September 6, 2020
Homemade Pasta: The Perfect Thing to Try Right Now
Having to stay at home as much as we can is making life quite boring for many, especially the ones who are not used to staying home for prolonged periods. Everyone is looking for something that would make their time enjoyable and somehow less boring. One particular thing you can try at home with all this extra time is homemade pasta.
Making pasta from scratch isn’t something one normally has the time or the energy for. Why not give it a shot now, when you have both?
Making pasta by hand is an art. Those who practice this art get to taste the real, fresh pasta and then there’s no going back. You will only turn to dried pasta in a moment of great need.
How to make pasta from scratch?
You can make pasta by hand or with a machine. If you have a pasta machine, it will be easier to shape the pasta (if you don’t have one already, here are some of the best pasta makers to choose from). However, if you want to skip the pasta maker it would also be a whole lot of fun making it by hand.
Whichever method you are going for, the first and foremost thing is making the dough. Let’s get to it!
A simple recipe for your homemade pasta:
Preparing the dough is really easy and straightforward:
- For the dough, you need 1& ⅔ cups of flour (wheat flour/all-purpose flour is okay, but semolina flour is best for pasta that soaks up sauces really well), 2 medium or large eggs, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 pinch of salt (you can add some herbs for flavor and color).
- Put the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough – you can get yourself some of the best mixing bowls here if you don’t already have a set.
- You can also use a stand mixer: first use the flat beater to combine the ingredients, then switch to the dough hook.
- Knead until the dough becomes firm.
- Once the dough becomes smooth and is no longer sticky, form a ball and cover with a kitchen towel.
- Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
This great recipe makes about 18 ounces of dough and takes almost an hour to make. If this particular recipe doesn’t have enough yield for your needs you can double the ingredients.
Making pasta by hand:
For those of you who want to make pasta by hand, following are the simple instructions for you to follow:
- Cut the dough into 4 quarters.
- Place a quarter of the dough out on a lightly floured surface (all-purpose flour or semolina).
- Using a rolling pin, roll it as thin as possible.
- Allow to dry the pasta sheets for at least 15 minutes before you get to cutting.
You can make all sorts of shapes by hand if you want, but it will be far easier and quicker if you were to use a pasta roller. Just make sure you roll and fold the dough, and then repeat multiple times, as it is said to improve the flavor.
The most common type of pasta is in the form of long noodles. To make different types of noodles like pappardelle and fettuccine, roll out your dough and fold it into a flat roll. Then cut as follows:
- Spaghetti, 1/16-inch strips.
- Linguine, 1/8-inch strips.
- Tagliatelle, 3/16-inch strips.
- Fettuccine, 1/4-inch strips.
- Pappardelle, 1-inch strips.
Caution: You need to let the pasta that has been rolled out dry for at least 15 minutes. Make sure to roll it out on a floured surface so the dough doesn’t stick. Also, if you allow the pasta to dry some more after it has been cut it will retain its shape well while cooking.
Making pasta with a pasta maker:
After preparing the dough, place it on a floured surface, and roll it out with a kneading pin. Then, follow the following steps:
- Roll the dough through the pasta machine to make thin sheets of the dough.
- Fold the pasta dough like a letter and then roll it through the pasta maker again to bring out the flavor.
- Roll the dough through the pasta roller again and again, making it thinner and thinner and stretching it out.
- Attach the cutting attachment you need for the shape you’re going for. Then run the pasta sheet through the machine again.
- To prevent the pasta from sticking together, sprinkle some flour and toss it a bit to coat it thoroughly.
Now get the sauce started, and enjoy!
Cooking homemade pasta:
Cooking fresh, homemade pasta is far easier and faster than the packaged, dry pasta that you get from the market.
- Place it in boiling, salted water for just about 2 minutes (or until your desired level of doneness is achieved) to cook it.
- Make your favorite sauce e.g. tomato sauce, white sauce, creamy sauce, etc. You can also add veggies to make a balanced, healthy meal out of it and add the cooked pasta in it. And you’re done. Enjoy fresh, homemade pasta!
Trying different flavors and colors with your homemade pasta:
You can add different herbs and vegetable oils or purees to give your pasta a different flavor if you are tired of making traditional pasta. You can also make rainbow pasta by using different vegetables to give color to the dough. Just divide your dough into parts, add your natural vegetable colorings, knead the dough, and make multi-colored pasta. It will certainly liven up the dinner table!
You can try a variety of ways to make the pasta itself and try out different combinations of sauces to make this Italian dish more fun and exciting than it already is. If you continue to practice your pasta making skills, you can throw a pasta party when social-distancing is over and surprise your family and friends with your pasta-making skills.
Author Bio: Sarah is really crazy about Italian cuisine and likes to try out new things. Also, she is obsessed with making things from scratch so she knows what goes on behind the scenes. When she isn’t trying out something new she likes to review products for Kitchen Faction.