noodling around


As planned, we had pasta carbonara for Thanksgiving dinner (we had a regular turkey dinner with all the trimmings a couple of days later).  We had good fontina, Hempler’s bacon, Italian prosciutto, and plenty of eggs, with my mother’s fried capers to go on top, and I made the noodles fresh that day.


Not that there’s really much to say – I’m still not very good at making pasta, and I might have done better if I’d actually read all of the instructions in The Splendid Table. I made a wonderful mess of my parents’ kitchen and the cat was late getting her dinner because there was flour everywhere, and Jon ended up with the task of pulling apart each strand of fettucine and laying them out neatly on the drying rack…but in the end, we had the perfect amount for five people, and the pasta was incredible: silky-smooth, perfectly cooked with a rich eggy flavor, tossed with the carbonara ingredients and immediately inhaled (hence the lack of pictures of the finished dish).

hung out to dry

I am enormously fond of homemade pasta, and I really do intend to make it a lot more often. I just need to get more streamlined about it so I don’t trash the kitchen quite so impressively. A big enough workspace seems to be key, with enough room to lay out the sheets of pasta. Anyone have tips on making pasta in a small space? Without flouring all exposed surfaces in the house?

7 thoughts on “noodling around

  1. concerning my methodology for cooking versus prepared surfaces and cleaning aftermath, and G will attest to this with more than a raised eyebrow; I find it best to just get some duct tape and rolls of plastic to cover all the relevant furnishings (skipping the irrelevant ones)and then have at it… but then I have never attempted homemade noodles.

    I suppose a shop vac on at all times would work, but ambiance is lessoned exponentially… I’d stay with the plastic


  2. I’m jealous of your thanksgiving meal – I’m really going to try next year to ban the turkey 🙂

    While not an expert pasta maker by any means, I’ve been experimenting with it quite a bit. Do you use the hand crank machine for rolling your pasta into sheets? If so, you can simply lay out a few clean kitchen towels on flat surfaces (I have a small loft so I’ve used the bar, kitchen table, AND coffee table before!), and lay the fresh pasta sheets on the towels for drying. Every 5-10 minutes, flip them over so the other side will dry evenly. Since I’m in humid Atlanta, this might take 30 minutes to an hour, but no messy flour is required. Then, after the sheets are dry enough so they’re not sticky, I’ll put them through the cutter (or hand cut them) – immediately before cooking.

    Hope that helps!

  3. r – I can honestly say I never thought of using duct tape and plastic. You could cook dinner AND paint the ceiling!

    Katie – Thanks, that’s a great idea! We realized after the fettucine had dried for a while that it was a lot easier to work with, and it was really sticking to the cutters when I first tried it, so that makes perfect sense. We just need to keep the cats from wandering all over the pasta sheets 🙂

  4. We last made homemade pasta at someone else’s house… : ) We also hung the strands from broomsticks. You could suspend them from your ceiling in the kitchen for more hanger space…Pulleys to raise and lower them would be an excellent use of simple machine technology and create a multi-level, compact sculpture of pasta too! Cheers.

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