The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Friday, March 25, 2016

Homemade Pasta

There is no comparison.  None whatsoever.  Fresh pasta is amazing.

Fresh homemade ravioli.

It's not that hard to make, either, if you have an hour or so.  Once you make it a time or two, an hour is all you need for fresh spaghetti, linguine, or other noodle.  I find that if I halve the recipe, I've got enough pasta for fettuccine (my preferred cut for my hand-crank pasta machine) for our weekly Pasta Day, which happens to be on Friday.

Ravioli, filled with ricotta/mozzarella mixture.

My photos are of our New Year's ravioli dinner, which my mom and I slaved over--mostly because I added too much water to the recipe, and we ended up with a ton of pasta dough!  We worked all afternoon making these, and ended up freezing some plus cranking out some plain fettuccine as well.


The quickest recipe is for plain pasta noodles, whatever cut you desire.  I favor fettuccine, since my hand-crank pasta machine's setting for spaghetti usually produces a mess, and the fettuccine width is the only other width available.  I'm going to try a special rolling pin with grooves for some other cuts; I'll update this when that happens.

For now, here is my recipe.

Homemade Pasta

2 cups semolina flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
~1 cup cold water

Make in a Bosch Universal Mixer or other stand mixer (instructions are for the Bosch).

Mix the two flours and the salt together in mixer bowl.  Insert the bread dough hook and turn on speed 1.  Add in the eggs and evoo, and--while continuing to mix--pour in the cold water in a stream.  As the mixer works harder to mix, turn it up to speed 3 and continue to mix until a ball of dough forms.  Add cold water or flour as needed 3-5 minutes.  You should have a soft, smooth ball of dough.

Turn out dough onto floured surface and cover with a towel.  Let rest five minutes.  Break off a piece of dough, about the size of a half-cup measure and dust with flour.  It's now ready to be shaped using your pasta machine; follow your pasta machine instructions for shaping into lasagna noodles, spaghetti/fettuccine, etc.


Storing and Cooking Fresh Pasta
I've done all of these with wonderful success!

For immediate use.

Bring a pot of water to a boil; add your pasta noodles with a teaspoon or so of salt (this enhances the flavor, do not omit it!!).  Boil 3-7 minutes or so, depending on the width and thickness of your pasta, and how al dente you like it.  Test it early and add boiling time as needed.  Drain in a colander; drizzle with evoo and toss to prevent sticking.

Drying.

Use a pasta drying rack to dry your noodles; simply drape them over the rods and let dry 24 hours or so.  Store in a cool, dry place in airtight bags or containers.

Freezing.

Lay your noodles out, curling/folding them back and forth so they'll fit in a freezer bag.  Or you can coil them, too.  The idea is to not have them in a messy, congealed pile that will cook into a gooey mass.  It is key that you quickly dredge each pasta sheet in flour before you cut it into noodles; this will prevent sticking even if you end up with a pile of pasta in your freezer bag.  Put your freshly cut noodles into a freezer bag, then simply freeze.  These can go straight from the freezer into boiling water, or you can let them sit in your fridge to thaw first.

Whole-wheat spaghetti.


Back to life,
Christine

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