Making Fresh Pasta while camping in Colorado

I've been learning how to make pasta at home and decided to give it a go in the "wilderness." So, we are making fresh pasta while on a camping trip in Colorado. Camp is in the San Juan National Forest at an elevation of about 8,200 feet.

The dough bowl I'm using is made of mango wood. I bought it several years ago from a local market. The inside was a bit rough, so I sanded it smooth. The wood grain fluffs up a little bit with use, so about once a year I sand the inside of the bowl. The surface becomes so smooth that it feels soft. It's really nice. To help keep the wood from drying out, I coat it with olive oil.

Making fresh pasta takes time, at least it does for me, 'cause I'm not the fastest pasta maker. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time. 

The video below highlights the pasta making process, start to finish, including a bit about the mango wood dough bowl.



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I don't measure the ingredients, though I can give you some real close guesstimates.

For the two of us I use about:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour,
  • 1/4 cup of warm water,
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

The Process

Mix all the ingredients and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.

The air is pretty dry, so I covered the dough with a little olive oil. Time to let the dough rest for 20 minutes. The towel is to help keep it warm keep little creepy crawlies off the dough.

My working surface is an olive wood cutting board. It's not all that big of an area to roll out the dough, so the dough is separated into two parts.

I've decided to try a little experiment. When rolling out the first ball of dough, I'm not going to use much flour, because I wonder if that added flour makes the dough tough.

I try to cut the pasta to be about the width of linguini, but after it cooks, it's usually more fettuccine size.

When cutting the dough into pasta-width strips, I realize the importance of adding flour during the rolling. The sliced noodles are sticking to themselves.

With the second ball of dough, I'm lightly dusting during the rolling process. These cut noodles unroll much easier than the first batch.

For the meat and sauce, we are using Canadian bacon and basil pesto sauce. A little chopped garlic and olive oil is added too. I'm using one of my favorite pans on the planet - the Pinnacle pan. At home, peas are often added as well. We didn't have any peas in the cooler on this trip.

Fresh pasta only takes 2 to 5 minutes to cook, so while browning the ham and warming the sauce, Bill is heating the pasta water over the propane fire ring. When we moved the pasta water pot over to the stove, we lost the boil, so we moved it back to the fire ring.

After the pasta is cooked, back over the Firebox stove, the pasta, Canadian bacon and sauce are mixed and warmed together. We ended up with an edible concoction. Thank goodness. The company and the ambiance are pretty nice too.

Let us know what you think. I'm still learning and hoping to improve my technique, so all your input about what works best for you when making pasta is appreciated.



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making fresh pasta