My kitchen is so teeny-tiny I had to buy a big cutting board to place it over part of the sink for working space extension. A standing mixer is on the dryer along with bannetons and mixing bowls set. Who would think that I will buy a pasta machine and will make pasta dough at home? I’m definitely not.
Me and my husband, we love pasta and I was happy with what I could buy all the time. What could be easier than having a pack of ready to go pasta at your pantry for a quick dinner fix, right?
So I’ve never bothered to make it from scratch. Before I tried a homemade one.
Once we were visiting culinary maniac Katya Lyukum who is fortunately my friend and have a 30 minutes between our trips to nearby breweries. We were thinking about dinner plans and decided to make pasta. Not only we have a chance to try it but also for the opportunity to make it. It was surprisingly easy and quick. We just made the dough, put it in the fridge and went out for beer tasting.
When we went back I have my first encounter with pasta machine. Obviously I was slower than Katya and it took a bit more time, but in 25 minutes we have delicious dinner with our pasta (which we made with Barton Springs mill TAM flour) dressed with a bit of butter, cheese and German ramps pesto and served with seared scallops. Oh, it was a revelation.
It is a completely different experience comparing with store bought pasta we had before. You taste it once and you will never want to spend money on it in a store. That’s how amazing it is. Don’t get me wrong, there are very good brands and it’s good to have them just in case or if you want particular shapes that need special equipment like pasta extruder to be made at home. But in any other case, homemade pasta is a winner.
I picked my own pasta machine the same day and ordered it when we got home. My first try was with Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour. The result was delicious. It took some more time and effort to work with the dough, but it’s not a problem if you using our machine to knead it.
Then I ordered Italian semola flour and what you see on pictures is made from it. It’s fine mill so you can work with it like with regular flour. By the way, I don’t mix semola with regular wheat flour as many recipes suggest. I may try it someday, but for now, I’m satisfied with my pasta the way it is.
Homemade pasta wins not only with its taste but also with simplicity. You don’t need any rear ingredients, tons of expensive equipment (actually, you even don’t need pasta machine, there is a lot of handmade pasta and I will show it to you eventually) or super special skills. You can make the dough in the evening, put it in the fridge and your dinner or lunch will be ready in 15-20 minutes depending on the quantity of the pasta and your sauce. You don’t even need a special sauce, homemade pasta is absolutely gorgeous with just butter and cheese, or with good butter alone. But if you go with the sauce keep in mind that fresh pasta doesn’t need a lot of it. Especially the egg one, because it is very delicate. You should dress the pasta lightly, just to coat it with sauce evenly and add a bit more on top.
The last but not least, look how beautiful it is. Right? When I was making pasta and taking pictures (I’ve never done process photos before), I was torn between the need to do everything quickly to prevent pasta from drying out and the desire to shoot it in all possible angles. That’s how irresistible it is.
Ok, when your pasta is ready there is no need to let it dry out. If you want to make it in advance simply put it into an airtight container and put in the fridge. Mine was good for 5 days, but you probably won’t want to wait that long or make that much of it (easy and quick to make, remember?).
Don’t think to long, just go and make it. And don’t say I didn’t tell you won’t want store-bought again.
This recipie is from Katya’s blog. You could find some delicious variatiaons to try here or here. I’m going to try them too. She also have a cooking class about pasta (among others) and it is a fun experience, consider it if you are in Austin, TX or visiting it.
Fresh homemade egg pasta
- 230 g semola or semolina flour
- 2 eggs large
- 1/4 tsp salt
- A bit of AP flour for dusting
- Put the flour on the working surface and make a well in the middle. Put the eggs and salt there. Mix and knead the dough. Form it into rectangular, cover with plastic food wrap and leave to rest in room temperature for 1 hour or put in the fridge for 8 hours. You can keep the dough covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Dust the working surface around the machine with a bit of AP flour and have more on hand for sprinkling on the dough from time to time to prevent it from sticking. Using pasta machine, fold and stretch half of the pasta dough a few times with the widest setting of the rollers (#0 on my Marcato Atlas machine). Feed the dough through the rollers and lay on the working surface. Fold it into thirds, like a letter, dust with a bit of flour and roll again. When the dough became smooth and strong, roll a sfoglia of desired thickness gradually decreasing the setting on your machine.
- Cut the rolled dough to equally long pieces and cut by hand or with machine attachment. Here I used wider cutter and made fettuccine. When the dough has been cut, gently sprinkle them with flour, form a nest and place it on a rimmed baking tray dusted with flour.
- Repeat everything with the other half of the dough.
- To cook the fresh pasta bring water to rolling boil in spacious pot over high heat. Salt the water generously. Carefully drop the pasta into water and gently stir it with wooden spoon (I like to use chopsticks to do it). Let the water boil again (if you cooking thick noodles cover the pot to speed up the process). For thin pasta, you just need a minute or even less. Pair with sauce and serve immediately.
- If you need to store it, put the uncooked pasta into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze cuted pasta. Just put the tray with the pasta nests into the freezer. Then transfer the frozen pasta into zip locks and return to the freezer. Keep up to 1 month. Cook straight from the freezer.
I’d love to hear from you!