A while ago, I read The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken -- a delightful read and a wonderful gift. (I reviewed it here.) And recently, I received another wonderful gift: a pasta machine. An Atlas pasta machine. And its ravioli making attachment. So, I have begun the great experiment.
Now, I have, in fact, made pasta before. Once. In a cooking class I took in Denver. Where? At the Cook Street School of Fine Cooking. Did I look for that recipe? No. Did I use the one providedc by the author of The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken? No. Instead, I had seen a recipe for some lovely asparagus ravioli in broth in a recent issue of Gourmet -- and so I used the pasta dough recipe that was appended to that recipe. (For the details, click here and then check out the pasta dough recipe.) This recipe called for cake flour (which puzzled me, I confess) and a bit of all purpose. It called for egg yolks and olive oil and water. It definitely involved more ingredients than the pasta I made in cooking class, which was (at least in my memory) flour and eggs. It turned -- after some work into a lovely set of fettucini and then went into a very tasty chicken soup. Anyway, this time I mixed up all the ingredients. I let the dough rest an hour. And I began moving it through my beautiful (yes, it is in fact beautiful) Atlas machine. At first, it looked like I might succeed. I was thrilled. Then, suddenly, the dough was a horrible tearing mess. It stretched even when I wasn't touching it. My effort to get it wide enough to use the ravioli attachment was perhaps part of it. My difficulty in figuring out where to locate the pasta machine so I could stabilize it using the gadget that came with it was also part of the problem. My relative inexperience with a long piece of dough was another aspect of my difficulties. (Aha, now I remember: there were TWO of us when I made it in cooking class, with one of us poised at each end of the pasta machine. Admittedly not very far apart, since the machine is not exactly huge, but it helped to have four hands.) What really happened tonight though? I think the dough just got over tired and threw up its tiny little metaphorical hands into the air and said: NO. I am not going to be ravioli today. In fact, I am not going to be any sort of pasta. I am going to throw myself (ok, it was me) into the trash can. And while making it. the yucky day disappeared, even though the ravioli remains a dream.
Next time, I am trying a simpler pasta dough. Or, maybe the same one. But I am going to try again. Why not? I have the machine, the broth, the filling and some flour and eggs. And Laura Schenone says I can do it. (See her comment here, right after the review of her book.) Plus, the machine is beautiful. And I want some ravioli. And it just seems like it woudl be the best way to say "thank you" for the machine.
Tonight, though, it is frozen pizza. Yep, frozen. Because it is almost 8 o' clock and I am hungry. While I am waiting for it to warm up (one can hardly call it cooking) I am blogging. And dreaming of ravioli (and looking at directions for the pasta machine -- like those available here -- and. . . )