premade pasta will come in handy with spring in the area, and the busy season about to begin.

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