One Year Sfoglino

+++

A 365-day journey to becoming a Sfoglino

5/13/21Day 44 - Redemption

Day 44  of making pasta Day 44  of making pasta Day 44  of making pasta Day 44  of making pasta Day 44  of making pasta Day 44  of making pasta Day 44  of making pasta

Came back strong today. Skipped lunch and spent that time making pasta. I know — I'm insane. But it really bugged me I failed so hard yesterday. I dropped the hydration (prob too much) on the dough and that helped a lot. And while there is plenty of room for improvement still, today was a very respectable output.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 7
Pasta Shaping: 6
Taste: 7
Presentation: 0

Total: 27

5/12/21Day 43 - Humbling

Day 43  of making pasta Day 43  of making pasta Day 43  of making pasta Day 43  of making pasta

Like a washed up pitcher... I just didn't have the stuff today. The idea was to make hand-rolled fusilli and while my eyes and brain said, "Yeah I got this" my hands had other ideas. The dough was too wet today. That was part of the problem. But the bigger issue is me and my weak shaping. Days like this make me want to just give up. I barely mustered the strength to make a pathetic half empty tray of pasta. Sigh.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 3
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 3
Pasta Shaping: 2
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 8

5/11/21Day 42 - Garganelli Goodness

Day 42  of making pasta Day 42  of making pasta Day 42  of making pasta Day 42  of making pasta Day 42  of making pasta Day 42  of making pasta

Today I made a semolina and egg dough. Once again I think it was too dry and the dough fought me. I rolled a decent sfoglia, but tore the edges again. Need to work on that. Still, I managed to get some good garganelli out of the sheet. The pettine is just wonderful to work with. The texture it imbues on the pasta is so lovely and delicate. I cooked up a half dozen to taste them and they were pretty spot on. Happy.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 4
Sfoglia: 3
Pasta Cutting: 6
Pasta Shaping: 6
Taste: 6
Presentation: 0

Total: 25

5/10/21Day 41 - Tagliatelle Kinda

Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta Day 41  of making pasta

The dough really fought me today. Just didn't want to come together. And I really don't know why (bugs me I don't know why). Still with a little coaxing and resting, she came together. Rolled a decent sfoglia, but tore the edges (still my weak spot). I was sure the pasta wasn't going to come out well, but lo and behold it was pretty good. Definitely too dry, but salvageable. Happy with the results. Proud I powered through.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 4
Sfoglia: 3
Pasta Cutting: 6
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 6
Presentation: 0

Total: 19

5/9/21Day 40 - Rolling

Day 40  of making pasta Day 40  of making pasta Day 40  of making pasta Day 40  of making pasta Day 40  of making pasta Day 40  of making pasta Day 40  of making pasta

Made the dough yesterday. Rolled it today. One of my best rolls yet. I'm getting the hang of the swim method (I think). Still f'ing up the edges, but prob the best 'circle' I've made yet.

I do think the dough got too dry. I still have so many questions... on hydration, timing, thickness, chew, etc. But I feel I'm improving. Still, I'm not on a mission to make good pasta. I want to make the absolute very best pasta out there. So a long way to go and a lot more to learn.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 7
Pasta Cutting: 7
Pasta Shaping: 8
Taste: 6
Presentation: 0

Total: 35

5/7/21Day 39 - Time Is On My Side

Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta Day 39  of making pasta

Amazing what having time to take your time allows for. Vast improvement over yesterday. Pumped out some ravioli, farfalle, and garganelli. Very proud and pleased with today's effort.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 8
Sfoglia: 8
Pasta Cutting: 9
Pasta Shaping: 8
Taste: 9
Presentation: 0

Total: 42

5/6/21DAY 38 - Rush Hour

Day 38  of making pasta Day 38  of making pasta

Speed kills. I made a good dough today. Real good. But then I rather stupidly attempted to be ambitious and make ravioli... despite not really having the time to take my time. And thus, this happened. Overstuffed, poorly cut, and improperly hydrated ravioli. I did save half the filling and if I have more time tomorrow will give it another go and hope for better results.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 5
Pasta Cutting: 3
Pasta Shaping: 3
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 18

