Thursday, April 21, 2016

5 pro tips when making homemade pasta


Whether you call it pasta or noodles, doing it fresh not only tastes better, but it's healthier for you. Once you know how quick and simple it is to make your own pasta, you’ll be ashamed you ever bought the store-variety. With just four ingredients and 20 minutes, you can whip up a truly home-cooked meal that is sure to impress the guests and show them who the real foodie is.



Recipe
Adapted from Katharine Blackmore’s cook book “50 Ways with Pasta”. Yields enough pasta for 4 people. 


2 cups of strong bread flour,
all-purpose flour is fine—but your pasta won’t come out nearly as chewy as mine will
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil




Preparation:
1. It’s super-duper simple.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until all the ingredients come together. Knead the dough on the table until a smooth paste forms. Let the dough rest uncovered on the countertop for 10 minutes. Once you've let the pasta rest, divide it into six pieces for easier handling. Roll each ball of dough to your desired thickness (you know how thick pasta should be) and cut into ¼ in. to ½ in. wide strips. To cook, place in boiling water for a maximum of 3 minutes. Finish cooking the pasta in sauce. 


Now I’m not one to curse oft, but…jinkies! That’s too easy! And, in a sense, it is. You can make perfectly delicious fettuccine using the quick directions I’ve provided above; however, if you want flawlessly perfect, uniform, thin, silky, chewy fettuccine, here are my 5 pro tips. 


5 Pro Tips for Perfect Fettuccine
1. Don’t be afraid of using a lot of flour. And, I really do mean “a lot”. As in: “when your family walks passed you while you sprinkle flour on the countertop, they should be afraid” a lot. Especially, use a lot of flour between layers when you fold the pasta sheet to cut into strands. The extra flour will fall off when the pasta unravels, and you won’t have to worry about your pasta sticking. 



2. Don’t be afraid of the dough ripping. Because pasta dough really only consists of flour and eggs, it dries out quickly and is surprisingly sturdy. 


3. Focus on thickness, not on shape. After working with the dough for several days, I discovered that rolling the dough out by hand was actually really easy and quick if I focused on rolling a certain part of the dough to my desired thickness, rather than trying to keep the dough an even rectangle. After all, nobody is going to notice that some of your pasta strands are curved on one side. And even if they did (which I doubt they will), your pasta will be so good they won’t even notice. 


4. Let the dough rest...twice. Eggs, like all proteins, tighten as they’re worked or heated. Because the dough mostly consists of eggs, letting the dough rest makes it extremely pliable and easy to roll out. After you’ve let the dough rest the first time (and you've rolled it out), I'd suggest letting the dough rest a second time. After the second rest, the pasta shrinks back and relaxes, allowing you to roll the pasta to the exact thickness you want. 



5. Finish cooking the pasta in sauce. In a perfect world, I would even go so far as to cook the pasta in the sauce. But, seeing that that might be a little extreme for some of you, I would suggest blanching the pasta in salted boiling water and immediately throwing it into the sauce to cook al dente. Not only does that allow the pasta to soak up additional flavor, but you ensure that the pasta doesn’t overcook and become mushy. (the Creamy Mediterranean Pasta you see above is a sneak peek to next week's post) 



I hope these tips help you in your pursuit for the perfect pasta. Comment below what type of pasta is your favorite and what you like to serve it with. Also, if you liked this recipe and the wittiness, please share it on your socials and tell your grandparents (grandparents don’t usually keep up with their socials). I really hope y'all give this one a try. And as always, 

Chow!


You Might Like: