Monday, June 14, 2010

Fresh Pasta

The word pasta first appeared in English in 1874, from Italian pasta and from Latin pasta "dough, pastry cake".

There is nothing like eating fresh hand-made pasta. And the best pasta is made with "00" flour. It is less refined than regular flour and has 11.5%-12.5% high quality gluten, which is important in producing a quality dough. Alternatively a mix of semolina and plain flour can be used, a ratio of 1:3. A pasta machine is essential to roll your dough, if you don't have one they can be purchased from good home-ware stores or kitchen warehouses for as little as $30 or $40.

Here's my pasta recipe and a step by step guide;

565g "00" flour
12 yolks
2 eggs
tsp olive oil
tsp water 
pinch salt


Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine yolks, eggs, water and oil. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Gradually add the eggs, stirring constantly with a fork until dough comes together. 
On a floured surface, knead the dough until soft and smooth. This is very important, it disperses moisture evenly and works the gluten, which strengthens the bonds of the dough. 

Wrap in cling wrap to prevent oxidisation and rest for 2 - 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. 

After sufficient resting time, your dough is ready to be rolled.

First, secure the pasta machine to the bench top with a damp cloth underneath to prevent it from slipping. 

Lightly flour machine and bench top, set the machine to the widest setting. Divide the dough into smaller, more manageable pieces.  

Using a lightly floured rolling pin and surface, flatten a piece into a rectangle shape. (Keep other pieces under a damp cloth to prevent drying out).
Gently feed the dough through the rollers. Fold one side of the rolled dough into the centre, and the other over that to form three layers (this is called a book turn). 
Starting with an open side, feed back through the machine. Repeat this process four times. This ensures a smooth pasta and further works the gluten. 

Adjust the machine to the next narrowest setting. Feed the pasta through again with one hand and catch it with the other, being careful not to stretch or tear the sheet.

Roll pasta through at each setting until reaching the most narrow.

The pasta then can be used as sheets for lasagna or cut, into spaghetti or fettuccine.

To cut into fettuccine, attach the pasta-cutting attachment to the pasta machine according to your manual's instructions. Then feed the thinly rolled sheet of pasta into the cutting attachment, catching them by draping them over your hands as they're cranked out of the machine.

Either hang pasta on a drying rack or scattered over a tray dusted with flour. 

Cooking and Serving
Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 4 - 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Strain.

To enjoy the flavour of your fresh pasta simply toss in olive oil and lemon juice, top with shaved parmesan.


  1. Good job Christopher!!! Hope you enjoyed it :)

  2. i did :) i hope it inspires readers to give it a go themselves.

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