Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homemade Pasta

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This is pretty simple, in fact, I find homemade pasta much easier and less stressful than pie dough.  Ugh, pie dough, I still need to work on that.  Anyway, it's a little bit time consuming, but still possible to do on a week night if you get home a little early.  I use the recipe that came with my Atlas pasta machine (with one small addition). 

5 eggs
500 grams of flour
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Take the eggs out of the fridge a 1/2 hour before you will start making the pasta, you don't want fridge cold eggs.
  • Measure out your flour.  I use 250 grams of Semolina flour and 250 grams of whole wheat pastry flour.  The wheat flour I sift so it's smoother, but it's not necessary.  The wheat flour is a little lighter, so the measurements come out to approx. 1 cup semolina and 1.5 cups wheat.  I highly recommend measuring via a scale.
  • Make a well of the flour, gently wisk the eggs just until the yolks are broken up, and pour into flour.  Add EVOO
  • Mix with a fork until combined, then get your hands in there and start kneading to finish combining. 
  • Lightly flour the counter and continue to knead until the dough ball is smooth - about 3 minutes.
  • Put the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel so it doesn't dry out.  Let sit about 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, get the pasta machine out and set up.
  • Break off a small handful, about the size of a golf ball, knead about 15-30 seconds.

Flatten the dough ball into a thick disc so it will fit between the rollers.  Start with the machine on 0 and run it through each number until your desired thickness.  I usually stop at 6, but will sometimes go to 7.  Trim the pasta sheets down to a usable size, about 8-10".   Repeat until all dough is used.  You can start with larger dough balls, but your sheets of pasta will quickly become really long and tough to manage for one person.

Often this makes more pasta than I need for one meal, but I like having some leftover.  I very lightly spray olive oil on wax (or parchment) paper and put one sheet of pasta per layer.  You can do it without the olive oil, but the pasta will stick a little and when you pull it off later it will stretch.  I refrigerate the pasta until I'm ready to use it.  Use or freeze within 3-5 days.  You can use these sheets to make lasagna, ravioli, cannelloni (not cannoli), or cut into strands for tagliatelle (fettucini), spaghetti, etc.

Cook fresh pasta in salted boiling water.  Depending on how you are cooking it, and for what purpose, it's done in 30 seconds (lasagna) up to 3-5 minutes (ravioli).

If you don't have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin and pizza wheel, or any other kind of cutter.
If your dough is too dry, it will fall apart as it goes through the rollers.
If you dough is too wet, it will stick to the rollers.
~ Enjoy ~

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