“Procedures, technique, tips”
Almost everyone who booked a lesson, choose a menu in which the first course is homemade pasta. The magic of creating a plate of fettuccine or pappardelle, or to filling ravioli in different shape is an overpowering curiosity. Making pasta from scratch is an experience: you start getting your hands dirty, taking all the ingredients on the wooden board, mixing eggs and flour, aiming to reach a smooth and elastic dough by kneading and kneading… for several minutes. People are always surprised on how much pasta comes from a tiny dough, and there is always a jubilate when fettuccine comes out from the pasta machine or is cut with a knife, or worked on the “chitarra” (guitar). Moreover, when you eat something you made with your hands, tastes completely different!
Durum wheat flour, all purpose-flour
Which is the right one?
The flour par excellence is durum wheat one. The pasta’s surface becomes rough to better absorb the sauce; its consistency remains perfectly compact even if well-cooked. Pasta will be yellow, structured and easy to handle during processing.
All-purpose flour makes the dough softer and smoother, and likewise will be softer after cooking. Furthermore, due to the dusty consistency, a sort of cream will form around the pasta during its cooking. It doesn’t stand cooking like the one made with durum wheat, and if you do not drain it in time (very short 2-3 minutes) you risk overcooking everything! It becomes a jelly!Tips for the feature of each of them we like to mix it, to get a perfect combination: the firmness of the durum wheat and the creamy consistency of the all-purpose flour.
Eggs or water?
In any case, elbow grease!
Pasta with eggs or water, how to decide? Generally, sauce decides for you. In fact, in the far north of Italy, where sauces are generally milder, pasta is made with eggs. As you descend downwards the center and then the very south, it is made just with water and flour. In these parts of Italy, sauces are very rich and intense in taste, that’s why the eggs disappear almost completely: starting from Liguria, which actually is center-north, they use it to make Trofie with Pesto sauce (very small pasta, rolled up on its self), then Tuscany for Pici (very thick and long noodles), Tonnarelli in Rome (thick tagliolini), Cavatelli from Abruzzo and further down until Sicily (short shape, they look like a long and small sea shell) and many more…Tips if you like to be creative in the kitchen, try to color your pasta, adding turmeric, saffron or curry to make it yellow, spinach for the green (a fifth of the weight of the flour, raw, then boiled, squeezed and sieved), sweet paprika or tomato paste to give a touch of red.
Food processor or by hand?
What equipment do I need?
Who has cooked with us already know the answer…
Traditional Italian cuisine, it’s also on the way to proceed.
Just the noise of the robot interferes to what our grandmothers have taught us. So, take your time! Wooden pastry board and pasta machine, or rolling pin are all you need. Then some trays to lay the pasta. That’s it.
Even if you are making ravioli or tortellini. The wooden board is important to absorb humidity from the dough. Rolling pin is perfect on a large table on which you set a large wooden board, but is not always easy to have both. That’s why pasta machine (the one with the handle, which children love so much!) is a great help, for timing and organization. Moreover, all these things have a low cost, which is positive too, isn’t it?Tips at the time to tidy up, remember don’t wash board and machine under running water. The first because is raw wood, the latter has so many nook and cranny which is impossible to dry it perfectly. So, scrape out dry ingredients from the board and brush off the flour from the machine.
How pasta machine works?
Easy and fun, as playing.
Once the dough is ready, it’s time to secure the machine at the edge of your table. If you take a look at the picture, there are two different bodies, one for the sheets (two rollers), the other for cutting pasta in 2 different shapes: fettuccine and tagliolini. Then a handle, to roll, and a knob to change the sheet’s thickness: start from the wider level to gradually reach the narrower one, changing number every time the sheet that came out will go again back into the machine to get thinner. If you are making lasagna or filled pasta, once the sheets are ready, you are through!
While instead for making long pasta, cut the sheets in the shape you’ve chosen, moving the handle to the right section (fettuccine or tagliolini), and start rolling again to cut the sheet.
How to proceed?
It is really so difficult?
If you follow step by step what it is explained below, you will laugh like Fiamma in the photo above! We will explain the recipe for egg pasta suitable for fettuccine, pappardelle (wider fettuccine), tagliolini (narrower fettuccine), ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, just to mention the most famous ones. Then the recipe for pasta with water and flour, suitable for pici, tonnarelli, cavatelli, orecchiette and many others.Tips it is possible to divide your job in two times. Once the dough is ready, store it in the fridge for maximum two days. Then proceed to the next step.
Pasta with eggs and flour
- 2 fresh organic eggs
- 200 gr flour (100gr all-purpose flour, 100gr durum wheat flour)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 little spoon extra virgin olive oil if you are making filled pasta (ravioli, tortellini…)
- Place the flour on a wooden pastry board, make a well in the center. Pour the eggs into the well,add salt.
- Using a fork, get the eggs absorb flour (be careful to keep liquid surrounded by flour). Then leave the fork, and start to knead by hands, helping you with a spatula to bring ingredients in the center. At the beginning will be a mess! Don't lose hope, go ahead.
- Knead with the palms,folding and pressing, for minimum 20 minutes, until dough become smooth (youmay have to add more flour if it's sticky or spoons of water if it's dry). Remember, it is not soft and elastic as bread dough. This one is like Playdoh.
- Wrap it in plastic film, and let rest for 20 minutes,before using pasta machine.Divide the dough in four portions, and one by one,press a bit to flat it and start to roll in the machine, start from the widerlevel to gradually reach the narrower one, to reach thickness you prefer.
Pasta with water and flour
- 200 gr hot water (about)
- 400 gr flour (200gr all-purpose flour, 200gr durumwheat flour)
- Pinch of salt
- Mix well the twoflour, keeping a handful to add if it's not enough dry, add the water and salt.Knead until reach a compact dough, as for the one with eggs.
- Wrap it in plastic film, and let rest for 20 minutes,before using pasta machine. Divide the dough in four portions, and one by one,press a bit to flat it and start to roll in the machine, start from the widerlevel to gradually reach the narrower one, to reach thickness you prefer.
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