Making Fresh Pasta

pasta types
Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 4 Mins Total Time: 34 Mins

finished pastaFresh pasta is creamy and has the perfect bite. Tossed with some Parmigiano Reggiano and a little olive oil, or in Pasta al Limone, this pasta turns most dishes into masterpieces.

Fresh Pasta vs. Dry Pasta

Fresh pasta has simple ingredients: flour and eggs. Alternately, the recipe for dried past includes flour and water. Fresh pasta can be thrown into a pot of water straight out of your pasta maker, frozen, dried. Other than ingredients, what are the differences between these two kinds of pasta?

Not much.

The pasta you find in the grocery store is made by extruding the flour and water mixture through a machine and into elbows, lasagna, spaghetti and so on. The pasta is left to dehydrate over time and then packaged for your grocery store.

Fresh pasta is a dough that is kneaded and sent through a pasta machine. The dough is rolled through a pasta machine to create thin sheets. The sheets are rolled through cutters to create spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine, etc.

Which Pasta To Use

angel hair and spring veggies
Angel Hair Pasta with Spring Vegetables

When you create a pesto or alfredo, tossing a fresh pasta into your sauce is an absolute dream dish. When you are making a meat sauce and other bold sauces, you will find that a dried pasta has the strength to stand up to the bulk in the dish.

No matter how you choose your pasta, choose pasta you love.

Easier Than You Think

Making fresh pasta is easier than you think. Even if you do not have a pasta machine, you can make pasta like lasagna, ravioli, fettuccini and other pasta that do not require the small blades of a pasta machine.

Kneading a pasta dough is meditative. Because pasta dough is firm and not sticky, it is fun to push, fold, and turn your dough.

I hope you get into this process and make it a part of your regular food prep.

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Ingredients

0/4 Ingredients
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Instructions

0/7 Instructions
  • Gather your ingredients. Beat eggs and yolks into a bowl. Set up your pasta machine. Clear a space to place your pasta sheets as they come out of the machine.
  • Using half of your flour create a pile of flour with a well. Pile the rest of your flour next to the well. Begin by adding some of your egg to the well in the flour. Using your fingers mix the egg with the flour. As you run out of moisture add more egg, as you need more flour, pull it in from the reserve pile. You may not need all of your flour. Knead this dough until it is stiff and no longer sticky.
  • Form your dough into a log. Divide dough into 1/2"-3/4" disks. Knead the first disk for about 30 seconds until you can easily flatten the dough with your hand.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the disk to create a strip that will fit into your pasta machine.
  • Set your machine to the #1 setting. On the Atlas, this is the largest (thickest) setting. If your dough is already thinner than your thickest setting, try the next (thinner) setting. Run the dough through the machine. Fold the dough into a square and feed it through again. Set your machine at the #5 setting and run your dough through again. Hold the dough gently taut to allow it to every so slightly stretch. If this results in your desired density set the dough aside on a floured surface. For a thin pasta like angel hair, you may want to run it through again on #8.
  • Attach the cutter fitting for the type of pasta you want to make and run your sheets through the machine. Remember to begin by holding the sheet firmly and then gently pull the dough through as the pasta leaves the cutter. Hang the pasta from a pasta drying rack, or curl it into nests.
  • Use your pasta immediately, or store in zip-top bags in your refrigerator to use within the week or freezer for up to three months. If you dry your pasta, store in an airtight container. Dried pasta can technically last indefinitely, however, the FDA suggests you use dried pasta within two years.

Notes

There is a wide variety of pasta recipes. Some use more egg than this recipe. Using your eggs a bit at a time and adding more flour as needed help to keep your pasta at the desired consistency.

*If you want to use semolina flour, substitute 1/2 of your flour for an equal amount of semolina.

For hand-cut pasta, roll your dough into a long roll. Slice the roll to create the width of a fettuccini. (about 1/8"-1/4" as you desire). Make long strips with a cutting wheel.

To make gnocchi, create a small flat football shape. Try 1" long by 1/2" wide (at the widest part). Roll the dough on the counter or on a gnocchi board.

Make delicious ravioli with your favorite filling. You can use individual cutters or this handy ravioli mold.

Equipment

I used to use the pasta attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer. The Atlas gives me better control and more consistency.

This is a simple and inexpensive pasta drying rack that is easy to store.

**This page contains suggested equipment. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. **

Tags

#dinner  #easy  #pasta  

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