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Tagging Along

September 13, 2011

Mike is working a trade show in the city this week and his company put everyone up at a hotel in the heart of the Michigan Avenue/Streeterville area.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to pack my bag and tag along for the weekend.  Mike’s schedule was booked from check in Friday through mid-day Saturday leaving me free to make my own plans.  I love being in the city, especially when the weather is as perfect as it was this weekend.  I walked my legs off and shot well over 200 pictures in two days.  Walking was necessary after enjoying this little treat with Mike.

Saturday morning I took a three hour, hands on, pasta making class at The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square.  I’ve made pasta before and while it wasn’t bad, I never felt like I had achieved the texture I wanted.  I walked out of class armed with three pasta dough recipes and more confidence in my pasta making skills.

When I got home on Sunday afternoon I went to work on making whole wheat fettuccine using this recipe.  It turned out perfectly.  I cooked a portion for dinner that night and I dried most of it to be used another time.

Whole Wheat Pasta Dough
Yield – 1 pound dough
4 entrée servings or 8 appetizer servings

3 eggs
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/4 cup semolina
1 to 2 tbsp water

Place eggs in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process for 15 to 20 seconds.  Add the remaining ingredients and process just until the dough forms a ball and travels around the bowl.  If after 20 to 30 seconds a ball doesn’t form, add water, 1 tsp at a time, until ball forms.

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest at least 20 minutes.

Divide dough into quarters. Using a pasta roller, roll each quarter on Setting 1 three times, folding dough in half and turning 1/4 turn, between each roll. After three times on Setting 1, increase to Setting 2 and roll just once. Continue, increasing the setting by one point until dough is at desired thickness, usually Setting 6 or 7.

Cut sheets into lengths of 8 – 10 inches and cut each length into desired shape.

Finished pasta should be cooked in boiling, heavily salted water until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes and served with your favorite sauce.

Pasta dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days and brought to room temperate before rolling out. Rolled and cut dough can be frozen or set out on towels until completely dry and stored in an air tight container at room temperature.

Note:  If you need to layer the pasta sheets before cutting into shapes or lay the shaped pasta to dry, make sure there’s a light coating of flour to keep the pasta from sticking together.

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