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3 February 2009

Tutorial on how to make you own pasta noodles!!

Are you tired of the tasteless dry pasta you buy from the supermarket? Getting the consistancy just right can be tough too. If you are anything like my family we LOVE fresh pasta. But fresh pasta costs 3 to 4 times more than dried pasta and if you don't cook it all, it goes moldy in the fridge.

Don't be intimidated - make it yourself. If you don't have a pasta roller/cutter/maker thing then go and get yourself one, but honestly it's not essential.

Making your pasta dough. Pasta really on consists of eggs and flour. This makes it possible to eat freshly made and dry to store. You can add different ingredients as you learn more about making it. My first try (which is pictured) was 100g (about 5 cups) of flour and 5 eggs. I've looked this up online and it seems to be consistantly 1 egg to 1 cup of flour.

Add flour to a mixing bowl. Make a cup in the middle by pushing the flour out to the sides, add your eggs into this cup in the middle of the flour. With a fork pull the flour in from the outsides repeatedly until you form a soft dough. Knead dough with wrists and finger tips until you have an elasticy dough. At this point I flattened my dough and added a little Italian Sea Salt and Italian Herbs and also a little bit of Mint. (All dried herbs) and kneaded it in folding as I go. Form a ball of dough, cover tightly with cling film and refridgerate for 1 hour.

You should end up with something like this - cut into 4 sections.

If you do not have a pasta maker, divide your sections smaller - they will roll out really thin. Flour the surface you are working on and begin with little pressure to roll out your dough. Add more flour and more pressure as you go.

If you have a past maker, set it on the thickest setting and each roll through add more flour to both sides(this stops it from sticking to machinery, itself and you!).

With each run through turn the setting to a thinner setting, when you have reached the thinnest, you are ready to cut.

Flour your pasta one more time and run it through the cutter, remember to have someone help you or make sure you have a bowl placed under cutter to catch your pasta.

If you want to dry your pasta, be sure to flour it one more time so that it does not stick, straighten it as you cut onto a baking sheet. Let stand in room temp with a towl over it to dry.

If you do not have a pasta cutter simply cut it with your knife, you can make bowties or even cute shapes. (Like say - hearts for valentines day) if you cut small squares and pinch the edges you get pasta shells!

If you want to eat it straight away boil some water and drop it in. Watch it immediately go from a yellowish doug like consistancy to a white noodle! It will only a take a couple minutes to cook because it is so fresh and voila!

Delicious pasta you make yourself.

For raviolli simple do not run through cutter and make nice rectangles with your flat pasta, fill, and make a white wash/egg wash to bind the edges. Fill with whatever you like. I am going to try a "Lasagne Raviolli" which is each component of lasagne in a raviolli noodle. Ricotta(or cottage cheese) in one, meat in another, tomatoes and onions in another and topped with bolognaise sauce. Yummy.

For lasagne noodles simple cut to fit your pan. It makes lasagne so much easier as you can even make one large noodle to a custom fit for your pan! and layer as normal.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes or what cominations you enjoy. Experiment, if it goes wrong you wasted a little time and an egg or two and some flour, big whoop, at least you didn't waste it on those store bought pastas! If you have questions feel free to ask!