Sunday, April 18, 2010

Making Pasta - it's easy!

At some of the farmers' markets we attend there are always a few customers asking us how to make pasta. We generally have a few recipe sheets available but here is our main recipe which makes excellent pasta without a machine. If you have a pasta machine, you won't need a rolling pin!

Home made Egg Pasta (without a pasta machine)

500g plain flour (durum wheat flour works best)
5 large freeranger eggs or 10 pullets eggs

A rule of thumb is to use 1 egg to every 100g of flour. Pour the flour onto the bench so that it forms a mound. Make a large hollow in the centre and break in the eggs. Use a fork to whisk the eggs until combined then start drawing in some of the flour.

With your hands, bring the mass together and start kneading. It's easier to knead a little more flour into a sticky dough than adding liquid to a dough that is too dry. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and firm then allow it to relax for 30 minutes.

Now knead for five minutes, roll on a floured surface to ⅛ inch thick or thinner if preferred. Sprinkle more flour to dust it then cut into strips or squares if you want to make ravioli or filled shells. Meanwhile boil a big pot of salted water with a little olive oil in to keep the pasta from sticking. Toss the finished pasta into the pot and cook five minutes. It will rise to the surface when done.

If you want to dry the pasta rather than eat immediately, simply hang the strips on a drying rack then store in a jar once dry.
What could be easier! We occasionally buy pasta in packets but there really is no value in it and fresh always tastes so much better.

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