A recipe for fun!
- Teach your kids how to cook
- Reinforce skills like reading, math, science, following directions, and hand-eye coordination
- End up with inexpensive gifts
Hoping for some help with gift giving this holiday season? Wrangle your kids into some homemade gift projects and call it skill-building! We’ll show you how, with this easy-enough-for-a-12-year-old homemade cheesy pasta recipe. If your kids are younger, they can always “help” and will still feel proud and accomplished when they see their name on the charming label!
How are we (you) getting away with calling it skill building? This project can help reinforce skills like reading, following instructions, cooking, hand-eye coordination and hand and forearm strength. Not to mention the impressive, life-long dinner party trick of making homemade pasta!
This recipe works best if you have two things: a dehydrator and a little experience rolling out dough. When it comes to the rolled out pasta, don’t worry about imperfections. Hand rolled pasta has a way of capturing and conveying its maker’s personality and love.
Smaller mixing bowl
Large flatish spoon or a firm spatula
Clean, smooth surface for rolling out dough
Food dehydrator OR a shallow dish AND a thin cloth, like a tea towel, large enough to cover the shallow dish
Small food processor, electric spice grinder, or a clean coffee grinder
Large cello bags (for pasta)
Small cello bags (for cheese powder)
Labels (pictured here are shapes 07, 33 text and 38 in the Apothecary Graphic style in orange)
- 3 ¼ cups All purpose flour
- 4 Eggs
- Extra flour
- Pasta Instructions:
- Whisk the eggs together in a small mixing bowl using a fork or a whisk.
- Place the flour in a larger mixing bowl and use a spoon to make a large well in the middle of the flour.
- Pour the eggs into the well in the flour and slowly combine the flour with the eggs.
- After the egg and flour are fully mixed,
- if the dough is very sticky you may need to add a little more flour;
- if the dough is very dry and not holding together, you may need to add a small amount of water.
- Lightly dust your clean rolling surface with flour, and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
- Dust the dough with flour, and place it in a sealable plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Place the dough in the fridge for 1 – 12 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and form it into four equal balls. Set aside one ball and cover the rest again.
- Evenly dust your clean rolling surface with a thin layer of flour.
- Place one dough ball in the middle of the surface and dust the top of the dough with more flour.
- Begin rolling out the dough with the rolling pin.
- Every so often, add more flour to the top of the dough, flip your sheet of dough over, and add more flour to the top again. This will help keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or to your rolling surface.
- Roll out the dough as thinly you can.
- Once your dough is as thin as possible, dust it with flour again on both sides, then gently roll the dough into a loose roll.
- Slice the roll crosswise into ¼ or ½ inch widths. Gently toss these with another light dusting of flour.
- Arrange the pasta strips into very loose nests the size of a 12-year-old’s fist. Place them on a shallow dish or on a dehydrator sheet.
- Repeat steps 8-15 with the other balls of dough.
- If you are using a dehydrator, dehydrate the pasta until it snaps when you break it.
- If you are not using a dehydrator, cover the shallow dish with a thin cloth and leave it in a warm dry environment (such as a very low temp oven or in front of a sunny window) until the pasta snaps when you break it.
- Once the pasta is dry, place the nests in equal amounts in 4 large cellophane bags, sealing each bag by folding down the top several times and securing it temporarily with a string or rubber band.
- 6 ounces of cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Grate the cheese.
- Dehydrate the cheese using the same setup that you used for the pasta.
- Use a paper towel to soak up oil from the drying cheese, as needed.
- Once completely dry, place the cheese in a food processor, spice grinder or a CLEAN coffee grinder, and grind into a fine powder.
- Add the salt and grind once more.
- Divide the cheese powder mixture equally into four small cellophane bags.
- Cut a few inches off the top of the cellophane bags with clean scissors.
- Fold down the top of the bag a couple times and secure it in place with a shape 38 label.
- Slip one of these packets of cheese powder into each of the packages of dried pasta.
- Place a text label with cooking instructions on the back of the pasta package to seal it closed.
- Deliver your gift with pride.
The text label pictured reads:|
One of the most popular dinner requests in our home is mac and cheese, of course! We learned how to make this delicious homemade version of boxed cheesy pasta and wanted to share it with you this season. Please enjoy before February and send compliments to chef Aaliya!
- Start by combining the cheese powder and 1/4 cup of milk to help the powder rehydrate.
- Boil 2 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Add the pasta and cook for 4-10 minutes, or until slightly firm to the bite.
- Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring gently over low heat until melted.
- Add the milk and cheese mixture and stir gently until you have pasta in a thick creamy sauce. Enjoy!