How to make homemade pasta
Why homemade pasta?
To put it simply.......it is delicioso!!! Homemade pasta texture and taste cannot be remotely compared to dried store bought pasta. It is creamy, rich and satisfying. Well worth taking 15 minutes or so to make something with your hands that can be enjoyed by your entire family. Handmade pasta requires very few tools, not that some kitchen tools aren't available to shorten the amount of time it takes but basically handmade pasta is just that.....handmade.
The 3 main Ingredients of Homemade Pasta
The basic recipe, which most folks will have these ingredients on hand are:
1)1.25 cup of flour
2) 2 eggs
3) Pinch of salt
(EGG SUBSTITUTE CAN BE USED IN PLACE OF CHICKEN EGGS)
Or this one which is new to me but I almost prefer it. The dough seems a bit easier to work with.
1) 3 cups of flour
2) 2 eggs
3) pinch of salt
4) 1/2 warm water (or more if needed.)
Yep!! That is what is in the basic pasta ingredient list. Now tell me that you don't have that on hand.
Whats in your homemade pasta?
I use unbleached flour normally because its usually on hand but there are plenty of options.
Here is a list of a few other flour types that can be used:
1) Semolina Flour; it makes for a stronger dough and due to its higher levels of gluten it helps the handmade pasta with its elasticity.
2) Whole Wheat Flour; this has more fiber and vitamins than the unbleached(standard) flour but it also will require a bit of water as it may be a bit heavier and drier.
3) Buckwheat Flour; similar to the whole wheat but with a nutty flavor. I use it in pancakes as well.
4) Oat Flour; High in fiber, heavy in texture and a deeper color than the whole wheat but still along the sames lines of consistency.
5) Brown Rice Flour (Gluten Free); This pasta will have a slightly sweet flavor and will be tan in color
6) Rice Flour (Gluten Free); It has a very fine sandy like texture, containing no gluten the noodles will be translucent. Mainly used in Asian dishes.
Eggs and extras for you Handmade Pasta
A good majority of pasta recipes are based on the size of eggs that you use. Depending on the size of eggs you may have to adjust how much flour you use. I prefer eggs that are from local chickens.
As for the extras to give your pasta a life of their own......
1) Olive Oil; its not necessary, but will give a smoother texture to your homemade pasta, it also enhances the flavor.
All of these ingredients will need to be pureed or chopped extra fine.
2) Spinach; If frozen be sure to squeeze all excess water out!
3) Tomato; sundried and either minced or pureed
4) Beets; juice. This gives your pasta a pink color, I would just experiment and probably replace the water or some of the water.
5) Hot Peppers; minced and depending on how hot you want it....leave or remove the seeds
5) Garlic; minced
7) Herbs; minced or mashed with a mortar and pestle
Lets get to making the pasta - This is hands on work!
Make sure that you have a clean work surface. Have all of your ingredients lined up that way you aren't wandering around the kitchen with doughy fingers.
1) On my clean surface I will place my flour first in a nice little mound.
2) Make a well in the middle of your flour mound. Here you will place your cracked eggs and salt.
3) If using water I don't add it until I start using my hands during the mixing stage and even then I use it only as needed
4) Start mixing your eggs by breaking the yolks and slowing incorporate flour from the sides of your well, at this point I am using a small fork. If your flour mound starts to get out of round I would just scoop it all back to the mound.
5) As the flour and eggs begin to mix turning to a dough looking mix I will start using my hands to incorporate all ingredients
5) At this point I will add in the water, not all at once but gradually helping the dough to become moist.
6) Work your dough into the form of a ball by kneading it with the palms of your hands and knuckles. Your dough will start to look smooth and elastic. This should take you about 7 to 10 minutes.
8) Once you have made your dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes
9) After your dough has rested divide the mix into to balls then bring out the rolling pin and get to rollin'! This process take about 10 minutes and I usually get a little help from my husband but its not necessary and honestly I just like having his help in the kitchen. You are going to roll your dough to between about 1/16 of an inch. It will basically be nearly transparent.
10) Repeat with the second ball of dough.
11) Get your water on the stove and to a rolling boil
12) Once they have been rolled out I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into basically a linguini noodle but you can cut your as thin or as thick as you like.
13) boiling your pasta take only minutes. I add a bit of oil to my water to keep them from sticking. Placing all noodles in at once into the pot I boil them for about 5 minutes or until desired tenderness. Drain them in a colander, personally I will run a bit of cold water over them to stop the cooking cause no one likes mushy noodles.....Well someone probably does but I don't.
Gadgets for making pasta
Whether you're looking to make fettucine, farfalle or conchigle with your Imperia pasta maker you'll find the right model and the right attachment you need. Plus - every Imperia machine comes gift-boxed and complete with your own pasta recipe book which you'll be able to use to stun and amaze your dining guests with wonderful culinary experiences that will live long in the memory. The pasta you create with an Imperia machine is unlike any other - the perfect thickness (you choose it), the perfect consistency and heavenly to taste this is not just pasta.
This 5-quart colander has a sturdy design and two easy-to-grip oversized handles. The large capacity is ideal for fruit, vegetables, and pasta. The unique hole pattern drains water away quickly so you spend less time preparing and cooking.