Serious food lovers take the responsibility of recommending foodie finds seriously. That’s why I feel compelled to bring to light the worst pasta I ever had, so that you can be spared the indignity of trying it yourself.
I made it.
It started with the intention of making something delicious while saving dough. The dish: spinach and wild mushroom ravioli from a Wolfgang Puck cookbook, tossed in brown butter, toasted hazelnuts and freshly-grated parm. How bad could it be?
Pretty bad, it turns out. Don’t try this at home.
It started with the making of the pasta dough, and using a hand-powered pasta machine to roll it thin.
|Rolling homemade pasta dough. As you can see, the dough
has picked up gear grease from the edges of the machine,
and it is being incorporated into the ravioli. Mmm.
Concurrently, we made a brown butter sauce, toasted hazelnuts, chopped herbs and minced garlic. About a pound of exotic mushrooms were chopped and sautéed with shallots and olive oil, as well as garlic and herbs. The kitchen was smelling delightful!
So far, so good.
|The mushroom ravioli stuffing. Looks good! Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Then, it all went wrong.
My arm was exhausted from turning the hand crank pasta machine. Sweat ran down my forehead and stained the back of my shirt. The dough refused to cooperate. It got stuck in the machine, so I cranked it in reverse to free it, folded it over, and tried again.
Suddenly, the internal mechanism of the machine refused to turn. It was like a stripped gear–try as I might, I could not get it to work again.
Keep in mind, this is about the third time I’ve used this pasta machine. In five years or so.
Plan b: rolling pin.
But my friend had none.
Plan c: we decided to try to press the pasta dough as thin as possible with our fists and fingers. With the bare minimum done, we hand cut the ravioli, stuffed them and pressed them closed with a fork.
Finally exhausted, we dropped the rather creative-looking ravioli into the sauce and waited for them to soften.
Meanwhile the sauce reduced, so we added more stock. It reduced again, to a thick, over-salted mess.
We finally gave up. The dough was simply too thick to cook through. My friend called it “pasta steak.”
Here is the result:
|Mmmm. Cough, cough. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
|Sure it looks good, but it was like penance. Next time, we’re going out for pasta.
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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations.
Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb