May 23, 2010

Making Pasta

My wife recently spotted a pasta maker at the local Goodwill store, and she decided to invest a few dollars in the appliance. The difficulty in making pasta, though, is in locating a stable supply of semolina around this city. We had to visit quite a few stores (and eventually use the Internet) to locate a purveyor, which ended up being Bassett's Health Foods on Secor.

There is no price advantage to making one's own pasta, as semolina sells for at least two dollars a pound around here, and homemade pasta is probably going to be at least double the cost of purchasing manufactured pasta. Yet the aroma of the fresh pasta quickly filled the house, and the delicious taste of homemade pasta is distinctive and worth the effort.

I was surprised at how doughy the pasta was coming out of the pasta maker. My wife was tempted to say "duh" when I shared this observation, as of course a flour-based product would achieve a doughy consistency when mixed with water and eggs, but always the good sport she refrained from piling on after my could-not-be-more-obvious statement suggested I needed to learn more about the process.

Add some homemade puttanesca sauce, and Buon appetite!


microdot said...

I have the hand cranked machine which I use regularly. I'm not familiar with your machine, but do you first roll out the sheets in the desired thickness before running it through the cutter?
If you have one that makes sheets, this is also how lasagna pasta is made.

Forget the semolina, forget the water.
This is Enzo's mommas official recipe from Perugia.
100 grams of flour and one egg per person.
I do it in a bowl, but Enzo does it on the table top by making a well in the flour.
Knead the dough until it is uniform, then let it sit for 1/2 hour. covered with a cloth.

I found when I first began making pasta, when I used reciped that used water, the pasta turned out tough.

historymike said...

Thanks for the recipe. Microdot. Our pasta maker does not do sheets, but you can adjust the extruder for different sized noodles.

microdot said...

I don't know if this helps, but here in Europe the type of flour I use is referred to 55...bread flour as opposed to 45 which is pastry flour.

Brooke said...

I know that aroma of fresh pasta like the back of my hand. My father was a cook and he had lived for a long time in Argentina. When I travelled there, I had all this expectations because I was sure that I was going to eat the best pasta in the world. I rented this apartment in buenos aires where I tried the food. It did not let me down, it was indeed the best homemade pasta!