Pasta From Scratch!

I recently added a recipe for ‘gravy and meatballs’ and promised some recipes for homemade pasta. There’s nothing like it. So, here they are. Now, a word about the addition of the water: Do not just pour it in the well all at once. Add it a little at a time. You may find you don’t need all 1/4 cup. You may find that you need a bit more. This isn’t an exact science. The idea is to make the dough smooth and elastic. Not crumbly. Not soggy. As Baby Bear said, it needs to be “just right.”

When it comes to mixing dough, you can either do it manually or use a machine. I have a Kitchen Aid with a dough attachment. It comes out fine either way. It’s just that using a machine saves some labor.

Basic Pasta Dough

 Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs, beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp salt

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Place flour in a mound on a large work surface. Form a well in the mound and add the eggs, water (in increments, please), salt and oil.

Begin mixing with the fingers of one hand while pushing the flour from the edges of the well into the egg mixture with the other hand. Continue mixing until the dough forms a ball. The idea for all pastas is to have the dough smooth and elastic, not wet and sticky. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or more until it has reached the desired consistency.

Cut the dough into three pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. After chilling, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before rolling.

To finish by hand, roll using a rolling pin until 1/16 of an inch thick. Cut to your desired shape.

To finish with a pasta machine, cut dough into quarters and form them into a rectangular shape that will fit in the pasta machine. Lightly dust the dough with flour and roll it through the machine, starting at the thickest setting. Then fold the dough once and roll it through the machine using the next thinner setting. Repeat this process until the pasta is the right thickness. Cut to the appropriate shape using the machine cutters. I have a classic hand crank Imperia (shown in the picture). It works great. Fancy is not always better.

Basic Semolina Egg Pasta

Ingredients

3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cups semolina flour

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp. Salt

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Follow the procedure for basic pasta above.

Lemon Scented Pasta

Ingredients

2-4 drops lemon oil

3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cups semolina flour

2 tbsp. dried dill

5 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp. Salt

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Follow the procedure for basic pasta, adding the two additional ingredients to the well.

This pasta is amazing when used with white clam sauce.

Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

¾ lb fresh spinach

3-2/3 cup all purpose flour

1-3/4 cup semolina flour

4 large eggs lightly beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp salt

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Clean, wash, and blanch spinach in boiling water for about 15 seconds or just until wilted. Remove spinach from boiling water and plunge it into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly; squeeze dry in a kitchen towel and then puree in a food processor.

Follow the instructions for basic egg pasta above adding the spinach to the mixture in the well.

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