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Fresh Pasta

There is nothing like fresh pasta.  Several years ago when we got back from Italy we sat down at the table to pasta that was perfectly acceptable before going to Italy and just looked at one another.  We all agreed that dried pasta was absolutely not the same. That is when I started either making my own pasta or buying it fresh from a local pasta store. There is really nothing more to it than flour and eggs. Sit back and have a cuppa - this one is a long one. But don't worry there are a lot of pictures.

Fresh Pasta
2 1/4 c flour
3 eggs

Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Crack the 3 eggs into the center.
Begin to mix the eggs with a fork, slowly picking up more flour from the sides.

Once all the flour is incorporated, turn it out onto a silpat or floured surface.
It will look like a big mess and you will start to wonder what is wrong.  Stick with it and knead the dough. This is great for building up those arms.
Eventually it will come together but it's still not much of a looker. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour or so.  You need the gluten to relax.  You can also refrigerate it and pick it up again tomorrow or later on.  Just let it sit out for about 30-45 minutes before trying to make the pasta.
It then magically somehow comes together. Still it doesn't look like much. Flatten the dough into some amoeba-type shape. Get it as flat as you can.

Now run it though the pasta machine on the largest setting.
Flattener (Left) Spaghetti cutter (Right)
After you run it through once, fold it in thirds and run it through again

It will look something like this:

Run it through another time and then decrease the space on the pasta machine. On my machine once I get it to 3 it is fairly long and is ready to be cut in half.
Run through again until desired thickness - for me this time it was a 4. Now insert the "cutting" part and run dough through.

You catch the pasta with the "wand" and then put it on the dryer

Transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack. This is the one I have and it is really has an intelligent design (no I don't mean that kind intelligent design).

Hanging out to dry
This is the dried (not from a box or bag) pasta all ready to go for a dip in the water. Make sure you boil this in a very large pot of salted water. It cooks remarkably fast so make sure you keep an eye on it. Fresh pasta for some reason seems more filling too. I'll show you what I did with it next time.

See not intimidating at all!


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