Pasta for beginners

I’ve nearly finished all the recipe testing for next week. It’s been good going over recipes to double-check they work and remind myself that ‘no’ the jelly boats we were going to make are not suitable for vegetarians (thank goodness for vege-gel).  The baked jam doughnutsI tested earlier on in the week are for the American day and the pasta is for the Italian day. It’s fair to say the children coming on the course are very much looking forward to the day as along side this pasta we’ll also be making  pizza, focaccia, lemonade and ice cream. Before today I didn’t really like fresh pasta. I’d only ever experiences the ‘fresh’ pasta you buy in the supermarket fridges. It always seemed so claggy and horrible. Today’s experiment has changed this thinking and it works out at quite a cheap way to make pasta and great for when I’ve run out of the dried variety.

To make pasta all you need is flour, egg (though some recipes use water instead of egg) and a rolling pin. Of course you having a pasta machine does make some parts of pasta making easier, but it’s not essential. You can make the dough directly on a clean table by making a well in the flour and cracking in the egg, but as each child will be using a smaller quantity of flour we’ll be making it in bowls. When it came between washing up doughy bowls or doughy tables the bowls won.

If you have a pastry wheel cutter or a pizza cutter it does help with cutting the dough. Alternatively use a non-serated knife and rather than dragging the blade through the dough press the blade into the dough to cut. If you are struggling to cut the dough because it keeps stretching allow the rolled out dough to dry for 10 minutes before cutting again. By making orecchiette shaped pasta (looks a bit like a red blood cell) you wouldn’t even need a knife. Just roll the dough into a small ball and make a thumb indent in the middle.  If you’re looking for a site showing different hand moulded pasta shapes I can highly recommend this site.

Egg Pasta

Makes around 130g fresh pasta 

80g plain or pasta ’00′ flour

1 egg

1) Mix together the egg and flour until you have a dough.

2) Knead the dough for 5 minutes then leave to rest for 10 minutes.

3) On a well floured surface roll the dough out until it is as thin as you can make it. Cut shapes and lengths from the dough.

4) Either use fresh or allow to dry on a floured surface. When ready to cook boil in lightly salted water for 5-8 minutes.

Published by Jules

Professional Food Geek who loves a freshly baked loaf.