Hey Kristin -
C'mon in, the water's fine!
Last night I got that extra practice I'd hoped for. I carefully read MobyP's instructions and followed them nearly to the letter, with much better success than my previous attempts using pasta instructions from other sources (including the Atlas pasta maker instructions). One difference was that I used unbleached pastry flour (King Arthur, protein content unknown but doubtless low) and forgot the semolina except as a dusting flour. It all worked well - I will use this recipe again - and I learned as I went.
I used my bread bowl so the egg yolks wouldn't go all over the floor, and basically pretended I was a food processor: that is, instead of all that neat stirring and whisking, then adding salt, etc. I just broke up the eggs well and started stirring. When it started coming together I began to knead it by hand in the bowl, then turned it out onto the bread board with semolina to keep it from sticking. After some 8 - 10 minutes it was smooth, elastic, and felt well mixed. I let the dough rest in the refrigerator, wrapped, per instructions.
While the pasta was resting, I skinned and deboned some frozen smoked cisco I had left over from a recent smoked fish tasting adventure. Cisco is a small freshwater fish, rather bony, pretty fishy. I decided it's generally like anchovy in terms of strong fishy salty flavor, although not as oily, and that it needed anchovy-compatible flavors. Into the food processor went sundried tomato pesto, walnuts, a touch of olive oil, and parmesan cheese. After a bit of whirring I adjusted all with a touch of lemon and salt. Capers might have worked too, but I forgot to try them.
Lesson 1 (I've made this mistake before): with the full recipe of dough, cut it into 8 pieces instead of 4. Otherwise, that strip gets much too long to be manageable by the time it's down to the thin roller setting.
Note how sheer but sturdy the pasta is. Note how elegantly the excess drapes over the pasta machine. You can see the nicely rolled pasta laid out, fading into the background, but I had to cut off a bunch of the excess (not enough hands) and reroll it. In the future, I'll cut the dough into 8ths in the first place and figure on using two.
Lesson 2: I should have stopped with Atlas Level 7 instead of going on to 8. By the time I was putting my layers together, the thin dough was tearing. You can just see a small tear on the right.
I compensated by doubling the pasta on most of the ravioli. Purists may cringe, but it worked for me.
I cut them out with biscuit cutters...
...and poached them in a mixture of chicken stock and water (I needed more, in a bigger pot)...
...and then came to my next question: how, how long, and where does one drain these delicate beauties? A colander didn't seem quite right, but that's what I did. Answers, anyone?
Dinner: ravioli stuffed with smoked fish, tomato and walnuts, tossed with butter and the cooked-down poaching liquid. Garlic, herbs and/or olive oil would have looked better, perhaps tasted better, but it was getting late. This was still good.
I shall now start kicking myself, per MobyP's instructions, for not doing this sooner.
Hey, I have the leftover dough in the refrigerator. Can I freeze this stuff?
Comments and questions welcome. This was fun, and I'll be doing it again soon.
Edited by Smithy, 08 September 2005 - 01:40 PM.