How to Make Your Own Pasta

You can find an enormous selection of dried and fresh pasta in the grocery stores. Some of it is really good and you can vary a meal by trying out different sauces. But how much better would it be to make your own? You might need to invest in a pasta making machine but you could save money in the long run. The best ones are the hand-cranked versions. They give you more control. You can add different ingredients, like spinach or even octopus ink, to the basic mixture to give you color and variety. See page 189 for a great recipe using home-made pasta; and see also the recipe on page 190 for making your own gnocchi!

How to Make Your Own Pasta How to Make Your Own Pasta

How to Make Pasta

You will need

  • 300 g/10 oz pasta flour
  • 2 large/extra-large eggs
  • some lukewarm water

Put the flour on your work surface and make a hole in the middle ready for the eggs. Beat the eggs and mix in with the flour to create a smooth dough. Knead the mixture with the palm of your hand. If the mixture gets too crumbly, add some water. You are looking for a smooth and silky texture for the dough. Once you have this, roll the dough up into a ball and leave it to rest in a covered bowl for around 20 minutes.

The Pasta Machine

If you have a pasta machine, it does make life simpler for making certain shapes, mainly ribbon pasta:

Passing through: Pass the dough through the rollers of the pasta machine several times to make a thin sheet of pasta. Each time you pass it through, dust it with flour to stop it sticking. You will need to do this 6-8 times, by which point the dough will soft and elastic. You can reduce the space between the rollers each time; do this one notch at a time. If the sheet gets too big to handle, cut it in half.

Cutting into shape: Once made, leave the sheet or sheets for ten minutes before passing through the cutter (if making ribbon pasta).

Use now or later: You can use the pasta right away or you can dry it or freeze it for later use. To dry, simply hang the strands and then store in an airtight container.

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