Making homemade pasta from scratch has been outstanding in my to-cook list for a few years. I have always hesitated to try as I felt I could not roll out the pasta dough but it would get stuck on the machine. It was hard to imagine the dough can go through the pasta machine when the whole is so narrow, until my dear friend Cynthia who is my secondary schoolmate came to visit me last November all the way from San Francisco. Thanks so much to her that I have learnt a lot from her, one of the things I learnt from her is how to make pasta in 30 minutes. I modified a bit and mine is ready in 1.5 hours as I prefer to knead my dough more and I let my dough to rest in the fridge for 30 mins or so before rolling.
Most pasta recipes I have come across call for 6 eggs or more. This is too much for a newbie, firstly we are not a big family, secondly don’t want to lose so many eggs if I fail.
Cynthia got this recipe from her friend and now she has passed to me. Last week I borrowed the pasta machine from my neighbour and took my courage to try out. I did wasted 2 doughs as I have forgotten to put on the right dial. After some trial and errors, I have now mastered the basic techniques, I can even roll the pasta in front of my friends the other 2 nights to impress them, haha!
My neighbour’s pasta machine comes with a motor but I find doing it in manually with the handle is easily manageable, more fun and it’s cheaper to buy. Now I am ready to buy my own cheaper pasta machine!!!
So here is the basic dough recipe:
- 1 cup plain flour (Tipo 00)
- 1 large egg
- half egg shell extra virgin olive oil
- half egg shell water
- Rolling pin
- Pasta machine
- Clean work surface
With the 1 cup white flour, you can play around by mixing in other types of flour as desired to try out different textures. On my second day, I am already curious and have tried substituting some flour with semolina (7:3) to get a more al dente pasta.
It’s such fun to make your own pasta, I wish I had not waited until now to try. If you are hesitating like me, don’t wait any longer, just try, it’s really easy and not that difficult as you think, it’s just a matter of trying and practising.
- Clamp the pasta machine to your work table.
- On a clean work surface or a big bowl, place the flour on/ in it. Make a well and add the egg, olive oil and water into the well. Using a fork, gradually draw the flour into the well until all flour is incorporated into the egg mixture and get a lumpy dough.
- Dust your hand with some flour and knead the dough for 5-10 mins until you get a smooth dough. This step requires most energy and I found this is a very good stress relief therapy, if you have had a hard time lately.
- Once you get a smooth dough, you wrap with cling film and let it rest in fridge for at least 30 mins. This step is essential so to let the dough to develop the gluten to make it easier to roll later.
- Take the dough out from the fridge. dust the work surface and rolling pin with a little flour to avoid sticking. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces for easier handling. Flatten the first half of the dough briefly with your hand and then roll into a thinner piece with the rolling pin.
- Turn the dial of the pasta machine to the thickest setting, roll the dough through. Fold the rolled dough into half and pass it through again for 4-5 times. Then turn to the next thinner setting and so on until you get a thin sheet of pasta.
- You can now pass the pasta sheet to the attached pasta cutter to get your desired pasta.
I have always prefer the narrower pasta linguine or spaghetti to the wider tagliatelle and I was courageous to choose the thinnest setting for my first time and there you go, it worked! It sounds silly but I was so happy and excited that I have succeeded that I almost could not sleep that night!
Note. You should not need to dust much more flour after rolling as the pasta dough should not be sticky to handle.
- Boil a big pan of water, add some salt in the pan and cook the pasta for 90 second. Don’t overcook!!!
- Drain the pasta, serve immediately with your favorite pasta sauce.
- I simply drizzled some truffle oil, sprinkle a few spoonful of freshly Parmesan cheese, a little ground sea salt and fresh ground pepper, sprinkle some dried parsley for garnish. Toss and serve immediately. Yum, it was a very satisfying meal.
- I have a portion left and I dried them by hanging using a chopstick. It took longer to cook these dried pasta but they taste as good. I think from now on I will buy less commercial pasta. Like pizza dough I will knead some dough and keep in freezer so I can have fresh pasta in no time.
Baby Marc was very excited watching me kneading the pasta dough especially when I was banging the dough on the work table!
With fresh pasta, you don’t need much, less is more, I simply drizzled some truffle oil, tossed in some freshly grated parmesan cheese, add some salt and freshly ground pepper and garnished with a little parsley, done!
I dried some pasta and cooked them after 2 days, the outcome was also very satisfying, you just need to cook longer (3 minutes or so).
Useful links for reference:
- Jamie Oliver’s Basic Fresh Pasta with very good description
- Homemade Pasta Recipe-Pasta the way it should be, this recipe is very very close to my friend’s recipe, except that the tablespoon is replaced by using egg shell and that that there is no salt used in her recipe.
And we are now in vacation in Holland, we visited Burger Zoo yesterday, here are two pictures of the Meercats, reminded me the Lion King. Wish you all a nice Summer too!