Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Making your own pasta - Be brave!!

This week I made my own pasta! I recommend giving it a try! It will take a while for your first time, but my friend, Randi, assures me that it becomes a quick and easy process. I didn't get the thickness correct on my first try at ravioli, but the pasta still tasted SO GOOD. Here is a quick and easy recipe for you:

  • 500g "00" grade pasta flour (Something like the picture below)

  • 5 large eggs (whites only) - How do you separate the egg yolks from the whites? Crack the egg and toss the yolk back and forth between the halves allowing the egg whites to drop into a bowl.
  • Plain (or Semolina if you can find it) flour for dusting

I used a mixer. Add the flour and egg whites and blend until it looks like bread crumbs. If it's too sticky, add more pasta flour. If it looks too dry, add more egg whites. Eventually it should blend into a nice ball (or a few). Remove it from the blender and knead it for about 3 minutes until it's smooth. Wrap the ball of dough in cling wrap, and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

**You can also do it by hand by making a hole in the middle of your flour. Then, pour the egg into the middle and mix in the flour from the edges with a fork. Once it starts to form thicker dough, knead it for 3-5 minutes until you have a smooth dough ball. 

Separate the ball of dough into 4 smaller ones. Take the first one and flatten it with your palm. Keep the remaining dough covered until you use it. Use the largest setting on your pasta machine to roll it through 3-4 times. Fold the ends into the center each time to ensure it evens out. I use this pasta machine, which I bought for only £21:
It's showing the process AFTER flattening/thinning the dough for noodles.
After you have run it through a few times at the thickest setting, adjust the setting to the next thickness and dust both sides of the dough with flour. Continue running the dough through the machine decreasing the size consecutively with each pass until you reach the thickness desired for the type of pasta you are making. Randi has suggested that by doing this, you have a better chance of getting the thickness correct than if you just try to skip to a certain thickness setting (Thanks Randi!).  You can then use those sheets to make ravioli, or shred them for other types of pasta. You can cook the pasta right away or dry and store it! Give it a try! You don't have to use all the dough at once. You can always keep some in the refrigerator or freeze it for later use.

Cheers! Let me know how it goes!

(Recipe for pasta from Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef)

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