[J. saved our turkey bacon today by writing this post for us whist we all have brunch. Maybe time to make her an official member of the team?? -Eds.]

Several years ago my maternal grandmother gave my father a pasta making machine for a birthday present. My German grandma will just whip up a batch of egg noodles for a pot of soup at lunch. However, my Dad does not cook unless on manly excursions with his fishing rod or snowmobile. Well, to be fair, the guy can run a mean barbeque. Anyway, very conveniently I am now the proud owner of said pasta machine and I use it all the time. It has “Pasta Queen” written on the box but in our house we all start singing “Dancing Queen” when it is taken out of the cupboard. The great thing is that my four year old LOVES making pasta. There is always something so appealing to little kids about “helping” and “running the Dancing Queen” and “changing the attachments”. (Note the use of quotations as they are never truly helping, just making a big mess).

Cranking out the good stuff!

Cranking out the good stuff!

I have faithfully used the fresh pasta recipe from the May 2000 Special Edition “Tuscany” issue of Bon Appetit magazine with the help of my stand mixer. If you read the National Pizza Day blog, you’ll remember how much I dislike kneading and the stand mixer again gives you nice, smooth pasta dough.  Make sure you let it rest for at least an hour on the counter – that makes all the difference.

We usually make ravioli. Spinach with ricotta, garlic and parmesan is our favorite. Butternut squash with sage and goat cheese is another fave. I never put sauces on the pasta, just some brown butter and homemade garlic bread crumbs, salt, pepper and a sprinkling of parma or romano.