Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fresh Pasta

Making fresh pasta is not as hard as some people think it is, and when you have the time to do it your favorite pasta dish will always taste much better.

A fresh pasta dish can be as complicated as ravioli or as simple as linguini. For our first fresh pasta post lets keep things simple down to the sauce.

For easy rolling its best to use a pasta maker, but if you really need to work out your arm muscles you could use a rolling pin.

The Dough: (1 Lb pasta)

3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
cool water - as needed

Put your flour onto a large flat surface and make a well in the center. Add you seasoning and eggs to the center of the flour.

Begin taking the flour from outside the well into the center beginning to mix gently with your hands. Continue until the dough is at an elastic consistency and use water as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Knead your dough for at least 5 minutes. Cut in half, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Once your dough has rested you can either freeze half or use all for your pasta dish. Begin by cutting the first ball in half and place in the pasta maker on setting 1. Always use additional flour as needed to ensure that the pasta doesn't stick to the rollers.

Put through the rollers at least 2 times before moving to the next setting. Each setting will make your dough thinner so make sure to guide the dough through with your hands so your dough doesn't get stuck in the machine.

Once you have reached the end of the roller settings place the large piece of past dough aside and add some flower over top.

Repeat the process with however many of the dough balls you will be using.

Cut the flat layers of dough in half and begin to feed through the other portion of the pasta maker (this will cut your pasta into linguini or spaghetti) chefs choice.

Once you have finished cutting your pasta dough it needs to be hung to dry before cooking, this is done as you finish each piece of dough. If you do not have a pasta dough rack laying over the roll of paper towels be sufficient.

Boil a pot of water with salt. Once you have come to a rolling boil drop the fresh pasta in to the water. Be ready as fresh pasta only takes 2-3 minutes to cook (possibly less) Pull the pasta out and top with your choice of sauce.

Garlic and Tomatoes Sauce:

As I said lets keep it simple so follow these few steps for a perfect pairing to your fresh pasta,

1 large on the vine tomato - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/4 yellow onion - diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (each plate)

Melt the butter in the pan and add the oil to the pan. Once warm add the garlic and onions on low heat until onions are translucent.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes just to begin to soften the tomatoes. Toss with your fresh pasta and top with some parmesan cheese.

Grab a bottle of your favorite red and dig in! You will never have pasta from the box without wondering if you could have made it better again!

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