5/5/21DAY 37 - Stella Got Her Groove Back

Day 37  of making pasta Day 37  of making pasta Day 37  of making pasta Day 37  of making pasta

Much better day today. Nice dough. Good Sfoglia (not great). But overall very pleased. Went with fettucini for the wife. Double win.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 7
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 7
Presentation: 8

Total: 26

5/4/21DAY 36 - The Fourth Is Not With Me

Day 36  of making pasta Day 36  of making pasta Day 36  of making pasta Day 36  of making pasta

I was just not feeling it today, I'll be honest. I did muster the strength to make a semolina / water dough and practice a few shapes. My nemesis no less — the dreaded doughy cavatelli. I am happy to say they came out better than I've ever made. Overall though, I was busy and low energy today and the results show.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 5
Pasta Shaping: 5
Taste: 5
Presentation: 8

Total: 22

5/3/21DAY 35 - South Philly Classic

Day 35  of making pasta Day 35  of making pasta

The 12th and Synder crew would be proud of tonight's effort — all made from scratch. A classic spaghetti and meatballs in "gravy" as my grandpa South Philly would say (RIP Charlie Martin). Boy what great memories. I'm taken back to his row home every time I dive into a bowl of this. Nothing beats it (the homemade sourdough didn't hurt either).

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 0
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 8
Pasta Shaping: 8
Taste: 9
Presentation: 8

Total: 33

5/2/21Day 34 - Squeezing It In

Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta Day 34  of making pasta

Missed yesterday and even though today was jammed packed I didn't want to miss two days so I snuck in a late night big dough (1 kilo). I think it came out well. I rolled out half today and made pappardelle (wife's request). I'll cook it up tomorrow and roll and shape the other half as well. We'll see (Side note: It sucks I only think this dough will be good and I don't "know" it. I hope I get to that stage of knowing I nailed it).

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 8
Sfoglia: 7
Pasta Cutting: 8
Pasta Shaping: 8
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 31

4/30/21Day 33 - Flowing

Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta Day 33  of making pasta

A nice day making pasta today. The dough didn't come together as nicely as I would have liked, but I muscled her there. The sfoglia was decent and rolled out pretty well. I decided to hand cut some Linguine and was pretty happy with the results. Once again I rough cut the excess. I'm sure there is something better to do with that.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 7
Pasta Cutting: 8
Pasta Shaping: 8
Taste: 7
Presentation: 0

Total: 37

4/28/21Day 32 - Shapes

Day 32 of making pasta Day 32 of making pasta Day 32 of making pasta Day 32 of making pasta Day 32 of making pasta

I used half of my dough from yesterday to practice some shaping. Cavatelli is still my nemesis for sure. Though I'm happy to say my orecchiette, strozzapreti, and one baby lorighitta came out decent.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 0
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 5
Pasta Shaping: 5
Taste: 5
Presentation: 0

Total: 15

4/28/21Day 31 - F*cking Cavatelli

Day 31 of making pasta Day 31 of making pasta Day 31 of making pasta Day 31 of making pasta Day 31 of making pasta

Seriously. F*ck Cavatelli. You'd think something supposedly a four year old could make with their eyes closed wouldn't be my achilles heel, but dammit if it is. I just can't seem to shape simple cavatelli properly without them tasting "doughy". It's totally my shaping I know. They are too puffy. I can make Malloreddus just fine and even my orecchiette is improving dramatically. But, cavatelli is killing me.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 5
Pasta Shaping: 5
Taste: 6
Presentation: 0

Total: 23

4/26/21Day 30 - Dare I Say It?

Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta Day 30  of making pasta

I'm hesitant to say this — and I'm sure it's a healthy dose of beginner's luck — but I did it. I made absolutely delicious homemade pasta completely by hand. The dough was spot on, the sfoglia was a decent looking circle, the thickness was even, and the cuts were near perfect pappardelle (thanks trusty ruler). It almost felt too good to be true. Then I cooked it up and the taste, texture, and bite were all there. I think I may have cried a little tear of joy. Then another little sadness tear, because I'm not sure I can reproduce it. But for a hot minute we did people.

PS: I made some maltagliati from the trimmings and will toss that in a soup. Yum

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 9
Sfoglia: 8
Pasta Cutting: 9
Pasta Shaping: 9
Taste: 9
Presentation: 0

Total: 44

4/24/21Day 29 - Buono!

Day 29  of making pasta Day 29  of making pasta Day 29  of making pasta Day 29  of making pasta Day 29  of making pasta Day 29  of making pasta

I love when I have time to take my time. It makes a difference. My dough was solid. The sfoglia rolled nicely and the cutting and shaping all came out well (granted it was fairly straightforward fettucini). This really was the first time I've gone start to finish and not screwed up a step. Felt good. Tasted great. Progress!

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 8
Sfoglia: 6
Pasta Cutting: 8
Pasta Shaping: 8
Taste: 8
Presentation: 0

Total: 38

4/23/21Day 28 - Back!

Day 28  of making pasta Day 28  of making pasta Day 28  of making pasta Day 28  of making pasta Day 28  of making pasta Day 28  of making pasta Day 28  of making pasta

Hi there. Sorry for being MIA for three days. The One Year sadly had to have a tooth removed (ouchie!) and I've been out of it! Down a tooth, but back at it.

Last we left off I was busy making doughy pasta and I was really bummed about that. Today I dropped the hydration to 45% with my semolina/water dough and I'm very happy to report the pasta was much improved. It was still easy to work with and shape and way less doughy. Win.

Oh — I'm also trying to use the olive oil and cover with bowl technique (just like an Italian Nonna!) to avoid using plastic. Worked well!

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 8
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 7
Taste: 8
Presentation: 0

Total: 23

4/19/21Day 27 - Classic

Day 27  of making pasta Day 27  of making pasta Day 27  of making pasta

Got the dough dialed in. Feel good about that. The fam wanted spaghetti, it was late, and I didn't want to mess it up, so made spaghetti with the machine (gasp!). It was fantastic. Excited. Def getting better. Now I just need to apply that to my sfoglia and hand cutting/shaping. One step at a time.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 8
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 8
Presentation: 0

Total: 16

4/18/21Day 26 - Cavatelli and Orecchiette

Day 26  of making pasta Day 26  of making pasta Day 26  of making pasta Day 26  of making pasta Day 26  of making pasta

I'm trying really hard to just get a simple semolina and water dough right. Today I went with 49% hydration. At first that felt "dry" but ultimately after kneading and resting it was pretty spot on. The dough was legit.

I rolled cavatelli with the kids (fun).. so we had a little variety in size and shape, but they came out really well. I practiced making orecchiette and the women of Bari would laugh at me. I definitely need more practice. They were uneven and thick for sure. Tasted great though. Overall a success, but much room for improvement.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 6
Pasta Shaping: 4
Taste: 6
Presentation: 3

Total: 26

4/16/21Day 25 - In The Spaghetti Zone

Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta Day 25  of making pasta

Straight egg and Tipo 00 dough today. And boy did she come out nice. Supple, silky, with some life-affirming bubbles. I split the dough into two because I wanted to run a test. With half I rolled a sfogilia and then hand cut spaghetti. The other half I rolled through the machine and spaghetti cutter.

I'm looking to understand and "feel" the difference between my hand done pasta and the machined pasta. Overall I was pleased with my hand-rolled, hand-cut spaghetti but it was inconsistent. And that's on me. The machined pasta was obviously much more uniform and ultimately that led to a better eating experience. Not necessarily better tasting... just more of an even cook and feel. Still, I feel like I'm improving and registered my highest score yet.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 5
Pasta Cutting: 6
Pasta Shaping: 6
Taste: 7
Presentation: 0

Total: 31

4/15/21Day 24 - Rigatoni Fail(ish)

Day 24  of making pasta Day 24  of making pasta

Made a semolina, tipo, water and egg dough. Then I decided to try to make rigatoni with the KitchenAid. Little did I know that the hydration level needs to be way less for extruded pasta. Fun times! (Not). The taste is there, and remarkably I actually got some decent looking rigatoni on the tray. And while they tasted ok they were doughy and mushy after cooking up a batch. Prob needed to let them air dry more, too. Lessons learned.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 1
Pasta Shaping: 2
Taste: 4
Presentation: 0

