Introduction: Fresh Home-Made Pasta Using Plunge Cutters
Though Pasta is a traditional Italian cuisine, many varieties of dried Pasta in different shapes and colors are available in our place also. Once in a while we make Pasta mixed with some vegetables for breakfast or as an evening snack for children. Even though it is very simple to make, we never tried making fresh pasta at home as we do not have any idea of how to make it.
Instructables' "Pasta Making Class" by Paige Russell helped me to learn the basics of fresh pasta making and she also encouraged me to make pasta in any shape I like. So, I have used plunge cutters to make fresh pasta and this is the outcome of what you are seeing in the pictures above.
Step 1: Flour and the Kneading Slab
For making the dough I have used 200 grams of all-purpose wheat flour we normally use for making poories and chappaatties. A granite slab is used for kneading the dough.
- Weigh about 200 grams of flour and place it in the center of kneading slab
- Make a well with your hand in the center of the flour as shown
Step 2: Add Eggs and Water
- Break 2 eggs and add it to the center of flour
- Add one tablespoon of water mixed with salt to taste
- Using a fork, bring the flour from the edges over the eggs and lightly mix
Step 3: Make Dough With Hand
- Now use your hands to knead the dough
- Take little amount of flour from the edges at a time and knead with your hand till you get the desired consistency of dough
- Leave the remaining flour on the slab itself.
- I will be making pasta the next day. So, I placed the dough in food-grade aluminium foil and kept it in the fridge.
- Collect the unused flour. This can be used while rolling the dough
- Clean the granite slab by scrapping out the flour sticking to it.
Step 4: Plunge Cutters
Recently I purchased a set of plunge cutters with different shapes to be used for cake decorating. Now I will try the flower shaped and leaf shaped plunge cutters to make pasta.
Step 5: Roll the Dough
- Take out the dough from fridge and allow to come down to room temperature
- Sprinkle little amount of flour on the slab and place the dough at the center
- Using a wooden roller, roll the dough evenly to about one mm thick
Step 6: Cut Large Sized Flower Shapes
- There are three sizes of flower shaped plunge cutters. With the large size flower shaped cutter, press down on the rolled dough at one edge.
- Just lift the rolled dough with the plunge cutter and press the dough over the edge of the cutter
- Remove the cutter and press down the plunger and you will get the flower shape
- I made six of these shapes from the rolled dough. Store the pasta on a dry clean cloth
Step 7: Make Medium and Small Sized Flower Shaped Pasta
- The rolled out dough has holes all around from where we have cut the flower shapes. Collect the dough, make a ball and once again roll using the wooden roller to about one mm thick
- Using the medium sized flower shaped plunge cutter, cut six more pasta pieces from one end of the dough.
- Use the small sized plunge cutter to make six pieces more from other end of the rolled dough
- Transfer the flower shaped pasta pieces to the cotton cloth.
- Now we have six pieces each of all three sizes.
Step 8: Make Leaf Shapes
- Once more collect the leftover dough and knead it to a ball
- Using the wooden roller, roll the dough to about one mm thick
- Cut as many leaf shapes as possible using the plunge cutter. Here I have used the large size only
- Transfer the leaf shapes to the cotton cloth.
- There is some left-over dough after cutting the leaf shapes, which I have stored for latter use.
- If you are not going to make pasta on the same day itself, lightly sprinkle some flour on the shapes we made and store in the fridge.
Step 9: Simple Tomato Sauce
Before making pasta, we will make the sauce
Ingredients for tomato sauce
- Three medium sized tomatoes
- One onion. We will be using half of it only
- Three pieces of Garlic cloves
- One tablespoon of cooking oil. Here I have used rice bran oil
- Salt to taste
Prepare the tomatoes
- Make light incisions on the skin of the tomatoes and place them in boiling water for about five minutes
- Remove the tomatoes from hot water and peel off the skin
- Cut the tomatoes and remove the seeds and juice from inside
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
- Filter out the seeds from the juice we have removed. This juice we can use for making the sauce
Prepare other ingredients
- Chop half the onion into fine pieces
- Shuck and crush the garlic cloves
- Place a frying pan on the stove and add one tablespoon of oil
- Add chopped onion and crushed garlic to the oil and stir till raw smell disappears
- Add the chopped tomatoes and salt to taste and cook for about five minutes
- Remove from stove. Our simple tomato sauce is ready
Step 10: Green Sauce With Coriander Leaves and Mint Leaves
Here we will make a green sauce with coriander leaves and mint leaves
- About one cup of coriander leaves and few mint leaves for the aroma
- Half a cup of sour cream
- Two teaspoons of butter. Here I have used home-made butter
- Three pieces of garlic cloves, shucked and crushed
- Salt to taste
- Place a frying pan over medium heat and pour the sour cream, add butter and stir well
- Mean time, grind the coriander and mint leaves in a mixer grinder with little water to make a paste
- Add this paste, crushed garlic cloves and salt to taste to the pan
- Cook till raw smell disappears from the sauce
- You can add grated cheese to the sauce to make it tasty.
Step 11: Make Pasta
- Before cooking pasta, remove the pasta pieces from the fridge and allow it come to room temperature
- Boil about eight cups of water in a pan.
- When the water starts to boil, add salt to taste and reduce heat
- Add the flower and leaf shaped pasta pieces gently in boiling water
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat so that the pasta pieces may not break.
- Remove one leaf shaped piece from the pan and test whether it is cooked properly. If not cook for some more time
- Once the pasta is properly cooked, remove the pieces one by one and place them on a strainer. Take care not to break the flower shaped pieces while removing from the pan
Step 12: Arrange the Cooked Pasta and Serve With Sauce
Our pasta is properly cooked. Here we have six pieces each of large, medium and small sized flower shaped pasta pieces and many leaf shaped pieces.
- Arrange the six pieces of large sized flower shapes in a circle on a serving plate
- Place one medium and one small flower shaped pasta pieces over the large sized pieces
- Arrange the leaf shaped pasta pieces around the flower shapes
- Pour the green sauce over the leaf shapes with a spoon
- Pour the tomato sauce on the flower shapes and serve