Pasta is something we eat a lot more of during the summer at Chez Cheepie. Given I hate to turn the oven on at all, and Mr. Cheepie owns the grill, I find it’s simplest to cook things that are quick on the stove: stir-frys and pastas get heavy rotation during the warm months.
I’ve got an old Atlas pasta roller (thank you wedding registry of the 1990s), which makes homemade pasta simple. There are a lot of recipes that will tell you you don’t have to have one, you can just roll it out by hand. Those people have more skills than me. And more upper body strength. Neither of those is hard to accomplish, but if you’re like me keep an eye out at thrift stores and you’ll find a machine for about $25. Or you could get married, and register for one, but that comes with a lot more compromise than Savers demands of its customers.
Breakdown of cost for batch of pasta:
18 eggs= $ 1.69
2 c flour 20 cents
3 eggs 28.2 cents
So for under 50c, I’ve got a tasty batch of pasta that is plenty for 5 sides. It could also be a main dish if you added some random leftover meats & vegetables and gave it a toss with some oil and garlic over some heat.
Yes, it’s work. But these kids have to do something and they’ve started to notice that Pick Up This Crap is not as exciting of a game as I’ve made it out to be. Especially when you get to the upper levels. Rolling out pasta on the machine is like edible play-doh happy hour!
Given I use this method, using a food processor, it all comes together pretty quickly. Whirl up dough and knead for about a minute. Then the dough rests for 30 min, which is helpfully enough time for you to figure out what else your band of heathens deserve for dinner. Then put a pot of water on to boil, roll out the noodles, and get them cooked.
Yes, you can buy noodles for twice the cost and they’re still cheap. Yes, time is money. If you’ve got some time, though, it’s a fun frugal way to make delicious pasta.