Back to Basics Pasta Making with the Roma by Weston Traditional Style Pasta Machine

 While I am in love with the Roma by Weston Electric Pasta Machine, I pryed my flour-covered hands off of it last night in exchange for a night in the olden days. A lot of people prefer a manual machine to an electric one. It's true, there is something strangely beautiful about using a steel bodied hand crank pasta maker. It gives you an unexplainable credibility to use one. I feel like I'm now in some secret authentic pasta making club now that I've done it.

As always, I started out by covering my entire table in Semolina. I clamped the Roma by Weston 6" Pasta Machine to my cutting board and got to cranking. I am all about being seasonal and so I just had to make Pumpkin Ravioli.

I really think there's two approaches to this dish. One is to make it savory and the other is to make it sweet. I think it's good both ways, but as an obvious lover of dessert pastas, I like a Pumpkin Ravioli that doesn't run too far away from pumpkin pie but is still dinnertime fare. I opened up my spice cabinet and debated. On one shelf was the bay leaves, sage, and thyme, on another was the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. I just love pumpkin too much not to season it in an intuitive way. I grabbed the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and left the sage to Wolfgang Puck.

I sifted the Semolina with the spices and made my usual egg based pasta dough. I let the dough rest in a covered bowl.

To make my ravioli filling, I cubed a fresh pie pumpkin from my local farmers market and sauteed it in butter. Once it was soft, I poured it into the Roma by Weston Sauce Maker with some heavy whipping cream and cinnamon. I cooked down the remaining puree until it was thick enough.

I then hand-kneaded the dough a bit after it rested and then fed it into the machine. Once the sheets were rolled out, I cut the edges of the sheets with the cutting wheel. To make the ravioli, I attached the 2" Ravioli Cutter Attachment. My Pumpkin Ravioli Recipe explains how to use the attachment. The ravioli cooked in about four minutes.

Watch the video below to see the Roma by Weston Pasta Machine in action:

I decided to make a hazelnut flavored sauce to enhance my ravioli, so I simmered heavy whipping cream and Frangelico on low heat for 20 minutes. To finish the dish, I garnished it with crushed hazelnuts.

For my Pumpkin Ravioli with Frangelico Sauce recipe, click here.

I wanted to taste how my meat sauce from Sunday was holding up after I sealed it with the Weston Pro 2300 Vacuum Sealer, so I made lasagnette with the manual machine too. If you're not familiar with it, lasagnette is just a longer, skinnier version of lasagna noodles. My sauce was so flavorful, even more flavorful than I had remembered it from the beginning of the week, that I decided to make a basic pasta dough for the lasagnette. Click here for my basic pasta dough recipe.

The past week of pasta and sauce has been a lot of fun. It will take me a few hours to sweep all of the flour off my floor, and a few weeks to burn off the carbs, but it was all well worth it.
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