In the Good old times pasta was made from scratch. We are so used to the pasta from the package and many people cannot imagine to make pasta from scratch. Is seems to be difficult and inconvenient when you can just take a package and pour the pasta into boiling water.
But what about special occasions and dinners? Wouldn’t it be great to present and enjoy the unique taste of handmade pasta as part of the festive menu? Instead of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving have some fresh pasta made from scratch with the turkey and gravy.
Advantages of Pasta Made from Scratch
1. Fresh pasta has several advantages over dried pasta. The main difference is the great taste of fresh pasta. Not only can you distinctly taste the flavor of the pasta but the texture is creamy and smooth and melts in your mouth.
2. The pasta is also less slimy than dried pasta so the sauce sticks to it much better.
3. The cooking time of fresh pasta is about half the time that dried pasta takes. Since you can make fresh pasta ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer it can really help you whip up a fantastic and tasteful meal in a short time.
4. With fresh pasta you can also mix up the recipe to create unlimited varieties of pasta. You can experiment with colors: Add some shredded spinach for green pasta, a little tomato pasta for red, some squid ink for black.
Change the flavors: Green pesto adds a great basil flavor, some finely ground nuts create a unique flavor.
5. By making pasta from scratch you know the ingredients. For instance, you can choose to use water instead of egg, whole wheat flour instead of white, organic flour instead of standard. You are re completely in control over what you will be eating.
6. With fresh pasta you also have complete control over the shape of the pasta. You can make spaghetti or linguine, lasagna or gemelli, or any type of noodle you like.
7. Involve your children in the pasta making process. It’s of educational value if kids now of what their daily food is made of.
Ingredients Egg Dough for Pasta made from Scratch
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups 00 flour (or just use 4 cups all purpose flour
4 large eggs
Cooking Instructions Egg Dough
– Place flour on a big enough wooden board.
– Make a well in the center of the flour; add the eggs into the well.
– By using a fork, beat the eggs and add more and more flour from the sides; expand that all the flour is used for the dough and mixed with the eggs.
– Knead the dough with the palms of your hands palms for 10 min, dust the board with flour if necessary.
– The dough is done when it is elastic, smooth and a little sticky.
– wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 min at a cool place.
Cooking Instructions Make Pasta
– dust the surface with a bit of flour and roll the dough super thin (see in the video for further explanations).
– make some small rolls out of dough then cut with a sharp knife your pasta. You can determine how thick you want the pasta to be. The video shows even how to make Farfalle (bow tie).
Video Showing to Make Pasta from Scratch without a Machine
Using a pasta Machine
– After the dough has rested for 30 minutes form the dough into a flat round and cut it in 4 parts.
– Sprinkle some flour on the first setting, the flat one.
– Run each sheet through the flat roller. Every time fold the dough and repeat this for 5-6 times with different settings, until you get the desired pasta thickness.
– Use the desired pasta setting and run the sheets through the machine.
– Sprinkle the pasta with flour and mix them a little so they don’t dry or stick together.
Now they can be cooked!
In a big enough pot have water with some salt, bring it to a boil! then add the pasta. Gently stir so they don’t stick on the bottom of the pot. They are done in 1-2 min. The Italian way is “al dente”. That means there is still a tiny bite to it. That’s how it should be.
Find out in another article how to dry pasta the right way so you can use them later.
Video for Making Pasta with the pasta Machine