If you've got some time and are willing to put forth some effort, you can make your own home made pasta. The basic ingredients are: ? 3/4 cup unbleached white flour ? 1 egg ? pinch of salt That's it. Some folks use a little (1/2 teaspoon) extra virgin olive oil in their pasta, but it is optional.
This recipe makes pasta enough for 2 regular servings, so if you want more increase the amounts in the same proportions. The classic way to make pasta is by putting the flour on a board, make a well in it, and put the egg and salt into the well. With a fork, gently mix the egg with the flour until a rough dough forms, then knead the dough with your hands until it becomes soft. But it can also be made in a bowl, a food processor or a mixer with a bread hook. A few tips: If the dough is still too sticky, dust with a little flour and knead it some more.
If the dough is too dry, sprinkle a little water on it and knead it in. The humidity in the air determines if a dough will be too sticky or dry with the basic recipe, so you'll need to act accordingly. After the dough has been kneaded and is soft and elastic, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes. This will help 'relax' the gluten in the dough and make it easier to roll out.
Folks who make pasta regularly invest in a pasta machine. While this does make for more uniform noodles, you don't need one. Take the dough after it has rested and separate it into small portions if you've made more than the basic recipe. Dust a board with flour, put the dough on the board and roll it out. Try to get the dough thin enough so that you can almost see through it. If the dough sticks, dust with a little flour.
When you have the dough as thin as you like, dust it with a little flour and roll it up like a jelly roll. With a very sharp knife, cut the roll into very thin slices. Unroll the pasta and let it dry for 20 minutes or so on the board, or drape it over a broom handle covered with plastic wrap that has been suspended between two chairs.
After drying, the pasta can be cooked or refrigerated for use within the next 2 or 3 days. Fresh pasta does not take as long to cook as fully dried pasta, only about 4 to 5 minutes, even less if the noodles are small and thin. You want to cook it al dente (to the tooth, a little firm in the middle, so watch fresh pasta closely as it cooks! This basic recipe can be varied in many ways. Substitute whole wheat flour for the unbleached white flour for whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat pasta dough will have a little different 'feel' to it. Or you can make spinach pasta.
Cook 5 ounces of frozen spinach as directed, drain and let it cool. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach. The spinach should be about the size of a large egg when you're done.
Mix it in with the egg before adding to the flour. Pastas can be flavored with most anything. Add a little garlic, use a little tomato juice, let your imagination run free and experiment! Making home made pasta is easy!.
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