Basic Pasta

This week I decided to concentrate on back to basics. I have had a request for how I make pasta so will be covering that today. Fresh pasta is easy to make without too much hassle, tasty and inexpensive with plenty of variations available. I tend to make mine in batches freezing the spare before cooking to eat at a later date.

The basic ingredients for pasta are: flour ( I use basic plain although you can get wholemeal, gluten-free and other types if you want to adapt the recipe to your taste), eggs, salt( a very tiny amount) and water (some people use oil) which helps bind the dough together and stop it from becoming too stiff.

How I make pasta:

I take two pre beaten eggs, a pinch of salt and 3 ½ to 4 cups of plain flour and place it in a large mixing bowl.

Then I use a silicon spatula to mix it first but it is fine to use a metal spoon or clean hands.

Once the egg and flour is mixed begin to knead together by folding and pressing the mix until it becomes a stiff, thick but not too sticky consistency.

If the mix is too sticky add a tiny bit more flour or if the recipe is too floury use a bit of the water. Make sure all the dough is well mixed together.

After this I usually cover my bowl and leave the dough to rest for a minimum of half an hour.  If you’re planning on saving some for later then let it rest in the fridge.

Divide the dough into sections and roll out to the desired thickness on a floured surface (pasta swells when it cooks and thinner pasta cooks faster). I find it easier to only roll in one direction and then flip the dough as it prevents it sticking and ensures a more even thickness.

Cut into the required shape either by hand or use a pasta machine. I cut mine by hand and find that squares are the easiest shape to get even size pieces and it is far less fiddly than trying to cut straight lines.

Very lightly flour the pre-cut pasta you want to save and place in a box/ bag into freezer.

The other pasta is ready to cook now. Boil some water and cook for 3-5 minute’s. it will float when done. Serve immediately with the sauce of your choice and enjoy.

Finally stick your feet up and let someone else do the washing up.

Dough

Dough (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other ideas

This is a recipe from one of my favourite sites that suggests measurements for serving eight: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2984/fresh-pasta.aspx

For those of you wanting to try something a bit more extravagant that still won’t break the bank why not try making potato pasta (gnocchi). I found an easy step by step recipe which I intend to test myself here: http://www.delallo.com/articles/making-homemade-gnocchi-step-step-guide

I haven’t tried making vegan pasta yet, but someone who has is Vegan Dad. Why not check out some of his recipes at: http://vegandad.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/easy-fresh-vegan-pasta.html

If you want gluten free alternatives to your favourite recipe there are some fantastic suggestions available here: http://www.delallo.com/blog/recipes/transform-your-favorite-recipes-gluten-free-recipes

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One thought on “Basic Pasta

  1. Pingback: Basic Pasta Variations | frogandcount

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