When I first attempted making Fresh Pasta I wasn't sure if I could do it?
After all its Fresh Egg Pasta, and it is made with Semolina, not the stuff from the box that folks reach up and buy, boil and toss with jar sauce and eat.
The majority of people, because of their busy lives, depend on the convenience of ready to cook or heat and serve foods. In the 80's fresh pasta was emerging as the hottest thing in the country.
To be able to say that the Pasta in your restaurant was made in house was a draw for those who either haven't experienced it or know what it's like to experience this simple but delicious food.
It took me some time and practice and eventually I could crank out a small batch in no time!
Please do not be discouraged If you don't nail this recipe and technique at first. It's worth the time and effort!
I will cover flavored Pasta in future posts.
Fresh Semolina Egg Pasta (Recipe) print version
Enough for 2 or 1 if your hungry. Makes enough for 8 Jumbo Ravioli or 16 smaller ones
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Semolina I used Bob's Red Mill (durum, milled for pasta)
1/2 Cup all purpose flour or Arthur Special plus 1/2 cup for bench work and dusting
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Water
1/2 Tsp Salt
This is probably the easiest way of you don't feel comfortable with the well method. Here we are going to mix all ingredients well with a fork or with your hands in a suitable sized bowl till a sticky dough forms.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and proceed to knead by grabbing the top of the dough, folding from the top by half. Then using the heel of your hand, press the folded dough into the fold firmly. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and repeat. Add flour as needed to aid in the process or absorb excess moisture. Proceed to knead for 10 minutes.
Once the dough is smooth on the outside you need to place it into a plastic bag and let it rest in the fridge for 20 min or overnight if desired.
Once rested (the pasta dough not you) you may proceed with the sheeting using your Pasta Machine or roll it out using a rolling pin. For the Pasta Machine I start with the largest setting and then run it through, dusting the pasta with flour first and in between. I then fold it in half and repeat this 6 times. I then let it rest for a few minutes and then proceed to run sheeted pasta through the rollers going down each number on the dial until I get the desired thickness.
For Ravioli I go till I can see the shadow of my hand behind the pasta. If I was cutting Pappardelle, Fettuccine I may leave it thicker, same for Spaghetti.
Sheeted pasta may also be cut on the table with the wavy wheel cutter. Try cutting rectangles and pinching them in the center to make Farfalle.
Once the Pasta is sheeted you may proceed with filling for Ravioli or cook and drain large squares to create Manicotti, Cannelloni or Lasagna.
Cut long Pasta may be frozen in seal-able bags and cooked in salted boiled water when needed. You may also have the water going and once the pasta is cut drop it in, now that's fresh Pasta!
Fresh Egg Pasta does not take long to cook. Be sure you have plenty of salted boiling water, taste the water to be sure there is enough salt for your taste.
Drop the Pasta in to the boiling water and stir to prevent sticking. After 3 minutes or when the Pasta begins to float to the top grab a piece and take a bite. (use a tongs or a spoon) The Pasta should be tender to the bite but not "moushade"!
Drain the Pasta immediately and toss with a small amount of Olive Oil, do not rinse it! I like to toss Pasta with a bit of "Gravy" to wet it then top it with more.Try the beautiful simplicity of tossing the Pasta in high butterfat European Butter with fresh grated Parmesan!
Here is a video on making pasta as well