We love pasta, but a pasta machine is not always available. This is especially if you are cooking away from home. Sometimes you may want some variety from the tradition string pasta. This also a great way to get kids involved by letting them play with food. Here are a few Ideas we use.
Remember the shapes to not have to be perfect. In fact if they are not perfect, they show the rustic-ness and the care that went into the noodles. More interesting to eat...
Check this out too:
See also: https://www.instructables.com/id/Our-food-instructables/
Step 1: Pasta Dough Ingredients.
There are two basic kinds of pasta dough, but of course you could introduce your own. Egg and eggless pasta are the two most prevalent.
3 - cups flour
4 - eggs
1 - pinch of salt
1 - teaspoon olive oil
3 - cups flour
1 - cup water
1 - teaspoon oil
1 - pinch of salt
Red - To prepare a red pasta just add one tbs of tomato paste for each egg in the recipe.
Green - For green pasta, add 4oz/ 120 g of fresh spinach or 2 1/2oz/ 75 g of thawed frozen spinach for every egg called for in the recipe.
Yellow - The spice, saffron is used to make the dough yellow. Begin by soaking a pinch of dried or some finely chopped strands of saffron in 2 tbs of water. Let the saffron soak for approximately 5 minutes and then mix it into the dough.
With either ingredients:
Stir into a ball and knead for a short time
Cover and put into fridge to relax and cool for at least a half hour.
Roll out dough into a big square thin sheet. If your counter is not gigantic, you may need to divide the dough into at least three parts.
Step 2: Lasagna Noodles
Once you have your large pasta sheets made, this is the easiest one to make. Just cut the big sheet into smaller sections.
Step 3: Fettucine
You will want to take one section of your dough and roll it up like a cinnamon roll. Make sure dough is will dusted so that the dough will not stick when you cut into it. Then you want to cut off smaller rolls. Unroll those tinier section and leave out to dry till the water starts boiling.
Note: a dull butter-knife will work perfect for this to let the kids do it.
Step 4: Into More Shapes.
Then you can convert your fettucina into new shapes. Either cut them into squares to twist the noodles.
Step 5: Seashells
You can take one or two of the squares and toll them into a ball. Place the ball in one palm and then with the thumb of the other hand, press it into a shell shape.
Step 6: Small Tubes.
Take a straw and roll dough around it. You might want to have water nearby the seal the overlap. cut the dough.
Once you have the tubes made you can cut them into smaller tubes and even bend them to look like mararoni.
A variation is to cut squares and wrap them around the straw like a crescent roll.
Step 7: Larger Tube.
You want to do like the previous instruction except with a larger diameter tube. I recommend just short sections on this one.
Step 8: Variation on the Long Strips.
This step does soft of require a special tool, but they are cheap. (You could sort of emulate it with a wavy slive of the knife to make the strips. Take a piece of dough and use the tool to make the strips. Sort of more interesting than the fettucine.
A variation is that you can cut the strips into sections. Pinch each section in the middle so it sort of looks like a bowtie.
Step 9: Springs (sort Of)
You will want to cut a piece of dough about two inches long. Then cut tiny strips. Wrap around a straw. Remember you can make them thin or as thick as you want to.
Step 10: Cresent Roll?
Roll out some pasta dough.
Cut out a triangle sections.
Start from the widest end and roll up like a crescent roll with each section..
Your will probably look better than the one I did in a hurry. Takes a small amount of practice.
Step 11: Chunkies (aka Gnocchi)
Take some dough and roll it into a tube soft of like a broomstick and then keep going till a section is bite size. Cut about a thumb's width section. Take that section and put it on upside down fork; Use you finger to push the dough section as if it was going down a slide so that there in an indentation of the finger on one side and the impression of the fork tines are on the other side.
That should be enough variations to keep you busy. Invent your own!
Step 12: Gutter Shape.
Take some dough and roll it into a tube soft of like a straw but solid inside (aka no hole inside). Cut into one inch sections. Take a knife and indent the pasta long ways till you get sort of a gutter. if you look at the end of the pasta, it will look like the letter "C".
Step 13: Cookie Cutter Pasta Shapes.
Use your cookie cutters to make special pasta shapes.
Roll wide pasta as in step 2..
Take your cookie cutter and cut out the shapes you want.
Use a fork or the like to stab the pasta with dents. (To help the pasta hold the sauce better.)
Step 14: Butterflies and Tubes
A pasta roller cutter and make interesting borders.
Cut two inc rectangkes and just pinch them in the center.
Tubes: (egg based noodles work better than water based noodles.
You can use a fork to add ribs soft of like penne pasta
Use a wooden spoon to loosely roll two inch squares into tubes/
Step 15: Macaroni
Drawing for a possible macaroni hand press.
Step 16: Farfalle.
Couple of soda cans and maybe a home made farfalle maker, or a perfect project for a 3d printer
Step 17: Garganelli Aka Homemade Penne.
Use pasta machine to roll out pasta dough extra thing.
Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.
Lightly oil a piece of plastic straw.
Roll pasta square for one corner to another,
Slide off noodle
Step 18: Boiling Noodles.
You want to have at least a gallon of water for each pound of noodles.
Bring the water to a boil.
Add a little salt if you wish. (never add oil as it makes for harder cleanup)
Add the noodles.
Cook for several minutes till the noodles rise to the top.
Drain noodles and put in a large bowl.
Step 19: Variation on a German Noodle.
This great for pasta dough that wants to not be put in a pasta machine. Could be a variation or orzo pasta. You just take pasta dough and a cheese grater to make tiny balls of pasta. Boil as usual.