Sunday, 29 December 2013

Home made fresh egg pasta

To make your own pasta can be quite an experience! The fantastic smell and the delicious taste of it will reward you of the little fuss.
You can involve your children as well: they will enjoy putting their hands in the flour and use the rolling pin.
I will always remember when my grandmother taught me, she worked hard in the family farm, and she had very little time to cook during harvesting time, so I helped her with home cleaning and cooking.
She never weighted anything, and I am a little bit the same, so, when I describe a recipe, I often weight after I got the right quantity.

All you need to make fresh egg pasta is flour and fresh eggs, preferably free range eggs because their yolk is orange and the color of the pasta will be more attractive.
If you do not have a large wooden board (the Italian traditional one is at least 140 cm x 60 cm) you can do it on any clean flat surface, if it is very smooth, put a little bit more flour on it because it will be more sticky.  

If you have a pasta machine roller, everything will be very easy, but from my point of view, the pasta will be a little more smooth and the sauce will slip away. In this case I suggest you use at half flour and half semolina.

The recipe you find hereunder is for the basic egg pasta, if you want to make stuffed pasta such as ravioli or tortellini you will have to keep it more wet and thinner.
But let’s start with something easy today!

(makes tagliatelle for 4)

3 large eggs
Approx 300 grs. / 10.58 oz  00 flour (or all purpose flour)  (or half flour and half semolina mixed well)

How to:

1)    Througly wash and dry the surface you are going to use.

2)    Crack the eggs in a bowl and weight them, then weight the same amount of flour which you will use for the first dough;

       3)    Mould this flour on the counter and create a well in the centre and pour the eggs in the crater.

       4)    With a fork or the tip of your fingers break the eggs and start to mix incorporating the flour from inside (you can make it in a bowl as well – but it is not the same …)

      5)    Now you got the first wet, sticky dough.

      6)    Dust the surface and your hands with some flour and start to knead the dough with the heel of your hand after the other for about two minutes until the dough is very smooth. Keep adding flour now and them because the dough should not be sticky at the end.
Now your dough is nearly done and you       need to make it silky and not rough.

             7)    Clean the working surface scrapping with a knife and wash and dry your hands.

8)    Put some more flour on the surface and knead it for an other minute: it is a great workout for your back and shoulders and you will feel nicely hot when finished!

9)    Wrap you dough in a clean napkin or, if your air conditioning/heater is on, in cling film to prevent it from drying and let it rest for half an hour. (in the meanwhile you can start making Bolognese sauce, for example!)

     This is the final dough.

10)  When you feel ready, dust your work surface with some flour, take a lump of pasta dough the size of an orange, make it round and press it flat with your hand.

11) If your rolling pin is short, take less than half of it and make “stripes” instead of the round one.

Make sure to have enough room to work it out

Take the rolling pin and start rolling with good energy, turning the dough 90° every time you pass on it , so you can get a nearly perfect round pasta. Dust with flour both working surface and the top of the pasta now and then. If the working surface is very smooth  I prefer semolina to flour tipo 00. Here is your sfoglia! 

Consider that the first time it will not be perfect, nor the second, but do not give up: after cutting you will not see it any longer, so no problem! ;-)

Now: how thin should it be? As said it depends on which kind of output you want. For lasagna, tagliatelle and farfalle go on until you reach the thickness of a playing card, while for stuffed pasta you with need it very thin, you should be able to read through it.

You may also like:

Bolognese sauce

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