Homemade Pasta

pastamaking2Making pasta was a process I never thought I would accomplish.  Watching cooking shows with chefs under extreme pressure botch their pasta, I was sure it would be too hard to ever achieve.  However, after visiting my sister I have a new found thought process into making pasta.  It’s called “TAKING YOUR TIME!”

Pasta can’t be rushed and jimmy rigged.  It needs time to sit and rest allowing that gluten to gather.  We used our pasta dough for fava bean ravioli, which will show up in another blog later this month.  But, the recipe for ravioli and other types of pasta can be the same.  We used the dough, explained today, for spaghetti you won’t forghetti, farfalle, and the ravioli.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. We used two types of flour: semolina and cake flour.  Semolina flour is used most oftenwhenmaking pasta.pastamaking3
  2. You can use any type of flour it will just affect your dough in various ways.  So, find the dough that works best for you and stick to it.
  3. Eggs are important as a binder for the flour in your dough.
  4. Mix the dough and then let is rest.  Resting is important!!!! The process allows for the gluten to begin forming.
  5. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape, often giving the final product achewy texture.
  6. Once the dough has sat, knead it.  You cannot over-knead the dough because you’ll just add more gluten to the dough.
    (That’s a good thing!)
  7. When done, the dough should be able to be cut without one seeing any gas bubbles or chambers in the dough.favabeanravioli5
  8. Section the dough into 4-8 sizeable pieces and begin the process of
    thinning it.
  9. The sections that are not being used need to be wrapped back up and covered with a wet cloth.  You don’t want your dough to become too dried out and hard.
  10. Start off on the 1 setting, folding it like an envelope after each time through, until you have a piece that has no cracks or tears.
  11. Slowly begin taking the pasta through one notch higher at a time.  Be sure to allow a little slack at the top to avoid rippling.
  12. I recommend not going higher than 5 or 6.  At this point the dough is not too thick for chewing purposes, but not too think that it begins to tear.

There are a dozen possibilities after making the dough. If making spaghetti, place the dough through a cutter and hang to dry; if making farfalle, cut to sizable pieces and begin folding it accordion stylealong the middle while spreading the sides wide; if making ravioli, place one piece atop the other after laying the filling in place.  There are a dozen possibilities after making the dough.  Be sure to let the pasta rest and harden before adding to boiling water (about one hour).

pastamakingBe sure to use the pasta you’ve made within the next 48 hours to prevent it from spoiling.  Any type of dough should be used quickly because of the egg components required for making them.  Impress your guests and dinner friends with an enjoyable dish that is easy to make.  After trying your hand at a few recipes, you’ll be a natural like my sister, Jp.  I believe a pasta maker was the best birthday gift I’ve gotten her.  If you plan on making pasta as much as she does, I suggest investing in a pasta machine to quicken the process; however, you can make it without the machine.  In replace of the machine you can roll the dough by hand and cut it to your desired width with a pasta cutter.

So many helpful tips to keep in mind, yet don’t be overwhelmed the process is easier than it sounds and you’ll manage to handle it like a pro.

Leave a comment below with the types of pasta you’ve decided to make.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes to try.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.