The next film in this year’s 12 Days of Oscar series is the 1960 Oscar winner The Apartment. In the film, Bud Baxter (Jack Lemmon) allows his superiors at work to use his Upper West Side apartment for their extramarital affairs. He finds himself sharing a love interest, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), with personnel director Jeff Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). The Apartment won five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing (Story and Screenplay Written for the Screen), Best Art Direction, and Best Film Editing. The Apartment was nominated for five additional Oscars: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Lemmon who lost to Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Shirley MacLane who lost to Elizabeth Taylor for Butterfield 8), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jack Kruschen who lost to Peter Ustinov for Spartacus), Best Black and White Cinematography (lost to Sons and Lovers) and Best Sound (lost to The Alamo).
In The Apartment, Bud makes spaghetti for Fran and ever the sterotypical bachelor he doesn’t have a strainer and so he strains the spaghetti with a tennis racket. “You’re pretty good with that racket!” Fran tells Bud, to which he replies “Wait ’til you see me serve the meatballs!” While I recommend more conventional ways for straining pasta, making your own pasta doesn’t have to be completely conventional at all. There is no need to make a well of flour and knead in eggs by hand if you have a food processor. Making pasta dough in the food processor takes about a minute. If you are lucky enough to have a pasta attachment for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer then fresh homemade pasta is easy enough for a weeknight meal. Even using a manual-crank pasta maker, the time you save making the dough will help. No pasta machine? This dough is still easy to roll out into sheets for lasagna or to roll out and cut using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
Food Processor Pasta Dough and How to Turn it Into Spaghetti
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade (I use my dough blade but the steel cutting blade has also been fine when I used it accidentally).
Pulse a few times to combine.
Crack the eggs on top of the flour.
Put the lid onto the food processor and process for 30-60 seconds until the dough comes together into a rough ball.
If the dough is dry (if it doesn’t come together and resembles small pebbles) add a tsp. of water and process for 30 seconds. Repeat the process until the dough comes together.
If the dough is sticky (it will smear on the sides of the food processor bowl), add a Tbsp. of flour and process again. Repeat until the dough comes together.
Remove the dough from the work bowl and knead it against the counter a few times until it is a smooth ball.
Dust the dough with a little flour and place it into a small mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling it into pasta.
To make the dough into spaghetti using a Kitchen Aid pasta roller:
Remove the work bowl from the stand mixer, and attach the pasta roller attachment to the mixer.
Take a small portion of dough (a little smaller than the palm of your hand) and flatten it into a rough disk. Feed the disk into the pasta roller attachment while the mixer is running on medium speed (I use “4”).
You may need to lightly flour the piece of dough if you find that it doesn’t go through the roller smoothly. I like to put each piece through each setting twice before moving to the next setting. If the dough doesn’t come out smooth, fold it up and run it through again.
Turn the dial on the attachment to “2” and feed the dough through. If the dough seems sticky flour both sides before feeding it through.
Repeat the process until the dough has gone through setting “4.”
When the dough has been rolled to the “4” setting, you can either put it on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkling liberally with flour on both sides (you will stack pieces of dough on top of each other and you don’t want them to stick together- I do not recommend this method), OR you can hang them on a pasta drying rack (Lane built mine, but you can order one of your own), OR you can lay a broom handle or long stick with each end on the back of a chair (like a limbo stick) and hang the pasta over that (line it with plastic wrap first).
Repeat this process until all of your dough has been run through the pasta roller at setting “4.”
Remove the pasta roller attachment and attach the spaghetti attachment.
Feed one piece of rolled pasta dough through the spaghetti attachment while the mixer is running on the “4” speed.
Collect the spaghetti as it comes out the bottom of the attachment and either arrange it into nests while you work with the rest of the dough, or hang it up.
Repeat with all of the dough until it is spaghetti.
To cook, heat a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the pasta. Pasta is done when it floats to the top (about 2-3 minutes).
Source: dough recipe from The Kitchn