Jane demonstrated how to make fresh pasta in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. I had introduced Jane as a school teacher for 25 years in previous blog. Jane was married to an Italian and she had lived in Italy for 8 years. For the many years Jane lived in Italy, she told us that she still can’t pronounce Italian words with one p and double p differently as the Italian do.
As an experienced teacher, Jane started off her demonstrations with a brief introduction to the geography, culture and food of Italy. We can see that she is a good teacher.
Jane prepared the above two dough from all purpose flour and whole wheat fine ground flour early in the morning using a bread machine. Jane will demonstrate to us how to prepare the dough by hand from scratch later in the kitchen.
One important tool to make fresh pasta is a sturdy pasta machine. The above pasta machine has 3 slots, one for rolling the dough into thin sheet with adjustable thickness, another for cutting the dough sheet into wide flat noodle like fettuccine and a last slot for cutting the dough sheet into thin noodle like angel hair.
- Flour (usually white all purpose, but you may use whole wheat fine ground hard wheat)
- Eggs – roughly 1 egg per one cup of flour; quantity varies according to the type and humidity of the flour and the size of the eggs.
- For our demonstration, Jane used 2 cups all purpose flour and 3 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt.
Click on Read More for the instructions.
|Mound flour on work surface; make a well in the centre.
Add eggs and salt to the well.
Using a fork, beat eggs with salt. Starting from inside edge and working around the well, gradually incorporate the flour into the egg mixture until a soft dough in formed.
|Sometimes, depending on the humidity of the environment or when too much flour is incorporated into the egg mixture which caused the mixture to be too dry and not coming together into a dough, you may add a little more egg at a time and use your finger tips to bring the flour together to form a dough.
Scoop up and sift any flour left on the work surface, discarding any bits of dough; set aside.
|On a clean lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes, working in enough of the sifted flour to make a smooth and elastic dough.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap; let rest for 20 minutes to let the gluten in the dough to relax.
Divide the dough into 3 pieces to make handling in the pasta machine easier, cover the rest with plastic wrap when not in use so that the dough will not dry out and to prevent crust from forming.
|On ligjhtly floured surface, roll out one of the pieces into a 5-inch (12cm) long strip; dust with flour.
Feed through the widest setting of the pasta machine rollers (8 or 9) 4 times or until edges form smooth line, folding the dough in half and lightly flouring after each pass through the machine.
Set the machine to the next narrowest setting (6 or 7); run through once without folding. Repeat running dough through rollers until next to finest setting is reached (1 or 2), cutting dough in half if awkwardly long. In Italy, the pasta should be fine enough to read a newspaper through it.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Using a past rack or broomstick balanced between two chairs, hang dough until leathery but not dry, 15 to 20 minutes. If dough dries, remove from rack and pat with damp cloth.
|Change setting from rolling to cutting position. Cut paata into lengths of up to 10 inches (25cm).
Place a baking sheet or flat plate with some flour just below the pasta machine to catch the cut pasta
Feed each length through cutter.
|Dust the cut pasta with flour so that they wont stick.
This is the angel hair cut.
|Here is the fettuccine cut.
IF you are making the fresh pasta ahead, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour or refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
|Fresh pasta cooks rapidly in salted rolling boiled water, from 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the noodle.
You may served the fresh pasta with some cream or evaporated milk and with some cheese shaving.
|Another way to serve the pasta is to drizzle with some olive oil and add some cheese shaving.
|For meat lovers, you may serve the pasta with some meat sauce.
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