Total: 13

4/14/21Day 23 - Lasagna

Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta Day 23 of making pasta

Rolled out yesterday's dough and my sfoglia was actually half decent. I think. Made a little agnolotti for practice, but with the bulk of it I decided to make lasagna noodles. Bonus: Dinner is already made.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 0
Sfoglia: 5
Pasta Cutting: 7
Pasta Shaping: 7
Taste: 6 (tested noodles)
Presentation: 5

Total: 30

4/12/21Day 21 - Quick Hit

Day 21  of making pasta Day 21  of making pasta Day 21  of making pasta

Not much time today. Made a quick semolina and water dough. Came together nicely. A bit too nicely and think I over-hydrated just a bit. Dough stuck to the plastic wrap. But, then again I could have just wrapped it a bit too tightly, because when I rolled the ropes for cavatelli they came out quite nicely. Won't have time to cook this today probably. I'm stockpiling pasta at an alarming rate!!! Ha ha

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 4
Pasta Shaping: 5
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 15

4/11/21Day 20 - Whoops, But Yes!

Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta Day 20  of making pasta

I missed yesterday (family plans at the NYBG). I also wasted some dough I had in the fridge. And that bums me out. But alas, I rolled a new dough today and the practice was worth it. Came out nice. My sfogilia was a bit of a hot mess of an oval, but got the thickness pretty even. Pleased there, too.

My kids wanted Farfalle and I needed the shaping practice so double win. My shaping was much improved and I'm happy to report the folds were not chewy or thick tonight after cooking. Kids gave it an 8.8! (I'm a tougher graders on myself).

I made some pappardelle for myself. I'll eat it later this week. That also gave me some practice drying and freezing pasta.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 3
Pasta Cutting: 4
Pasta Shaping: 5
Taste: 6
Presentation: 0

Total: 24

4/9/21Day 19 - Comfort Food.

Day 19  of making pasta Day 19  of making pasta

Two things:

1/ I'll be honest I didn't have the energy to roll out a sfoglia today. Nor did I want to hand cut it. I just wanted a good god damn Friday night comfort bowl of delicious spaghetti, so I broke out the Kitchen Aid. Sue me.

2/ The other reason (honestly) was I wanted to make sure my dough was good. I was 99% sure it was and most of my issues are arising from me rolling and shaping by hand. And I was right. This pasta was fantastic. Again, this is good news! The early steps of the process are solid. I just need to work on the later ones.

Bonus PS: That's some tasty sourdough pizza dough proofing nicely in the background for tomorrow night!

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 0
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 9
Presentation: 5

Total: 14

4/8/21Day 18 - Go Big Or Go Home.

Day 18  of making pasta Day 18  of making pasta Day 18  of making pasta Day 18  of making pasta Day 18  of making pasta

Made a bigger batch of dough and bumped up the water ratio to 60% in hopes to catch some more air (LIFE!). I "think" it came out better, but really who am I kidding at this point I have no idea. We'll see. I'll roll these puppies out in the next two days and find out!

PS: Excuse the terrible wrapping job... I need to get wider plastic! On the list.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 6

4/7/21Day 17 - Damn Sam. So Close.

Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta Day 17  of making pasta

Today I used yesterday's dough that I didn't have time to roll. Overall I was super pleased with today's effort. Everything felt "right". The dough had lots of life. Wonderful bubbles and tiny little life-affirming pops as I rolled out the sfoglia. The roll went well. And so did the cutting.

I felt ambitious and went for triangoli. My cuts were nice and even. Pretty sure I overstuffed them a bit. But was feeling good. Real good. I hand cut a few traditional ravioli as well. They looked quite nice, too. I had one extra sheet of dough so I practiced making Farfalle. And damn if they didn't look perfect.

But... there's always a but, my folds or I suppose my double layers were off. And once I cooked everything up it showed. The were thick and chewy. At first I was bummed. Then I realized I knew exactly what I did wrong (even though I don't know how to properly fix it — yet) and I take that as a victory actually. My mistakes are happening later and later in the process, so I see that as a big improvement. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm making progress. And that's the name of the game! I was so happy I decided to even try and plate a bit tonight.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 5
Pasta Cutting: 7
Pasta Shaping: 3
Taste: 4
Presentation: 5

Total: 31

4/6/21Day 16 - Felt Good.

Day 16  of making pasta Day 16  of making pasta Day 16  of making pasta

No time to roll and shape pasta today (bummer). But made what feels like a good dough. Caught some air. Came together nicely. Hopeful! We'll make some ravioli out of this tomorrow and will report back.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 6

4/5/21Day 15 - Back With A Bang!

Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta Day 15  of making pasta

I'm back after a week away and I have to say I was super excited to get going again. I thought for sure I'd do terrible not having made dough in a week, but honestly it came out great. I still need to capture more air (LIFE!) but, overall, not too shabby. Very happy with today's effort. Kids (and even the wife) were impressed too!

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 4
Pasta Cutting: 3
Pasta Shaping: 3
Taste: 6
Presentation: 2

Total: 22

3/27/21Day 14 - Eggcellent!

Day 14 of making pasta Day 14 of making pasta Day 14 of making pasta

What a difference a day makes! I finally cracked 20 points! I actually used a @marcvetri egg dough recipe today. And I have to say it came out fairly decent and I'm really glad because I didn't feel like wasting 9 egg yolks. I made pappardelle. I followed @evanfunke suggestion for 9 post-it note thickness. And even rolled one on the machine at 2/3 setting as per Marc's rec. Both felt too thick to me in the end. I'm sure it's the right width and something was off with my dough. Overall though I really took my time today. Had fun with it. And while it seems silly I do think the pasta benefitted from me being in a much better mood. It's like I imbued it with positivity today. We both needed it.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 5
Sfoglia: 1
Pasta Cutting: 4
Pasta Shaping: 4
Taste: 5
Presentation: 1

Total: 20

3/26/21Day 13 - Fudge

Day 13 of making pasta Day 13 of making pasta Day 13 of making pasta Day 13 of making pasta

Tried an egg dough today. Sadly took a big step back. Man this is frustrating. And kinda humiliating. It seems so simple. It's not. I just don't have the 'feel' at all. Dough came out ok, but I think I added too much Semolina at the end so the cut pasta didn't stick (a problem I've repeatedly had). Taste was off. Felt dense and gummy at the same time. Damn. I'm not gonna quit, but man I sure feel like it.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 3
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 1
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 2
Presentation: 0

Total: 6

3/25/21Day 12 - Not Too Shabby

Day 12 of making pasta Day 12 of making pasta Day 12 of making pasta Day 12 of making pasta

Today was a Tipo 00 and Semolina blend with water. I made some orecchiette, cavatelli, and hand-cut spaghetti. I'd say the dough was just a touch over hydrated. Overall the taste was decent, and the shaping was not horrible. Long way to go, but a solid day. I'll take it.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 5
Sfoglia: 1
Pasta Cutting: 1
Pasta Shaping: 3
Taste: 5
Presentation: 0

Total: 15

3/24/21Day 11 - Solid Effort

Day 11 of making pasta Day 11 of making pasta Day 11 of making pasta

Today I made a semolina and water dough. Mostly because I wanted to try making orecchiette. Overall the dough turned out well. I didn't think it was hydrated enough, and yet after it rested it was definitely over-hydrated (the plastic wrap stuck). Still, it was workable. My orecchiette was pretty good. It was clearly too thick and too big, but tasty. Getting there!

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 4
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 2
Pasta Shaping: 2
Taste: 4
Presentation: 0

Total: 12

3/23/21Day 10 - Better!

