I have been making and eating a lot of pasta since my trip to Italy in December. I don’t have my own machine but a family friend kindly lent me hers to get me started. It is much easier than I thought, just time consuming. But the time invested is worth it. Yes, there are some great boxed pastas out there but they don’t compare to what you can make from scratch.
Historically I was not a big pasta fan. It is so often made in a boring way – spaghetti bolognaise school dinners come to mind, lacklustre pasta salads- that it didn’t appeal to me. But, when prepared well with good quality ingredients it can be spectacular.
Some things I have learned about making pasta :
- Don’t add salt to the dough. The water you cook it in should be generously salted and this is enough.
- A firmer dough makes pasta that holds its shape better, even if it doesn’t feel as good when you are kneading it.
- Mix the pasta and sauce together and leave to simmer and meld together for a few minutes before serving. This lets the sauce adhere to the noodles. Don’t put the pasta on a plate and ladle the sauce on top.
- It’s worth investing in a spider. I have two pots on the stove, one for pasta, one for sauce. I cook the pasta in batches and skim it out with my spider, placing it directly into the sauce.
For every 100g flour you need 1 egg. If the dough is dry I add a splash of water. If it’s too wet I add more flour.
Pour the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the middle, begin to mix them into the flour with a fork and when it is coherent knead it together with your hands or a bench scraper. When it is a stiff dough wrap it in cling film and leave to refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take it out of the fridge, roll it out to your desired thickness with a pasta maker and cut into whichever width you desire.
If anyone has any tips that could help me on my pasta journey leave them in the comments below!