Wow, what a week. A long and busy week. I was definitely unprepared to return to the Army after a month off. Wednesday we ran the dreaded “gulch” which is a four mile route with extreme hills. It’s an ankle, knee, and shin nightmare. Needless to say, after not having run for weeks, I got shin splints. Then Friday there was a short ruck march, but it exacerbated my shin problem and the crappy boots I have gave me some nasty blisters the size of golf balls. That’s what I get for taking time off.
Full days at the motorpool aren’t usually so bad, but this week was a little different. Mostly because I’m used to coming home from work to relax and unwind. Oh, right, I have a baby now! It’s been difficult finding a new groove to get into and my time management hasn’t exactly been super efficient. Then I had 24 hour staff duty sprung on me on Friday last minute, so that just cut my weekend in half.
Alas, I have now found some time to rest and relax. Of course, that means a new recipe (finally!)
Last weekend, I found some semolina that had been hanging out in my cupboard for a little while. Semolina is a type of hard wheat that is typically used for making pasta, and sometimes used in Sicilian breads. I had a hankering for pasta, so I decided to just throw together a quick batch.
Homemade pasta is incredibly easy to make, but can be a little time consuming. The easiest way to make it is to put a small pile of semolina flour on the counter, dig out a little “well” in the center, throw a beaten egg in the well, and start mixing it with a fork until a ball starts to form. Push the excess semolina to the side and start kneading the dough with your hands, adding semolina if it’s too sticky, or adding water if it’s too dry. But, that’s a little imprecise, so I put together a recipe.
In the past, I have seen and read of people making their pasta dough in a food processor with a dough blade. I’ve never tried it before because I either enjoy kneading it by hand, or using my Kitchenaid. I thought, just for the sake of experience, to give the food processor method a try. As you’ll see, it wasn’t my favorite method. Don’t try it.
You’ll need a pasta sheeter to make use of this recipe. Many people own the Kitchenaid attachment, or they have the old fashioned countertop one with a hand crank, which is what I use. You can buy a basic one like I have for $20. Sheeting pasta is easiest when done with two people. One person will feed the pasta through the top, and the other person will crank the machine and pull the pasta from the bottom. It can be done alone, but extra care will need to be taken to be sure that the pasta is being fed properly, and is also being pulled from the bottom to keep it from sticking to itself. If sheeting pasta on your own, having patience will pay off big time.
I left my pasta in sheets to use for the lasagna bolognese recipe I have coming up. I didn’t have any kind of pasta hanger, so I improvised with my cooling racks by placing them on cereal boxes and hanging the sheets that way. I also found that laying them flat on the cooling racks worked just as well, although this probably wouldn’t be an option if you cut the pasta.