Day 10 of making pasta Day 10 of making pasta

Progress! After a way-too-dry dough followed by a way-too-wet dough I was aiming for that Goldilocks just right today. I think I kinda got there. I thought the dough was too dry to be honest, but after resting for two hours it softened up nicely and came out really well. I made a quick bowl of linguine and the taste was there too. Still not great, but definitely the best I've made so far.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 5
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 5
Presentation: 0

Total: 10

3/22/21Day 9 - Wet Clump

Day 9 of making pasta

Man I felt good about this dough. It seemed to come together so nicely. Turns out that's because it was way too hydrated. Sort of the inverse of yesterday. Poop. Man I'm ready to just give up. Who knew flour and eggs would be so damn hard. The only saving grace is the "taste" is kinda there. But the texture is way, way off.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 2
Sfoglia: 1
Pasta Cutting: 1
Pasta Shaping: 1
Taste: 4
Presentation: 0

Total: 9

3/21/21Day 8 - Dry Turd

Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta Day 8 of making pasta

Bad news the dough came out really dry today. Good news I knew it was too dry. Still moved forward. Came out meh.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 2
Sfoglia: 1
Pasta Cutting: 1
Pasta Shaping: 1
Taste: 2
Presentation: 1

Total: 8

3/20/21Day 7 - Family Approved

Day 7 of making pasta Day 7 of making pasta Day 7 of making pasta Day 7 of making pasta

My wrap sprung a leak, and a section of dough got hard, but cut that off and rolled out yesterday's dough anyway. Came out pretty well. The new wood counter space helps a lot. A lot.

The bicicletta helped too. Though I didn't press quite hard enough. Still, not bad for the first time using one.

My daughter helped with the shapes. We made garganelli and sorpresine. They were pretty bad, but fun to try. And while they didn't look great, the dough turned out pretty tasty. So overall nice little victory.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 0
Sfoglia: 2
Pasta Cutting: 1
Pasta Shaping: 1
Taste: 6
Presentation: 1

Total: 11

3/19/21Day 6 - Sweet New Set-Up

Day 6 of making pasta Day 6 of making pasta Day 6 of making pasta Day 6 of making pasta Day 6 of making pasta Day 6 of making pasta

Check out my new set up! Gotta say it's pretty great. Makes a big difference. More space to work the dough. And I can break it down in minutes.

It feels like the dough came out pretty well today. Just Tipo 00 and water. I took a break again between kneading to let Father Time help. Enjoyed a cup of tea during the rest.

No time to roll it out or shape today, so it's going in the fridge for tomorrow.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 4
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste: 0
Presentation: 0

Total: 4

3/18/21Day 5 - Dough Not Worry

Day 5 of making pasta Day 5 of making pasta Day 5 of making pasta Day 5 of making pasta

As I come to release every mistake you enter into the process just compounds I'm dialing back my effort to focus on getting the dough right. And today I'm happy to say my dough was better.

A few notes: I did a 3:1 ratio of Tipo 00 to Semolina (like how Marc Vetri does). It worked well. The dough came together nicely. I also let time help me. I kneaded for about 3-5 mins then let the dough rest for 15-20 mins, then kneaded again for another 5 mins or so. Dough came out with a nice velvet texture. It felt a touch too smooth. And I don't think I captured enough air.

I made cavatelli from it. And — GASP!!! — ran a sheet or two through a pasta machine to make some quick spaghetti for a hungry wife. The cavatelli were still too "dense" and doughy, but the spaghetti was spot on. So there is clearly something going on with my own hand shaping. Need to work on that.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 6
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 1
Taste: 3
Presentation: 2

Total: 12

3/17/21Day 4 - Going Backward.

Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta Day 4 of making pasta

Today was crap. I got to making my pasta late and I ruined the kneading stage. Dough came out really rubbery. I can't even seem to get past the dough stage and I gotta be honest it's disheartening. On a positive note I listened to Radiohead and I got a spray bottle. The latter didn't help.

I didn't even bother rolling a sfoglia. It would have just been a waste because the dough was "off". So I made cavatelli. The dough was dense and kinda rubbery, but edible.

I decided to make chicken parm because I make it really well and I needed to feel positive about my cooking skills. That came out perfect thank God.

PS: My bicicletta arrived late today. I will try it tomorrow.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 2
Sfoglia: 0
Pasta Cutting: 0
Pasta Shaping: 1
Taste: 1
Presentation: 0

Total: 4 (Sigh)

3/16/21Day 3 - Not Bad.

Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta Day 3 of making pasta

I'm sticking with making Strozzapreti out of sfoglia di acqua e farina. I definitely need a lot more practice so why not get better at this basic one first.

My dough turned out better than yesterday, but it "felt" worse when I was making it. Once again confirming I currently possess zero feel for the dough. I hope that will come.

The good news is I picked up some plastic wrap and I think that made a noticeable difference wrapping and resting the dough. My sfogilia was meh. It's a circle, but the thickness is not even and my technique is nonexistent. I'm muscling the dough, not coaxing it. Hopefully that will come, too.

My shaping was better, but still quite bad. I tried a few other shapes too with the the last bit of dough. The taste wasn't bad actually. My kids said it was bland... but then again I'm serving them flour and water out of a pot. So yeah, it's gonna be pretty bland. Finalizing dishes and working on presentation isn't really on my radar yet. That's down the road. For now I'm focused on getting the dough right.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 5
Sfoglia: 2
Pasta Cutting: 3
Pasta Shaping: 2
Taste: 5
Presentation: 0

Total: 17

3/15/21Day 2 - TL;DR Good start. Long way to go.

Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta Day 2 of making pasta

I read through the entire 'American Sfoglino'. Then read it again. (told you I'm obsessive). And based on the book I chose to start where every student at La Vecchia Scuola starts by making Strozzapreti which is made with Tipo 00 and just water (Sfoglia di acqua e farina). It's a more forgiving dough. Plus, c'mon Strozzapreti translates into priest stranglers! What fun!

Overall I have to say it came out decent. From the pics you can see I started quite strong. And the dough came together rather nicely. I even think I managed to incorporate some air and life into the first knead. Then things kinda went downhill from there. And I'm already learning that once a mistake is made it compounds with each successive step. The dough didn't "feel" right to me on the second knead. But then again I don't really know what it should "feel" like. It certainly didn't feel as silky or flowy as the first knead. I think it needed a touch more hydration.

After it rested for two hours, it did feel tacky though. I think that's good. I don't know. I don't have a large wood surface to roll out my sfoglia (I'm getting one). And I don't have a mattarello either (one is on the way). Nor did I have a bicicletta to evenly cut strips. I didn't even have plastic wrap today! So I got a bit flustered if I'm being honest... but forged ahead.

Shaping the pasta was definitely my weakest stage. The Strozzapreti were a coiled mess. I currently have zero touch in that department. And the dough didn't do anything I wanted it to do. I trust and hope that develops with time.

Scores (out of 10):

Dough Shaping: 7
Sfoglia: 2
Pasta Cutting: 3
Pasta Shaping: 0
Taste 4:
Presentation: 0

Total: 16

3/14/21Day 1: Il libro è arrivato

photo of Evan Funke's cookbook American Sfoglino

I'm on a journey to make perfect homemade pasta. I'm not interested in making "good" homemade pasta. I want to make pasta that makes you stop for a second and catch your breath and your inner voice says "Holy shit give me more of that".

I've had it a few times in my life here in NY. At 'da Toscano' and 'Lilia' and at 'Torrisi' before it closed. There's 'Vetri' and my happiest place on earth 'Palizzi Social Club' in Philly. And 'Felix' in LA (more on that later).

And of course there was that once in a lifetime experience I had in Sovicille, Italy eating homemade pappardelle with wild boar ragu in a local's backyard as the sun set behind the Tuscan hills.

But I never thought to myself, I should learn how to do that. I suppose I always thought I'm not a chef so I can't. But then something changed. I went down a rabbit hole of "how to make homemade pasta" and came across Evan Funke. He's maniacal about pasta. He'll tell you that himself. The weird thing was I never connected Evan to Felix and should have (my bad). Anyway, I watched the documentary on him. Study his videos and bought his book (pictured). And I'm itching to go. But to make perfect pasta — by hand mind you — I know it's going to take a lot of practice. So I'm committing to making pasta every day for one year. I know that sounds a bit obsessive, but anyone who knows me, knows I am obsessive and compulsive so that suits me.

I'll be posting pics, updates, and rating my pasta daily. Here's to a fun year of pasta making.

+ LOAD MORE