Monday, March 4, 2013


Boxed pasta is fine, I use it most of the time and I’m quite content with my dish… but it ain’t no fresh pasta (I know that’s a double negative, I’m just being silly).  I’m telling you that once you have fresh pasta, you will long for it.  The texture and the flavor just can’t compare to what you get from a box. 

I’m not gonna lie, fresh pasta takes a little time, it’s gotta be kneaded, rested and rolled; but it’s not difficult to make.  I will say however, that having a pasta rolling machine is pretty important.  I fear that if you ever attempt to roll out your own pasta with a rolling pin; that you will never, ever want to see another bowl of pasta again.

Having said that, there’s something primitive/therapeutic about getting my hands into that mound of dough.  One could use a food processor to make the dough, but the texture really isn’t the same as when the dough is kneaded by hand.  Making pasta gives me such a sense of accomplishment, as well as sense of entitlement.  Yes, after all that kneading and rolling of the dough, I feel entitled to eat a big ol’ bowl of pasta without an ounce of remorse.  You see, carbs don’t count if you knead the dough yourself…just sayin’.

I made my fresh pasta into fettucini tossed in Easy Tomato Sauce (pictured above).

I also made Mushroom Lasagne.  The recipe for that is my next post!

 Here’s what you do.

Start by mixing the semolina flour, all-purpose flour and salt together.
 All the ingredients should be at room temperature.  You will want to work on a warm surface not cold one like marble or granite; that's why I use my wood cutting board.

  Make a big ol' mound with the flour, and then make a well in the middle of it.  Crack the eggs into the well and add 2 teaspoons of water.

Whisk the eggs together with a fork, try not to let the eggs escape from the well.

Gradually work more of the flour into the eggs.  Notice that I'm working from the inside of the well, keeping those walls intact.

Sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted you to get the idea of what the dough will look like when it's ready to get your hands in it.

Now start kneading and working the remaining flour in.

The more you knead the more flour will be absorbed.  If the dough is still sticky, add more flour...or if the dough is not absorbing the flour, add some water a teaspoon at a time.  You will knead the dough for about 10 minutes. 

When the dough is smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes.

I started our by cutting off too big of a piece of dough; so trust me when I say cut the dough into 6 pieces, it will be waaay easier to work with.

Flatten one of the pieces of dough (keep the remaining dough wrapped so that it won't dry out) run it through the pasta rolling machine on the widest setting (#1).

Fold that sheet of pasta in two and run it through again on the same setting; repeat this 3 more times to make for smooth pasta.  Lay the pasta sheet out on a board that's been dusted with semolina flour, or on a clean kitchen towel.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Now run the sheet through the machine just once, on the next setting (#2).  Keep running the pasta sheet through reducing the thickness one notch at a time.  I only took my pasta to setting #6 on my machine, which was quite thin. Repeat with the remaining pasta sheets.

Allow the sheets of  pasta to dry for 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the humidity) before cutting the pasta to your desired shape.  The pasta should be kind of leathery, not brittle.  I just dried it on the cutting board, turning the pasta over halfway through.

For lasagne just cut the sheets to the length of the pan.  There is no need to pre-cook the pasta for lasagne.  If you are making a regular size lasagne you will use all the pasta for the lasagne.  Since I  made a smaller lasagne which served 4 to 6, I had pasta left over.
So I cut some fettucini.  It was enough for the two of us.

Which I dried on my improvised drying rack.  Now that I have the pasta bug, I am sooo getting an actual pasta drying rack!


2              cups       Semolina flour
1              cup        All-purpose flour
½             tsp.        Salt
4                           Eggs, room temperature
2-6           tsp.        Water, room temperature

1.       Mix the semolina, all-purpose flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
2.       Pour the flour out in a mound on a large wooden cutting board or a smooth surface; but not marble, it’s too cold.  Make a well in the middle of the mound of flour.
3.       Crack the eggs into the well with 2 tsp. of water and use a fork to whisk the eggs together, being careful to not let the eggs run out of the mound. 
4.       Use the fork and work a little of the flour at a time from the center.
5.       When the eggs are worked into the flour (the dough will still be wet at this point), start to knead the dough with your hands.  Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it’s a smooth consistency.  If the dough has absorbed all the flour and is too sticky, add a little more flour.  Conversely, if the dough is not absorbing all the flour, add a little more water, one teaspoon at a time.
6.       Form the kneaded dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes.
7.       When the dough has rested cut the dough into 6 pieces.  Work with one piece of dough at a time, and keep the remaining dough wrapped so that it doesn’t dry out.
8.       Flatten out a piece of dough with your hands, then run it through the widest setting (# 1) on your pasta rolling machine. 
9.       Fold the rolled dough in half and run it through the same setting again.  Repeat this 3 more times with the same piece of dough on the same setting; this makes for smooth pasta.   Lay the sheet of pasta on a board that has been dusted with semolina flour, or on clean kitchen towel.  Repeat with the remaining pasta.
10.   Now take one of the sheets of pasta and run it through the machine just once, on the next notch (# 2).  Keep putting that sheet of pasta through the machine, reducing the thickness one notch at a time until the pasta is as thin as you like ( I only took mine to #6 on my machine, which was quite thin).  Repeat with the remaining sheets of pasta.
11.   Allow the pasta sheets to dry slightly, depending on the humidity 15 to 25 minutes (it should be leathery not brittle) before cutting into your desired shape. 
12.   Fresh pasta can be used the same day, or dried and stored for months. 

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