Homemade Pasta: You Asked For It!
We asked our Recipe.com Facebook fans to tell us which dishes they’d most like to perfect, and we got a terrific response. Now, we’re talking back, giving you recipes for all those foods, from rich homemade pastas to light and airy cheesecakes, that you asked for, with some tips to help you perfect those dishes.
With dried pasta in a gazillion shapes readily available at the supermarket, it’s tempting to forgo making noodles from scratch. But there are a lot of you out there that want to learn how to make pasta, and the rich flavor and light texture you’ll achieve with homemade will keep you coming back to the pasta maker.
Flour, eggs, water, and salt are all you need for pasta. That and the willingness to put in a little elbow grease. A food processor fitted with a dough blade will help as in this Fresh Egg Pasta recipe). You can also use the “well” method: place your flour on a clean work surface and form a well at the center. Add the eggs, water, and salt to the well; mix it gently with a fork until it’s combined, and then gradually incorporate the flour from the “wall” a little at a time (first with a fork and then with your hands).
Speaking of flour, semolina flour is best (it’s a low-protein flour that will make a dough that’s simple to work with and a resulting pasta that’s tender to eat. Unbleached all-purpose flour can be used as well, but it’s a bit higher in protein content. So look for semolina flour at your supermarket (or buy online at such purveyors as Amazon.com). Keep your work surface dusted with flour as well, but don’t overdo it or you’ll have tough pasta.
You don’t have to spend big bucks on a pasta machine either. Use a hand-cranked model (with regular, not nonstick, rollers, such as the one pictured above). As you run the strips of pasta through the machine, dust any tacky bits with flour so they won’t stick to the rollers. See our Fresh Egg Pasta recipe for all the details on working with dough and the pasta machine.
Once you’ve mastered egg pasta, take a walk on the wild side with these recipes: