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MAKING FRESH PASTA

MAKING FRESH PASTA

I am always willing to try new things when it comes to cooking. I was out shopping the other day I saw a pasta machine (still in the box!) sitting on the shelf in a charity shop (if you're not lucky enough to find one, click here to order your very own machine on Amazon). I've always wanted to use one, so I jumped on my chance. I was excited...imagine all the noodles I was going to make, the ravioli, the lasagne, the cannelloni!! I have always preferred the fresh pasta in the grocery store, but those are usually so expensive, but not anymore!

When making your own pasta from scratch, you hear things like needing some special semolina flour, exact measurements, that you'll need to channel many generations of Italian mothers and grandmothers, and this is knowledge can only be passed down...wrong! I'm French Canadian, not an Italian bone in my body. My mother was a pretty crappy cook, and I hate exact measurements or following an absolute formula. I'm adventurous, daring and a bit lazy, I might add. I love things to be on the easy side.

Making your own noodles is insanely easy! Really! There is no need to be intimidated and you will be so happy with the outcome that you'll never buy the dried stuff ever again...trust me. I make a ball of dough, divide it into quarters. Keeps in the fridge for over a week. Whenever I want fresh pasta, I just roll some out, drop it in some boiling water and that's it! Pasta for two! I can roll it out, cook it and toss it with sauce in the same amount of time as it takes the dried stuff. Easy!





Some tips to remember

  • you must use room temperature eggs, they'll incorporate into the flour much better

  • In the egg-free dough you can replace the water with any flavourful liquid you want...wine, beet juice, spinach puree...

  • The dough will feel quite dry and hard not to worry, this is fine. It should be tougher than a bread dough. The rolling process will smooth it out nicely and the noodle will stay together when you boil it and toss it in sauce

  • Let your dough rest...this will allow it to set up nicely and you'll notice that it'll be easier to handle and it'll roll out smoother

  • Generously coat all the finished noodles with flour. That'll keep them from sticking together and will help the sauce stick to them

  • When you're boiling the noodles, be sure to salt your pasta water really well

  • NEVER rinse cooked pasta, in fact, you should always use a splash of the pasta water when tossing the noodles with the sauce. The flour is what will help thicken the sauce and help the sauce stick to the noodles

  • Do not overcook your noodles...you want them to still have some tooth to them

Don't think that I'm suddenly bogging you down with all these rules when I specifically said that this would be easy. These tips are important and apply to all pasta dishes. If you learn them, you will become a true pasta master...and come on, it's still easy and so forth it!

Making Fresh Pasta
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