This week i’ll be telling you how to make your own pasta! My machine is designed for making fettucine and spaghetti. Fettuccine seemed the easiest and least intimidating to start with and I was right, it’s actually pretty simple!
Top tip: run some flour through the press and cutters to make sure none of your dough gets stuck! You really can taste the difference with freshly made pasta. It just takes a little time to let the dough dry out once you’ve got it as thin as you need, but only 20 mins or so and then you’re good to go! I’ll keep this simple. You’ll need a pasta machine, ours was around £20 in a sale at a lovely cookery store in Birmingham but you can get great ones on amazon, in M&S or Debenhams for about the same. Ingredients: 500g Grade ’00’ pasta flour 4 eggs tablespoon of lukewarm water …and that’s it I swear. Impressive hmm? Instructions:
- Pile all the flour onto a clean surface and make a medium-sized well in the middle for your eggs to sit in.
- Crack your eggs into the well in the flour.
- Slowly begin to mix the eggs together, bringing in a little flour from the sides every time until you gradually mix everything together in a doughy consistency.
- knead the dough with the heels of your hands until it’s combined into a springy ball that doesn’t stick to your fingers. If the mixture is too dry add a little bit of water to the mix. It shouldn’t be too rough and floury when you’re finished kneading.
- Now, flatten out the dough to about 1-2cm thick and chop it into roughly 3 equal sections, so you’re not dealing with too much at once. (the dough can keep for a few days, I still have some in the fridge).
Now the fun bit: pressing your pasta.
So you need to clamp it firmly to a work surface. Make sure there isn’t too much clutter around, once you get cracking it just makes life difficult. Get one of your pieces of dough ready and set your machine to the first notch on the dial at the side, number 1. This is the widest setting. Feed it through the rollers once, making sure your rollers and floured. Fold it together again and repeat this pressing 7 times before you move up the next notch. Once you move up to 2, you won’t need to fold it in half after each pressing. Move all the way up through to around 7/8 for fettucine. We stopped at 7 as our sheets were getting pretty long and pretty thin, which was perfect for what we wanted! So now, you have your sheets. You just need to lay them on clean cloths to dry out for 20 minutes before you cut them up. Once they’re nice and dry, choose the right setting on the top of your machine and slowly feed the sheets through. I recommend having someone on pasta catching duty with a plate at the other end. Once it’s cut, you can pretty much cook it straight away! It only takes 2-3 minutes before it’s perfectly al dente.