Pasta From Scratch
I’ve been trying like crazy to make homemade pasta and I’m getting there, but I just keep feeling like it could be better. I’m going to walk you through what i typically do and tell you where I’m struggling. If you have any suggestions, please please comment back and let me know what I’m doing wrong.
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Cups flour
Flour for dusting
I have done this old school MOST successfully in the past, so I’m a throw it on the counter kinda girl. The times I tried to use a mixing bowl, for whatever reason I couldn’t get it to come together.
Here’s what I did: First, I put my flour on my counter top. Well, ok first I cleaned my counter using a non-toxic cleaner of course. I like Mrs. Meyers best! After that, I felt comfortable putting the flour right on the counter top. Add in your salt and use a fork to combine. Make a big old mountain and then create a well that will hold in your eggs and not spill all over the place.
Crack your eggs into the well
then use a fork to blend the eggs and the flour together. I start by scrambling the eggs in the middle, being careful not to break my well down, then gently add in the flour from the well sides. Be very careful until your eggs and flour are combined enough that you can just use your hands and go to town.
Once you have a dough ball, you want to knead the flour until there are no more air bubbles. You can figure this out by cutting a piece off of your dough ball. If you see air bubbles…keep on kneading.
Here’s where I run into issues, because my dough ball never seems quite moist enough. I usually keep an additional egg on hand so that I can add that in as I see fit. From what I’ve read in different places, you want to knead for about 5-7 minutes, then place the dough in a bowl and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Some say cover with plastic, others with a semi moist towel, and one other resource said to put a towel over the dough and a plate on top, so that is what I tried this time.
My dough rested here for a while, then I took it out, cut it into 4ths and placed the remainder back in the bowl with the cover. The dough was dry and difficult to work with. This is where I typically struggle. I am typically able to get it into working conditions to be fed through my pasta maker, but it is difficult and the pieces NEVER look like the ones in the lovely pictures of the beautiful women (Giada De Laurentiis). They are not ever evenly sized, rectangular and smooth looking. BUT once I feed it through and cut it, it does end up tasting good, not great, but good. Better than boxed, so I continue in my efforts. Below is a picture of the pasta maker that I own. It is an Imperia Pasta Machine from William Sonoma. It is very easy to set up and doesn’t require cleaning, which was the main selling point for me. When I press and cut my pasta, I start with a rectangle (one of the fourths) and slide it through the press on the widest setting about 10 times, then lower to the next lowest and repeat until I am on the second to the lowest. At that point, I change from the pressing attachment to the cutting attachment and cut into the widest style noodle.
After I’m done cutting it, I hang the pasta to dry on clothes hangers for at least an hour.
What I’d like to know from any of you is:
1. How moist does the dough need to be before you cover it?
2. Do you run into these same issues?
3. How in the WORLD do you get the pieces to look long and beautiful?
4. Any suggestions, any tips, tricks, etc for making, storing, cutting, pressing…anything…I’m all ears! Except for where I’m nose, mouth and eyes.
5. Can you freeze the dough and defrost for later pressing or is it better to dry it out and store it?
It’s up to you all now to help this bombshell perfect homemade pasta! This is particularly important seeing as how my frequent dinner companion had an Italian grandmother…I know together we can get me there!!