My sister has quite the flock of chickens that are just beginning to lay eggs (note the rooster in the back over seeing his girls). Last week she brought up some eggs and since then I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with the motherload of eggs like she will be seeing in the coming weeks. You see, she has 26 very healthy hens. That’s a lot of eggs. Once they are all laying it could be up to 2 dozen a DAY. Hmmmm, what to do with that wonderful fresh egg bounty?
Make omelets, quiche, pudding, angelfood cake? Fry them, scramble them, poach them – aahh, Eggs Benedict. Eat them at every meal, sell them, give them away. The list goes on but how about something a little different?
Saturday I decided to try something new. I’d been thinking about it for a long time. Pasta, specifically ravioli, I was determined to make my own. I scoured the internet and watched way too much Diners, Driveins and Dives in preparation for this new gastronomic adventure. I bought a pasta machine and ravioli mold (all very on sale) as well as a bag of Perfect Pasta Flour from King Arthur. Then she brought up those eggs and I was ready.
After all of that prep I ended up using the recipe on the bag of flour (how can you go wrong with a recipe from King Arthur Flour?). Three cups of flour, four large eggs, very little water. Sue’s eggs are small so I used 5 eggs. Put it all into the mixer with the dough hook and let it mix. Well, for a couple minutes anyway. The dough is so dense that it really requires hand kneading, so I divided it in half and did so. Let it rest for 30 minutes then shape into anything you want.
Now I have to tell you that this didn’t really look like it was going to make much pasta – I had 4 dozen meatballs just waiting to be turned into filling. Sister Sue wanted to be part of this adventure and entered the kitchen in time to help – good thing because this is a 2 man job (they don’t tell you that anywhere). I started rolling out the dough a little at a time and was AMAZED at how pliable a dough this is. Stretches like crazy, does not fall apart. After the first dozen raviolis were made we decided to cut the meatballs in half since the first batch looked more like Chinese dumplings instead of the intended Italian pasta. Perfection!
We made 3 dozen raviolis. I also have a pasta cutter attachment with the pasta machine so we made linguini and then spaghetti. I had no where to dry it so we made piles to freeze. We had a delicious meal with a homemade sauce and put everything else in the freezer. It takes only 4 minutes to cook fresh linguine, the ravioli took 5 minutes and was amazingly good.
The question remains, what are we going to do with all of those eggs because this is what we made with only 5!