Monday, September 20, 2010

Fresh Pasta

I don't do it enough. I take the easy way out and use dried. I made the spinach lasagna noodles today for my catering gig on Wednesday(3 pounds of it). The trimmings turned into dinner for Madam and I. Just a little butter and Parmesan (Reggiano, of course) and the fresh spinach noodles. Simple but oh so good. I need to remember how good fresh egg pasta is over dried.
The thing is that fresh pasta is so easy and cheap. Yeah it takes a few minutes and you have to actually get your hands dirty but the results are so far superior to the dried stuff it is a no brainer.

I make a pound at a time which equates to 3 large eggs, 12 ounces of all purpose flour(about 2 1/4 cups) and a teaspoon of sea salt. If you are making a spinach pasta then add a 1/4 cup of chopped spinach squeezed as dry as possible. A 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach turns out to yield 4 ounces of chopped spinach once all the water is squeezed out. Put everything in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds and you have pasta. Take it out of the bowl and knead it for a minute to bring it together and you have it. You can also do it the traditional way on the counter...just make a hole in the center of your flour and put the three eggs in it with the salt and gradually bring it all together into a dough. Not hard but a little work. There is a little 'feel' to it but the dough should be workable not too dry and not too wet. A little practice will get you there. The FP is much faster. I have a pasta machine to roll out the dough but you can roll it by hand as well. Once you have homemade egg pasta you will be spoiled and the thing is it cooks it like a minute and a half. It is really brilliant.
If you don't need a pound of pasta then just remember the formula 110 grams/4 ounces of all purpose flour to each large egg and a 1/4 tsp salt. That will make one serving of pasta. Depending on the moisture of your flour and the size of your eggs you might have to adjust a bit but once you get a dough that holds together but is not sticky you are there. Once you have the dough you can make all kinds of pasta from lasagna to angel hair and even ravioli. If you don't make your own pasta you are missing a great food experience.
Once you have the basic whole egg pasta thing whipped you can advance to yolk only pasta which is a little harder to work with but an order of magnitude more delicate and tasty.

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