I decided to splurge a little bit this week and bought my very own pasta maker. Not exactly a flat screen t.v. but still very entertaining and teetering the fence between a food service machine or home exercise equipment.
Needless to say, I made some pasta.
Surprisingly, pasta requires even fewer ingredients (flour + eggs) than necessary to make bread (flour + water + yeast). Suffusive to say, my frugal side really shined that day. On the other hand, I did add a few more ingredients for a much tastier pasta with the addition of a few ingredients to spice up the old humdrum yellow looking pasta (no offense yellow pasta).
“Homemade pasta in a rainbow of colors!”
Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Makes: 1 pound per color
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Red Pasta: 1 tablespoon tomato paste
Green Pasta: 6 ounces blanched spinach
Black Pasta: 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
In a large mixing bowl (some people use the counter top but I think this just makes a big mess that I do not want to clean up) combine all ingredients (you may create a well in the flour and add the ingredients in that way too but at the end of the day makes sure everything is incorporated properly. The reason I believe its common to make a well in the flour is because, when you’re working on a counter top, the well keeps the eggs from sliding away)
Kneed the dough however you please, that makes sense, for approximately 10 minutes (this will develop the gluten network giving your pasta the elasticity it needs to be rolled effectively. This happens when water and flour combine which is why biscuits are so crumbly because there is very little water among other things). When you let go of your dough it should appear to be moving back into place – don’t worry, it’s not possessed. At this point, cover with a damp paper towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
After the dough has properly rested, give it a good wake up call and cut it up into workable chunks. (It is entirely possible to make pasta without a pasta maker but you’ll need to roll it super, super thin. Don’t be discouraged). On the widest setting, roll the dough through once. Fold it in half and send it back through. Fold it in half again and send it through again. And once more with feeling (this will help to build elastic layer in the pasta – that’s a good thing).
Continue to roll the pasta through the machine (you don’t have to fold anymore) down each setting until you reach setting 3 or setting 2 depending on your machine (it should literally be paper thin and somewhat see through). As you roll, if you take both ends of the pasta and feed them through the machine together it will form a continuous wheel you can more easily feed the dough through the machine without having to stop. Otherwise cut the pasta into workable sheets as you proceed (be sure to flour these sheets when you set them down or they will stick to everything).
Once you have reach setting 3 or setting 2 cut the dough into workable sheets (remember to flour them). Now its up to you to shape your pasta. Send it through the machine to make linguini or angel hair; roll penne and pinch bow ties; or do nothing at all and make lasagna noodles. The pasta-bilities are endless.
Dry It- The key to drying pasta is simple; allow for the exposure of air. Thusly, it is important to make sure the pasta is touching as minimally as possible (think school dances). Whether you hang linguini on coat hangers next to a favorite armani suit or leave everything laying across the counter top, so long as the air gets to it, it will dry. You may wrap up your linguini like some suggest but I find it just sticks together to easily and is not a risk I’d like to take again, so lay it out straight as best you can.
Cook It – bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, wait.
*Mixing the ingredient together in a bowl will create less of a mess on the table.
Nutrition Information %Daily Value
Serving Size: 1 Serving *Based on a 2000 calorie diet
Calories: 580 Added Sugars: 0g Vitamin A 8%
Total Fat: 19g Vitamin B6 9%
Saturated Fat: 3g Vitamin B12 16%
Cholesterol: 164mg Vitamin C 0%
Sodium: 646mg Vitamin D 6%
Potassium: 178mg Iron 74%
Total Carbohydrates: 84g Calcium 4%
Dietary Fiber: 3g Riboflavin 57%
Protein: 17g Folate 85%