Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Fresh Pasta Making

Simon bought me an Imperia Titania Pasta machine for Christmas, so I am at last trying my hand at making fresh pasta.

I've now made 2 batches of fettucine and have concluded that this is a fabulous way to tone up my arms and also an incredibly satisfying little project. Not to mention absolutely DELICIOUS!

Just in case I take a break at any point and forget how I'm making the pasta when I come back to it - my recipe:

Per person, to be served as a main course: (if its a side dish, plan to store some of the resulting dough!)
  • 100g flour (currently using Italian 00 flour from Sabato, although I'll give High Grade a go for comparison at some point)
  • 1 egg
  • Optional: 1Tb tomato paste (may require additional flour)
  1. Mound flour on to cleaned work surface, make a well in the centre (because I'm making it for 2 this usually means I clear back to the work surface with a little flour fort around it!).
  2. Break the eggs in to the well (add the tomato paste if using).
  3. Mix the eggs with a fork and begin to incorporate the flour.
  4. Continue mixing in the flour until kneadable (at this point I usually still have quite a bit of flour that is not mixed in)
  5. Continue kneading until all the flour is incorporated.
  6. Set a timer for 10 minutes and knead until it goes off. (This is perhaps a little longer than necessary, but it makes for a good work out!)
  7. Wrap the lump of dough in cling film and set aside for about 30 minutes before rolling and cutting pasta. (I've done this once at room temperature and once in the fridge - the fridge one seemed to have sweated, so I'm going to go with room temperature).
I'm still working on perfecting my rolling technique, but the gist is - roll through largest width and fold - repeat at least 3 times, then work down through the thicknesses until desired consistency if reached - for fettucine & lasagne I'm going to 5. I think I'd use 6 for ravioli seeing as books I've looked at suggest you should be able to read newsprint through the dough for ravioli.

Finally, cut the dough to usable lengths (bear in my mind this will also be the length of strands you'll be chowing down on!), lightly flour the dough on both sides, then run through the required cutter (I have fettucine & tagliatelle options on my machine). Hang over cheap dowel that you bought at Bunnings and suspended between a couple of cube crates on the bench, or dining chairs. (ie don't bother buying an overpriced and unwieldy purpose made pasta drying rack).

Don't clean the pasta machine with water - rather, just make sure that dough is not too wet when you put it through, and brush it off with a pastry brush or similar before storing.

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