Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Easy Homemade Pasta Recipe

I confess, for the first 34 years of my life (damn, I'm old) I ate store purchased pasta.  I pretended to enjoy it...but secretly I wondered how restaurants were able to get so much flavor into noodles.  Good fortune was looking down upon me when my mother-in-law gave me a pasta machine (thank you again Barbara!).  It was with this little contraption that caused me to make homemade noodles. 

What You Need:


2 1/2 cup flour (I use bread flour, but you are welcome to use all purpose flour)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Egg
1/3 cup water (more or less)

Pasta ball after 1 hour
I use a Kitchenaid mixer, but you could easily make this by hand. 
To start, put the flour into the mixing bowl and add the egg and olive oil.  Turn the mixer on 2 and let the dough hook start mixing things up.  If you are doing this by hand, then gently start incorporating all the ingredients in the bowl.  At this point start adding the water gradually.  You want to get the dough to start forming a ball.  It may take less water or maybe more.  As long as the dough forms a rough ball, you are good to go.  Even if the dough doesn't look completely moist all the way though, don't fret.  Wrap the bundle of dough in greased saran wrap and leave for on your counter about 20 minutes to an hour. 

Pasta ball cut into equal parts

If you dough is a little sticky then just add a little flour on top and keep some hand on the side so you can mix more in if needed. Once you have the dough non sticky, cut your dough into equal parts.


At this point you want to get out your pasta machine. If you don't have a machine, lightly dust your counter and rolling pin and roll the dough out as thin as you'd like the noodles to be.  When using the pasta machine, put the setting on the widest to start.  You'll want to run the pasta thru a few times on each setting.  Simply fold the dough over on itself in the first setting to blend the dough more and more until you get that nice elastic feeling.
Fold over pasta on 1st setting


Change to a smaller setting on the pasta machine after two to three times thru the machine.  Some people say not to pull or stretch the pasta as it goes thru the machine, but I do it.  It makes a longer thinner sheet. Just don't pull too much or you'll break the dough.

When you are done passing the pasta thru the machine, hang the pasta to dry. If you don't have a pasta hanger (I don't) just put a tea towel over a cabinet door and hang the pasta over that.  If you have puppies, kids, or cats make sure they don't go sniffing nibbling or messing up your beautiful pasta sheets. 
Running your pasta thru machine


When you pasta is the desired thickness attach your noodle cutter attachment to the machine.  Cut your sheet of pasta in about 8 to 9 inch pieces.  Why you ask? If you put a sheet of pasta thru your machine that was 24 inches long you will get 24 inch noodles!  Kind of hard to eat!


Lay the noodles out to dry a little more on a tea towel and get your pot of water on the stove.  Add 1 Tbsp on olive oil or salt and get that water steamy and boiling.  Use a large pot of water, no any of your tiny pots.


If you don't have a pasta noodle attachment, there is an easy way to make noodles.  Roll one side like a jelly roll until you reach the middle of the sheet. Roll the other side up to meet the in the middle as well.  Cut the pasta as thin or as thick at you like. Unroll the pasta and voila! You have noodles!


When the pasta rises to the top it is done.  The longer your pasta sits in that water to mushier it will get, so don't let it sit!


Pair the pasta with an easy pasta sauce like this recipe:


Sugo Rosso

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large basil leaves, chopped

Directions

Rolled pasta if you have no machine
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the tomatoes in boiling water until the skin begins to split, about 1 minute. Immediately remove the tomatoes and plunge into ice water for several minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water; remove and discard the tomato skins. Cut the tomatoes into chunks. Blend the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth.
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat; warm the crushed garlic in the oil until fragrant, being careful not to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the blended tomatoes and salt; bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir the basil through the sauce. Allow the sauce to sit for a few minutes to allow the flavor from the basil to blend into the sauce.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat; warm the crushed garlic in the oil until fragrant, being careful not to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the blended tomatoes and salt; bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir the basil through the sauce. Allow the sauce to sit for a few minutes to allow the flavor from the basil to blend into the sauce. 


Of course, if you want to keep it really simple, just put some butter and Parmesan cheese on your noodles and have yourself a big plate of yummy pasta!




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