It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted any recipes here, and I think it’s time to start up again. As an Italophile and food-lover, I’ve always wanted to learn how to make my own pasta. While studying in Italy, I learned how to make potato gnocchi, but the crux of the Italian diet is really in tagliatelle, spaghetti, farfalle and more.
The first thing to know about making pasta–and, really, any kind of cooking–is that fresh ingredients are the best. Organic, if possible. We’re lucky enough right now to be on a farm where the eggs are so fresh they’re literally still warm from the chicken sometimes when I collect them. So, that’s awesome.
Eggs (1 egg per person)
Flour* (100 g of flour per person)
*The thing about flour–in Italy, there is actual legislation and such about the types of flour restaurants and commercial pasta-makers can use so that it’s legit. You can use regular flour for this, but the best flour to use is farina di grano duro, or durum wheat semolina flour. Sometimes it’s sold in stores with the label “pasta flour.” If you have an Italian food store or the like in your city, that’s your best bet for finding good flour. Otherwise, all-purpose flour should be fine with egg pasta. I’m afraid I don’t know yet how to make gluten-free pasta, but when I do, I”ll be sure to share it with everyone. 🙂
A CLEAN, flat surface
Rolling pin or pasta machine (you know, the crank kind)
|Start with a clean, flat surface. Don’t forget to wash your hands! 🙂|
1. So. You take your flour and you make a big pile on your clean surface. Take your finger, and make a little bowl shape in the flour, without it touching the bottom. Kind of like a little vocano.
2. Crack your eggs into this bowl area. Be sure to keep the eggs within the confines of their flour walls.
3. Mix the eggs in their bowl so that the yokes are really dispersed.
4. Start adding flour off the sides of the walls, without letting the walls collapse. KEEP STIRRING, and the mixture will start to thicken as you add the flour bit by bit.
5. Once it’s a bit thickened, you can start really mixing the flour and egg all together. Consistency is key here: if it’s too sticky, keep adding a little bit of flour. If you add too much flour, it’s going to be too dry, so only add a little at a time.
|Mix those components, yeah!|
6. Once you’ve got it all mixed up together, make it into a ball.
7. Now, fold! You’re going to just keep folding it half-way and pressing it down using the bottom of your palms (not your fingers) until it’s a firm consistency. If it gets sticky, sprinkle some flour. Same goes for the flat surface you’re kneading on. This will take a few minutes.
8. Now you’ve got your dough. Next step will vary depending on whether you’re making your pasta with a machine or a rolling pin.
If you’re making it with a machine, follow steps 9-11. If you’re making it with a rolling pin, follow steps 12-13.
9. Make a little fist-sized ball with part of the dough and flatten it a bit with your fingers so that it’s about a centimeter or 2 thick.
10. Now, you’re going to be putting your dough balls through the machine to get it to be thin. Start your machine on 0 and run the dough through once. Throughout, if it gets too sticky, sprinkle flour. Then, run it through once on number 1 then on 3 then on 5.
11. Sprinkle your patties with flour and leave it to dry for a little bit (10-20 minutes or so). You’re ready then to make whatever style pasta you’d like. Machines usually have an easy tagliatelle or angle hair setting, that sort of thing, so go wild!
12. Take your ball of dough and roll that mamma! It will take a good 5 minutes of rolling to get it thin and broad, but have no fear–after a few minutes, the pasta will lose its elasticity and you’ll be able to easily roll it out. A little elbow grease never killed anyone, anyway.
13. Sprinkle your thin pasta dough with some flour and let it sit for a few minutes. You’re ready to make your pasta into your desired shape!
|These are the final strips of pasta dough, ready to be molded into your favorite style!|