Thanks to the miracle that is instant social networking, all of Twitter now knows that making my own pasta was quite possibly one of the most stressful experiences of the year. I thought I'd share the melodramatic pre-pasta breakdown, the live tweeting of the main event, and the (almost) edible results. Consider it confessional pastanxiety therapy, so I can move on from tonight and never have to think about it again.
allisonejones: We're attempting to make our own pasta tonight, and I'm really nervous. Like, really nervous. #pastanxiety
RadioConelrad: Unless you're making the pasta with nitroglycerin, what's the worst that could happen? (fettuccine al qaeda?)allisonejones: I don't have any semolina! Help! Do I need semolina? I don't even really know what semolina IS! #pastanxiety
pdxlilly: When I have made pasta, I used regular flour, one egg, and some water! Really simple. Can even roll it out with a rolling pin.
billgalusha: wait, what.. a food question from @allisonejones ?!!? it's a kind of flour, and yes, I believe it's pretty crucial.allisonejones: Recipe says mix pasta ingredients as if mixing cement. Who do they think I am? Maybe we should just give up + go to @pastaworks
hedinthecloudz: When Jen makes pasta the way her Italian boyfriend's Italian mama taught her, she just mixes regular flour and an egg.
hedinthecloudz Also, Jen and I (when I help) always mess up and have to add water because we didn't mix the egg+flour quite right. Also fine
amigadehelado: are you making pasta by hand or by machine? Don't be afraid. You don't need semolina. I like egg and flour best anywayallisonejones: Making it by hand, worried that I've got people coming over and it'll take too long and/or be a total gummy disaster...
amigadehelado I use the Babbo basic recipe. Once you get going, pasta rolling goes fast. Stuffed pastas harder. + you have panna cottaallisonejones: I was just informed that pasta has been found to reduce stress and anxiety. Nice try, internets. I've still got the #pastanxiety real bad.
amigadehelado: I say go for it. Effort means more to me than perfection when someone is actually cooking for MEallisonejones: Stay tuned for live tweeting of Pasta Fiasco 2k10, starting @ 6! Keyboard will be covered w/ flour+eggs, but I'll need support. #pastanxiety
allisonejones I've heard of using guitar strings to cut pasta. I wonder if Sam Cooper would mind me using the guitar he left in my apartment. #pastanxiety
foxtotally: this #pastanxiety endeavor of yours sounds like a Haruki Murakami nightmare. Are you the only participant?allisonejones: @foxtotally Nope, I've got a fellow pasta neophyte tackling the endeavor conmigo. It was her dammed idea. Luckily she's not on Twitter. [after-the-fact edit: Alix, don't buy all my twitternonsense. It was fun! I don't think it was a bad idea, and we had a great night. But my fears were TOTALLY warranted, admit it...]
foxtotally: Throw a couple wet ones against the wall and Twitpic what it spells! #pastanxietyallisonejones: I don't even know if homemade pasta sticks to walls! How do I know when it's done!?! It cooks too quickly to have time to check!
foxtotally: My guess is that it forms the likeness of a minotaur #pastanxiety
allisonejones: If the homemade pasta fails tonight, I've a free delivery coupon from @pdxpedpow as Plan B. Man the phones dudes, who knows what'll happen.
allisonejones: My horoscope says to take "reasonable risks" today. "If you can consult with an expert you should do well." Help! I need a pasta expert!
allisonejones: I'm so ready. Homemade pasta, here we come. Checkout my bowl, BOWL:
allisonejones: OK guys, here we go. Dumping cups of flour on my dining room table, which is making my OCD itch uncomfortably. #pastanxiety
allisonejones: Cracking eggs into said flour and preparing to "mix as if mixing cement" whatever that means. Bright yolks make me a lil less anxious.
allisonejones: Mixmixmixmixmix... hey it's kind of working and isn't chasing me like a raptor. But the eggs are spilling everywhereohgodtheeggsareEVERYWHEREohgod...
allisonejones: Doesn't seem very elastic... adding more water... more oil? Ugh. Don't want a #pastafail
amigadehelado: After you mix/knead it's gonna need to rest before it becomes elastic.allisonejones: Letting it rest... do I knead more afterwards? #pastanxiety
amigadehelado: Nah, you don't want to work the gluten too much esp. since you still need to roll it.allisonejones: Ok, rolling it out... it's not getting very thin. Not worrying too much about it as I'm frying up bacon, onions, mushrooms and fresh peas.
allisonejones: Ok, water's boiling, here we go! 2 minutes... oh wait, it stopped boiling. BLAH. #pastanxiety
allisonejones: So, it's totally, ridiculously, chewy. Think it was too thick but it TASTES like pasta...
allisonejones: OK: Pasta is pretty chewy, but the sauce is phenomenal (because it's cream and bacon and peas, duh.) so it's not a total #pastafail
So that happened and now I never ever have to do it again. It's like canning and real gardening - I'll leave that stuff to people who really love it, and I'll keep eating my salads and waxing poetic about vegetables and how much I love to cook when the fact is, when it comes down to it, I really just love chopping and mixing flavors and eating good, simple foods. Homemade pasta still totally scares me. Maybe if I had one of those attachments for my KitchenAid that rolls and flattens the pasta, but, honestly, I can get such good, fresh pasta at the farmers' market and not have days like today where I stress about kneading flour and eggs for hours before I actually do it. I just don't get the appeal.
Actually, I think the real answer is going to Italy and having some Nonna teach me how to do it correctly. Yep, that's a good plan. Until then, I'm gonna let my jaw rest and get over the chewy semi-disaster that was Pastagate 2010. Thanks for not unfollowing me, everyone. You're real troopers.
Also, let the record state that, once again, bacon makes everything better and good friends make culinary failures kind of fun. Plus, there's always dessert.