PASTA DOUGH Recipe
21 August 2009
Eight friends and a pasta machine is a great recipe for a dinner party and a welcomed change to the standard fare of one exhausted host, slaving over a hot stove while the guests wait ‘patiently’ in the next room.
Weeks ago at Lucy’s wedding, Helen & Rich casually mentioned the steam oven in their kitchen. I’m not sure they were quite prepared for my overly enthusiastic reaction…. Imagine a fat kid on a lolly pop and you are getting warmer. So they suggested we come over for dinner and I said great, why don’t we all cook together. Friends are always surprised by this idea, I think mostly because they have never done it. I grew up in a family where everyone, men and women alike, pitched in to make the meal. The talking, drinking and cooking together was half the fun.
When planning the cooking menu, I had to keep in mind that we were 8 in the kitchen and that the recipes should be vegetarian for Lucy 🙂 While the steam oven was a great temptation, I put this on the back burner, opting for homemade pasta making – as I thought it would be a better idea for a large group.
And it was! We split into two teams ‘The Boys” versus ‘The Girls”. Each was given the required ingredients and with a helping hand from yours truely made the pasta dough by hand. Lucy, Helen & Rich were our master mixers, followed by Stu & Jen who looked like professional kneaders. Each dough went into a plastic bag, one marked with a ‘zizi’… go figure, the other a flower… I think it’s clear who was who here! While the dough rested for two hours we drank & talked while making pesto, lemon pecorino sauce, courgette-rosemary soup and an apricot tart.
It was then onto the linguine making. Flattening, feeding, folding, separating… by the end of the pasta making, the teams were so confident that Rob had upped the machine speed and they were all helping each other – it was a great success! Though it must be said that as we were two teams, and this was a competition, there was a winner and that was ‘The Boys’, whose pasta was just that little bit better. Jen said to me ‘before making this pasta toghether I would have thought – what’s the point? You can easily buy it fresh from the store … But after tasting the homemade version you quickly see there is no comparison’.
RECIPE : SWEET PEA Blog
A basic recipe for fresh egg pasta for linguine
- 200 grams semolina flour (hard wheat durum flour / blé dur) – see image
- 100 grams all purpose white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons water
PASTA MAKING TIPS: the rue of thumb is 1 egg for 100g of flour. Semolina flour is essential; using only all purpose white flour will result in thicker, stodgier pasta… been there, done that, don’t recommend it! Rolled out pasta sheets dry very quickly so you will need to make the linguine right away, the tea towels help to keep the moisture.
RECIPE for my homemade tomato pasta sauce : click HERE !!!
- Mix the two flours and salt together. Pour onto a clean surface and make a large, wide well in the centre
- Crack the eggs into the well and whisk with a fork
- With finger tips, incorporate the flour with the egg. This takes time, don’t panic & the water will help.
- Gradually add the water so the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough for 5-8 minutes, until a nice uniform ball forms.* Dust with a little semolina flour if too sticky.
- Wrap in plastic and leave on the counter for 2 hours. Do not skip this step.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Lay out one clean tea towel (dish cloth) and keep 4 others to the side.
- Generously flour the work surface with semolina flour. Take one of the four pieces of dough and pat it into a flat oval shape, pass it in the flour.
- Put your machine on a wide setting (ie N°2 for the kitchenaide). Pass the dough through.
- Fold the rolled out piece of dough in half, flour it, re-pass it through the machine. Repeat this folding and rolling process 2 more times.
- Now put the machine on a thinner setting (ie N°4), re-flour dough and pass it through the machine.
- Put the machine on a fine setting (ie N°6), re-flour and pass the dough through.
- Place the long sheet of pasta on the clean dish cloth (tea towel) and cut into two shorter pieces, cover well with another tea towel.
- Repeat steps 8 to 13 with the three remaining pieces of dough.
- Once all the pieces are rolled out, then start making the linguine. Re-flour each pasta sheet and slowly pass it through the machine, re-flouring the cut strips before placing them in a dry container.
- Cooking time for the linguine is only 2 minutes in boiling water.
*Kneading the dough develops the gluten in the flour, otherwise the pasta will be soft and lifeless when cooked.