A couple of weeks ago I bought a pasta machine and it has been a winner. Little T-Bone is able to handle the wheel with some help, and he loves to do it. Ivy is big enough to understand the process and I have spent some proud moments watching her work alone, dusting the rollers with flour, feeding the dough through, changing the settings and finally, turning the cutting wheel. It is a wonderfully gratifying process - so tactile, and with rewardingly simple mechanics. A little work, and a pile of egg and flour turns into silken threads of spaghetti.
I loved to see the drying pasta in the kitchen,. It made me feel-a like-a such-an-Italian - mamma! Unfortunately, once the strands dried and I tried to take them down they snapped all over the joint, and my Nigella bubble burst. Again. I think it needs to dry out on a nice safe tea-towel on the counter. So much less decorative though.
(just prior to back-to-school haircut here! Look at that mane. And I love that the apron Ivy is wearing was sewn by her great-great grandmother, Nana Goodie. )
Of course, once these craft-crazy kids realised you could shred paper through the rollers, they were obsessed. And they hate to pass up a comedic opportunity - so this is how they set the table.
Finally, the end result - pasta coma. The family fell on the leftovers like ravenous (Italian) dingoes. It was a feeders dream.
We have made a few batches of pasta now, and it is divine every time, despite our mistakes. For the kids back-to-school feast (they choose the menu), we made two big bowls of our favourites: pesto, and creamy chorizo. You can find a great pesto recipe over at Beth's blog, and here is the tomato and chorizo recipe I love - mama mia, I am hungry just thinking about it.
I think I am going to institute pasta-making as an after school activity. There is something very calming and nurturing about the process. Hands in the food, dinner at the end...a winner all round.