Making Pasta

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Introduction: Making Pasta

Pasta making is easy but time consuming.  My grandmother would have a pasta making day and all of the grand kids would help. At the end we had enough Tagliatelle and raviolis to last 3 months or more.


Ingredients:

-  3 eggs
-  Half cup of water
-  2 and half  cups of unbleached flour

In a large bowl, mound the flour. 
Whisk the 3 eggs with the water.
Make a well in the flour, add the whisked eggs. Slowly whisk the flour in. When the dough get sticky, knead with your fingers. Form a ball with the dough. You are looking for a smooth, uniform dough the consistency of your ear lobe. 
This dough makes enough pasta for 2 dinners, serving 4 people each time.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. I make my pasta dough the night before and rest it in the fridge overnight.

Step 1: Open the Dough

Now comes the hard work. You'll need 2 cups of flour to use in your work surface.

Unwrap the dough and roll it into a loaf shape. With a sharp knife, cut the dough every 2 inches. That leaves a perfect sized disk of dough to pass through your pasta machine. Make sure you flour each piece, put in a plate and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

To shape the pasta, pass it through your pasta machine. Each time the dough goes through the machine it must be well dusted with flour to prevent sticking.

For example: I pass mine through the widest setting once, flour it. Fold it in 3rd, pass it through once more, flour the dough. Pass it through a final time, dust  it. Now decrease the setting in the machine by one after each pass/flour.

Once the dough is passed through the thinnest setting, dust the dough and put it aside to dry while you shape the rest of the dough disks. 

Step 2: Cut the Pasta

Your dough is ready to cut! Line a table with kitchen towels. This is where you'll set your pasta to dry.

I find that the fetuccini setting on my Imperio machine is the best. The spagetti setting gets sticky and doesn't cut even. 

Cut your pasta, dust it with flour and set it to dry on the towel lined table. After a few hours I roll the pasta. Do so by grabbing the eges of the towel and rolling the pasta to the center of the towel. Redistribute the pasta to keep the drying even.

Homemade pasta cooks faster and is much more absorbent that commercial pasta. Use a thinner sauce. A simple butter, garlic, parsley and lemon sauce is excellent. 

Fresh pasta in my house does not last long, but after drying it for 24 hours you could put it into a gallon size zipplock and store it. If you make raviolis make sure you freeze them or the filling might spoil.

Step 3: Sauce It Up

Ingredients:

- Half a stick of butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Half of a lemon
- 1/4 cup of minced parsley
- 1 cup of the pasta cooking water
- Salt and black pepper
- A splash of olive oil

In a big pot put some water to boil, salt it well. Don't start your sauce until the water is boiling, fresh pasta cooks fast.

In a large fry pan add the butter. When the butter is hot sauté the garlic and parsley. Season with black pepper.

Drop the noodles in the hot water and let it cook for 2 minutes. Scoop the noodles out of the pot and add to the sauce pan, following it with the reserved pasta cooking water. Squeeze the lemon in then add a splash of olive oil. Stir and serve while hot. The pasta congeal a little if it sits too long. 

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21 Comments

In one of the pictures, one of the bags is labelled "GF." Does that stand for gluten free? If so, what type of flour did you use for that?

On Step 2, the second photo, the pasta on the left is from the ball labeled GF.

JMRphael, yes, it does stand for gluten free. The flour I used was Betty Crocker All purpose gluten free rice flour blend.

It was brought to my attention that if the GF dough touched regular flour through my pasta machine, it would no longer be GF through cross contamination. I meant to make a GF pasta instructables. But when I realized the dough was compromised I decided against it.

About semolina: I suppose you mean durum wheat flour.

Actually it depends on what kind of pasta you want to make: for some types like linguine, tagliatelle, pappardelle, lasagne and stuffed pasta like ravioli, tortelli, tortellini, you need "egg pasta", which is made with eggs and white flour 00.

If you want to make pasta like orecchiette, cavatelli, fusilli, strozzapreti you need durum wheat semolina and water.

Obviously then you can adapt your recipes to your needing, but let me say this is pretty "official" in Italy :D

Very good information, thank you for sharing.

I am not an expert by any means, I just like to cook. And things get a bit mixed around when my grandmother thought me in Brasil, and now I am cooking Italian food in the USA.

I quote Martina :) I'm Italian too and I can tell that real egg pasta doesn't need any water, just eggs and flour. Other than that you did a very good job!! :)

Thank you, next time I'll use 3-4 eggs instead of water and see what come out.

Yes, I think that will work! :) The right proportion is usually 1 egg for 100gr of flour.

I thought you would have enjoyed some information, and though I thought to be clear about some guidelines, but obviously those are guidelines ;) btw I thought you were Italian, it's amazing knowing and seeing that someone so far from me cooks almost the same things I cook here, in a small village in Italy! (And your pasta looks very very very good, well done!)