Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fresh Pasta....it's so tasty and easier than you might think!

I have always been a lover of good pasta but frankly a little nervous to try my hand at making the noodles from scratch.  Well let me tell you......I have overcome my fear.
I have been making fresh pasta for about a year now and it's fabulous and it really isn't difficult.

Nothing beats the taste and texture of fresh homemade pasta.  Compared to the dried stuff....I think it's definitely worth the extra bit of effort.  We rarely buy pasta anymore and Fresh Pasta seems to appear quite often on the menu around here.


Traditionally, the flour is just put on the counter and the pasta dough is made.  I prefer to make my dough in a bowl.....the clean up is easier and the flour stays confined to one place......I am a bit of a messy cook :-)

I usually use regular all purpose flour (I prefer unbleached) because I always have it on hand, however, if you can find 00 flour, it's worth it....your pasta will be very tender and soft. Comparatively it will cost about 10 times as much as regular flour.  Considering you are only using about 4 cups though, it's probably worth the extra $2 or so.  I usually buy 00 flour from Galloways or The Gourmet Warehouse.

So, don't fear making fresh pasta.  It's only flour and eggs and a little love.  Your people will love it.  Mine do!


My recipe is based on Mario Batali's.
Yields about 1 lb of pasta, 4 servings 
The photos show half of this recipe..... (only BR and I for dinner tonight!)


Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs

Directions

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl or mound onto a cutting board or countertop. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. 


With two fingers, mix the eggs together and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well.  The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough, primarily using the palm of your hand. Add more flour, in 1/4-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, toss the dough onto a lightly floured surface  and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust with flour when necessary. 


Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Divide the dough into 4 and roll and form as desired.








Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta. 


For rolling and cutting the pasta I use my Kitchen Aid mixer and the pasta roller/cutter attachments. I LOVE my Kitchen Aid! 







If you don't have a pasta roller, cut the pasta dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece with a rolling pin to the desired thickness, then cut your pasta with a knife into the desired widths. Toss the cut noodles with a tiny bit of flour to prevent sticking.
Fresh pasta cooks very quickly.
Bring a large pot of water to boiling, add a generous pinch of salt.  Toss in your pasta, stir gently to separate the strands.  You will only need to cook the pasta 2-3 minutes for al dente!  Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.
Stay tuned for BR's favorite pasta.....in fact it's named after him at our restaurant!  
It's become one of the most requested menu items.  
BR's Favorite  Pasta will be coming up next............. until then, happy eating!


5 comments:

  1. Singing the praises of this pasta and wanted to let you know that BRs favorite is the favorite of other privileged diners as well! Looks like the rest of you will have to patiently wait for the recipe.

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  2. thanks Dee. I am secretly hoping that if i write the recipe down for BR's Favorite Pasta, BR will be able to make BR's Pasta all by himself! :-)

    BR's Pasta Recipe is coming up soon!

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  3. Hmm...now that's a thought. Looking forward to sampling the first attempt. I have faith that BR will do an excellent job!

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  4. Thanks for posting this recipe! I am very temped to try it myself. I think I will borrow my mom's pasta roller (a manual one that she uses to make fresh Chinese noodle) and may be try it next weekend! LOL I am all excited now.

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  5. hi hungrybear..

    I think you should try making the pasta....really kind of fun to make and the results are fabulous. I started with the manual roller. it works great. I just like the kitchen aid as is seems to free up a hand. I always felt like I needed three hands when making pasta before :-)
    let me know how your pasta turns out when you make it.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting :-)

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