To see why making spaghetti with my students is related to all my previous posts about school gardens and eating vegetables, first check out this classic video:
Joking aside, I think that making things from scratch is important no matter what the final product – clothing, salsa, salad, or dessert. Spaghetti and pasta are foods that students eat often but rarely stop to consider where they come from. Does pasta start from a seed in the ground like a carrot? Given society’s disconnect with our food system, this isn’t such a silly question.
Even though we didn’t start from wheat grains, we gained a much better idea about how pasta is made and how fun it can be to make things ourselves. After a few test batches, I settled on a simple egg noodle recipe using regular white bread flour. Our twenty students split into four groups, each of which independently followed the steps below, resulting in a quadrupled recipe. The process was nice because there were enough quick steps for everyone to participate and stay engaged.
1) Wash hands and sit with your team.
2) Beat two eggs, 1/4 cup water, and 2 tsp. olive oil together in a small bowl.
3) Measure 1 3/4 cups flour into a mixing bowl.
4) Pour the egg mixture over the flour and mix, starting with your fork, and then using your hands.
6) Using the rollers of a pasta machine at the widest setting, roll a piece of dough through. Then at a medium thing setting, roll through again. It may get long, requiring you to chop it in half. Finally, using the egg noodle setting, roll the thinned dough through one last time to make noodles (You can also use a rolling pin and knife to do these steps without a pasta machine). Repeat until all dough is used.
7) Let the pasta boil in a large pot of salted water for 2-5 minutes. We boiled a batch each time a decent sized pile accumulated by the pasta machine. Drain and toss with olive oil, pesto, or sauce (my pesto recipe is at the bottom of this blog post). We also added shredded cheese on top.
8) Sit down and enjoy as a group.
We got great reviews and had plenty of stories to tell our parents at the end of the day. Try it yourself – this recipe really was kid tested and approved!