Fresh pasta

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by shimmer, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. shimmer

    shimmer

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    Hello everyone

    Well, since I am suddenly in a job without 40-hr weeks of cooking or baking, I have been itching to do something new. I have this pasta machine that I have never used, and some fresh sacks of flour....

    Has anyone ever made fresh pasta? Would you rather cut it by yourself or actually use the pasta machine?

    What kind of sauce (vegetarian) would you make to go with some nice fresh pasta?

    I just want something to do with my hands. Probably tonight, so please reply ASAP

    Thanks,
    ~~Shimmer~~:chef:
     
  2. shimmer

    shimmer

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    Should I / could I use all wheat flour, or should I mix it half wheat half white?

    ~~Shimmer~~
     
  3. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Hi Shimmer!

    I have made pasta on my grandmother's 90-year-old board and in a hand-crank pasta machine. The texture is different form the machine, nice and silky if you've prepared the dough right. Personally, I don't get as thin a product from the board as I do from the machine, so I use the machine for linguine, etc. and the board for noodles with a thicker texture. Matter of taste, I guess. I don't know about the proportion of whole wheat to white, but I'm sure someone will handle that part of your post.
     
  4. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Well, you probably don't have Durum Semolina on hand but you can use unbleached all-purpose with success.

    Here's what I do:

    2½ cups flour (use 1¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¾ cup pastry flour, or 2 cups all-purpose flour and ½ cup cake flour)
    2 eggs
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon Olive Oil (optionnal)

    Variance:
    1) Use 2 egg yolks and 1 egg white

    2) A generous pinch of saffron steeped in hot water for 15 minutes and passed through a sieve

    3) White wine for liquid.

    I have used both methods, by hand and by machine for cutting my pasta, it all depends on what I want to do. Fettucini or linguini are good with the machine and a wider pasta for instance, can easily be cut by hand.

    As for the sauce, a light sauce seems to work best with fresh pasta. Here's a seafood one, really easy to do:

    The Sauce

    Large Shrimp
    Flour
    Fresh Rosemary
    Garlic, minced
    Fresh Tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced evenly
    Capers (optional)
    White wine (Pinot Gris), about ½ cup
    Italian Parsley, minced
    1 Lemon
    Black pepper

    Dredge shrimp in flour and shake out the excess.

    Heat up a skillet, add some butter and oil on medium heat and sauté the shrimp (turn as soon as they are pink) and do the other side.

    Add the fresh rosemary, the minced garlic and the tomatoes, the capers (if using), the white wine, the parsley and a squeeze of lemon, freshly ground black pepper. Let the sauce reduce a few minutes while the pasta is cooking.

    And most importantly, Enjoy! :rolleyes:
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You know, the image I have right now is of Rodin's sculpture, the thinker, sitting on 5-6 fifty pound sacks and wondering what to do. Just what constitutes "some fresh sacks?" :D

    Kuan
     
  6. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Isn't it funny how we have this almost "body clock" internal thing that goes off if we don't cook enough? ;) I wonder why my feet simply direct me to the kitchen, only for my head to figure out what I'm doing there.

    The beauty of fresh pasta is that you control what goes into it.

    * Find yourself a nice spinach, sun dried tomato or beet pasta recipe. You can have the machine crank out the sheets and cut them for you, or you can use the wide sheets for lasagna. If you prefer smaller shaped pastas, you can hand cut those.

    * Refrain from using all whole wheat flour. It will make a very rough textured product. Use half white and half wheat flour (or a larger percentage of wheat) for the slightly toothy texture, deeper color and health benefit provided by whole wheat flour.

    * As for sauces, here's the rule of thumb...The more complex the pasta flavor, the less complex your sauce should be so the flavor of the pasta shines through. If you're making pasta that's simply a "vehicle" for the sauce, you can go pretty plain.

    * You can sauce it with pesto or ratatoille made with veggies cut very small or a smooth tomato cream sauce.
     
  7. pongi

    pongi

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    Hi!
    Can't give you any advice about making pasta with your machine because I don't know which types of pasta machines are available in US...personally, I have a hand machine, but use it only seldom because I like more making fresh pasta entirely by hands. It's time consuming, but when you have a good practice pasta ends up much better. Most of all, the pasta rolled with a mattrel, being less smooth, keeps better the sauce and results tastier. The main problem is that you'd need a true Pasta mattrel, that is more than 3 feet long! I still have my Grandmother's, who was from Parma, but don't know if they're available also abroad....

    In any case, the original recipe of fresh egg Pasta "Bolognese style" simply calls for these ingredients:

    1 large whole egg each 100 grams (about 3.6 oz) white wheat flour, and a pinch of salt.
    No water; no oil; no other liquids. No whole wheat flour or durum semolina-you can use them for fancy pastas, but NOT for the real "Pasta all'uovo"!

    This pasta is the tastiest you can get, and the best for Tagliatelle, Fettuccine and so on, but making larger pasta sizes (like Lasagne) and Ravioli could be hard because this pasta is difficult to work, very elastic, and dries quickly.

    So, the usual pasta I use for Ravioli is made with 4 whole eggs each 500 grams (17.8 oz) white wheat flour, salt, and the necessary water (I never measure it, but suppose it's about 1/2 teacup). The less eggs and the more water you use, easier to work will be the pasta...with the practice, you can find your favourite doses according to your taste and to the time you have!

    I don't know where to start with recipes...there are MILLIONS of vegetarian fresh pasta recipes! :D

    Only two or three "funny" suggestions:

    COLORED PASTA

    When you have a good practice with plain pasta, you can make naturally colored (and flavored) pasta:

    1)RED: instead of water, add concentrated tomato puree or extract (3-4 tbsp each 500 grams flour);

    2)GREEN: add spinach puree (boil spinach and process in a blender)

    3)ORANGE: add carrot puree;

    4)YELLOW: Add a pinch of saffron to the water;

    5)BLACK: it's made with Sepia black, don't know if you can find it but black pasta is very nice with seafood sauces!

    Another suggestion for a nice presentation of freshly made Lasagne and other flat pasta types: roll the pasta, scatter on the surface fresh parsley or basil leaves, fold it up and roll again. You'll see the leaves through the pasta, with a nice decorative effect.

    The first times you make homemade pasta it can be boring and time consuming, but when you have a good practice and can start to play with it, it's a lot of fun!:)

    Pongi
     
  8. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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  9. pongi

    pongi

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    Hmm... it was a wrong memory, I was sure the word "mattrel" did exist but I must be drunk today! :eek:
    I meant a very long rolling pin, surely you don't need to see a pic to imagine it:D
    As for Sepia black, I just meant squid ink. This pasta is easily available here in most groceries and markets...

    Pongi
     
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Nope, don't need a pic. We have rolling pins, too!!
     
  11. jock

    jock

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    Pongi, I have been making pasta at home for many years and I usually use a mixture of fancy durum and white flour in various proportions depending on the type of pasta. (Lasagne with more semolina, fettucini with less for example.)
    But I really like your suggestions and I will try them out. I roll my pasta in a machine because I don't have the space to do it by hand. But it's still pretty good. Thanks for the tips. :)

    Jock