I eat a lot of pasta. I don’t write about it here every time I eat it, but you can take my word for it… I have the inside scoop on what food I made.
Because of all the pasta I’m eating, it was just a matter of time before I was intrigued enough to give making pasta from scratch a try. I’ve seen it demonstrated on television cooking shows before, and the instructions are in a bunch of recipe books I own. It always looks easy to make, as long as you have a pasta maker. And I do!
This is what happened.
Mixed together the eggs and oil.
Made a well in the flour and added the egg and oil.
Ended up with pasta dough.
Here’s the pasta machine.
Rolled out the dough a bit, so it would fit through the rollers.
Folded that into thirds.
Sent it through the rollers again. And again and again.
Until I got to here. Not too thin, not too thick.
The pasta was made into long strips. Looks like fettuccine-sized width.
Then hung on a broom handle to dry.
It is easy to make your own pasta, though it would have been easier to make it with two people when sending the dough through the pasta maker. Who knew all that time spent with Play-doh would come in handy?
Next time, maybe I will add some spinach or tomatoes for some different colours and tastes. And after seeing chocolate pasta on television, I’ll probably give making that a go too. I can’t wait to try making some other kinds of pasta.
Here’s the recipe and instructions that I followed:
Making fresh pasta by hand
A small batch of dough can be made quickly by hand and then rolled and cut in your pasta machine. Here is a basic dough recipe to get you started. I blend a little semolina flour with unbleached flour to get a firm dough but one that is still easy to work with. After you get some experience, you can add more semolina if you would like a firmer pasta.
1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
Preparing your pasta dough
You can make a well in the centre and prepare the dough in the bowl, or dump it out on a floured cutting board and prepare your dough there.
Add 1 tsp. olive oil and one whole egg into the well. Holding a fork at an angle parallel to the table, stir the egg mixture quickly and let the flour fall into it from the sides. Keep stirring this way until you have formed a sticky dough ball. You will probably have leftover flour, so only use what you need.
Dump the dough ball onto a floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour into the dough as needed, until the dough is smooth, elastic, even in colour and no longer sticky.
To knead the dough, push down on the ball with the heel of your hand, then give the dough a quarter turn, fold it over onto itself and push away from you again with the heel of your hand. Keep turning and pushing until you achieve the desired consistency – this usually takes approximately 10 minutes.
Once you have finished kneading, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
Rolling the dough with your pasta machine
When the dough is ready for the pasta machine, remove the plastic wrap and cut the dough in half, rewrap half of the dough until ready to be rolled. It is easier to use a smaller amount of dough at a time with a pasta machine.
Set the rollers on your pasta machine to the widest setting. Flatten the dough and sprinkle with a little flour if it is sticky. Run the dough through the rollers of the pasta machine as you crank the handle. Take your flattened dough and fold it into thirds forming a rectangle. Now guide the end of the dough into the machine again at the widest setting again. Fold it into thirds and run it through the widest setting three times before going to the next smaller setting. This will help knead the dough.
Next, move the rollers to the next smaller setting and run the dough through one time. Move to the next smaller setting and run the dough through again. Lightly flour the rolled dough strips as needed to prevent sticking in your pasta machine. Keep rolling the dough through the next smaller setting until you have reached the desired thinness of your pasta. This will usually be the second to the last setting for most pasta, but you can roll the dough to whatever degree of thinness you prefer.
As you move to the thinner settings, your pasta will become become more delicate. If it tears as you roll it through, don’t worry, it’s not ruined. You can simply fold the pasta and start the whole process over again at the widest setting.
When you have finished rolling the dough, let it dry on a cutting board or cloth until it is slightly leathery to the touch. This will prevent sticking and will make it much easier to cut the dough in your pasta machine. Don’t let it get too dry or it will become stiff and brittle and will not feed through your machine. When the dough is finished drying, cut the dough into shorter strips to make it easier to cut in your machine.
Cutting your Pasta
When making your own pasta, there are a variety of shapes you can produce. If using a pasta machine, most come with a linguine and spaghetti cutting attachments. You can also buy a ravioli attachment for some machines. If you want a wider cut pasta than your machine’s attachments, or if you don’t have a machine, you can simply cut the dough yourself with a knife.
You can now immediately cook this pasta, refrigerate it for later use, or dry it to be stored longer. This fresh pasta will cook extremely quickly – requiring only 1 minute at sea level. Cook and enjoy!
When making your own pasta, it is common to include eggs because they add colour, flavour and nutrition to the pasta. Eggs can also make the dough much easier to work with, however, when using eggs it necessary to refrigerate or freeze the pasta to keep it from spoiling.
Your pasta should be cooked within 3 days when stored in the refrigerator, but can be kept up to three months in your freezer. Fresh pasta can also be dried and stored at room temperature, but be sure the pasta is completely dried before storing.