4/25/11

21 Fresh Pasta! Easy as 1 ~ 2 ~ 3!


Do you LOVE pasta?  I do! 

After my MANicotti post, some of you asked about making fresh pasta.  Dried pasta is good.  Fresh pasta is extraordinary.  It is simple, easy, and inexpensive to make.  Think about your favorite restaurant.  Like bread?  Salad?  Pasta?  Why pay $15 for a dinner salad, bread or pasta when you can make it for pennies on the dollar?  It is easy as 1 ~ 2 ~ 3.

1 ~ Make your pasta dough.  Pasta is simply flour, a pinch of salt....


eggs and a dash olive oil.  You can mix this by hand or machine.


This dough needs just a wee bit more moisture, so I add about a tablespoon of water.


Give it a quick knead on the counter until it is smooth.

Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. 

The flour will continue to absorb the liquid ingredients, become softer and easier to roll without tearing.

 
2 ~ Roll and cut.  This is the pasta maker that my sister in law gave me for my birthday a long, long time ago.  It is easy to set up.  Just attach it to a counter or table with the clamp...


add the hand crank, and you are ready to go!


The ball of pasta dough is cut into smaller pieces for easier handling.  It's almost like cutting butter...


Each side of the dough is dusted with a little bit of flour.   Brush any excess flour off.


The knob has the numbers 1-7 on the dial.  We start with number 1.


Pass the slice of dough through the machine...No need to pull it through...just guide it out onto the counter top.


dust both sides of the dough with flour...


turn the knob to number 2...


and repeat: dust, turn knob, crank.  Dust, turn, crank....till you reach your desired thickness.  Or thinness. 

This goes very, very quickly if you have a volunteer crank it for you. 

Cut the dough to the desired length.  Now it is perfect for lasagne or even manicotti.


To make angel hair pasta or fettuccine, connect the attachment to the pasta maker and move the crank to the type of pasta you wish to make.  This attachment came with my pasta machine.


Dust the pressed pasta sheet one last time lightly with flour.  Brush the excess off and put it through the cutters.

Here comes the fettuccine!  (thanks, spell checker!  What would I do without you??)


...and the angel hair pasta!


Since I am cooking the pasta right away, I put them in small piles.  I've dried pasta before and it takes for...e...ver.  Really.  A day or two, depending on the thickness of the pasta.  Besides, FRESH is better!


Pssst....did you know you can freeze the dough?  Just put these piles of pasta on a baking tray and stick them in the freezer for several hours.  Once frozen, put them into a freeze Ziploc baggie for longer storage.  When you want to cook it, take it straight from the freezer and add 1-2 minutes of additional cooking time...no thawing out needed!

To clean the machine, all you need to do is brush the flour off.  That's it.  No soap, no water, no dishwasher.  Easy!  

3 ~  Cook your pasta.  Fresh pasta cooks up very, very quickly.  Like, 1 1/2  - 2 minutes.


Just give them a quick stir after putting it into the boiling water and the noodles will magically come apart.  After 2 minutes, scoop the pasta out, put it into a bowl, and give it a quick toss of olive oil or  marinara sauce to coat the noodles and keep 'em from sticking.

This angel hair pasta is my hubby's favorite, tossed with pesto that I made last year and froze in ice cube trays.  




Are you ready for fresh pasta?

Fresh Pasta
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)


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