TASTE OF THE TOWN: Know your noodles and how to make them


A friend of mine who’s an excellent cook told me recently that she’d just made pasta for the first time. To which I wanted to say, “What were you waiting for, woman?”

If you, too, haven’t tried it, let me tell you homemade pasta is definitely worth the effort involved because it’s so much more tender — and yes, fresher — than anything, dried or fresh, you’re likely to find at the supermarket.

I made my first batches years ago, by hand with a rolling pin, which works pretty well if you have a lot of strength in your arms, which I don’t. I eventually gave up and bought an Atlas 150, a hand-cranked machine that rolls and cuts the pasta and has served me well over the years. I remember paying about $30 for mine; right now they’re available online for about $60 and up (and I’d recommend skipping the “and up” sellers, of courset), which is still a bargain considering how long mine has lasted.

My friend said she used a roller attachment for her KitchenAid mixer and cut them by hand. A few years ago I bought a pasta extruder for my KitchenAid (and the required meat grinder to go with it) and I still like my old Atlas machine best.

What this all is leading up to is the 00 flour that Richard Knapp (no relation) is looking for, and which can be used in pizza, pasta or whatever. You can use all-purpose flour for any of these, but yes, the fine-milled 00 will turn out a superior product.

JoAnn Pellegrino reported finding it at Siena Italian Authentic Trattoria and Deli, 9500 W. Sahara Ave., where she said she gets the red bag for pizza and the blue bag for baking. And Jane Karadbil emailed that she gets her 00 flour from www.FornoBravo.com (800-407-5119), adding that she orders multiple packages and freezes them in order to get the most out of the shipping costs. …

For Mike Hall, who’s looking for Fisher Dry Roasted Peanuts, Rob Lindley reported finding them at the commissary at Nellis Air Force Base, if Hall has commissary privileges or knows someone who does. “I have not seen them elsewhere,” Lindley added. …

And Naomi Plisky, who said she’s been looking for a “real” hamburger since the Thunderbird closed down years ago on East Tropicana Avenue, emailed to recommend the one at The Bar @ Tropicana and Durango, 4705 S. Durango Drive, adding, “They can count me in as a regular!”

READER REQUESTS

Speaking of pasta: Bob Collins of Fort Mohave, Ariz., is looking for pappardelle, either fresh or dry. …

Delores Bruce is looking for Kluski noodles. …

Patricia Ashmore is looking for a local source for Mollinari San Francisco Dry Salame. …

Hugh O’Neal is looking for a source of walleye pike, fresh or frozen. …

And Joe Twaronite is looking for a local source of Krakus Imported Deli Polish Ham, which he said Albertsons recently discontinued.

Readers?

Submit information to Heidi Knapp Rinella, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070. You also can send faxes to 383-4676 or email her at hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Include your first and last names and, if emailing, put “Taste of the Town” in the subject line. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.