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How to make fresh pasta

How to make fresh pasta

How to make fresh pasta

Such is the convenience of dried pasta, making fresh pasta has been regarded as the preserve of authentic restaurants, Italian nonnas and die-hard foodies. However, there’s been a back-to-basics revolution in recent years and now many home cooks are in possession of a pasta machine. Dried pasta is very handy and the right choice for certain dishes but making pasta is very simple and extremely satisfying.

There are three key ingredients used for egg pasta – flour, eggs and salt – but amounts vary; some chefs use more egg yolks, others add olive oil.

1
Sieve the flour and salt onto a large, clean work surface and create a mound
2
Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg yolks, eggs. Mix slowly with clean hands to create a dough
3
Knead for 5–10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic then form into a ball, wrap tightly in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour
4
Unwrap the dough and cut it into smaller portions (so it’s easier to work with); dust with flour and cover the rest with a tea towel
5
Take a piece and flatten it between your hands until it’s the thickness of a pound coin then feed it through a pasta machine on the thickest setting. Fold the dough in half and pass it through the machine a few more times until the dough is smooth
6
Once you have a smooth dough, gradually decrease the setting on the pasta machine, rolling the dough through twice on each setting until you achieve the desired thickness (do not fold in between rolling)

Tips

Add a good drizzle of oil to the water – this will stop the pasta from sticking together.

For tagliatelle, use the cutting attachment on the pasta machine to cut ribbons

If you don’t have a pasta machine, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, folding it between rolling as before until you are ready to roll out. Then roll to the required thickness, moving and flouring the dough constantly so it doesn't dry out.

How to cook fresh pasta

Boil a large saucepan of water, add a good drizzle of oil to the water – this will stop the pasta from sticking together. Add the pasta, stirring gently at first to separate the strands.

Boil for 3–5 minutes until the pasta starts to float to the top. Drain immediately to ensure the pasta remains al dente.

 

Tips

Use a large saucepan because it allows for continuous boiling which will ensure the pasta strips can circulate which prevents sticking.

To dry fresh pasta, lay over coat hangers or the back of a chair and air dry until brittle. It can then be stored in an airtight container for 4–6 weeks. Once dried, the pasta will take longer to cook.

Serving suggestions

Fresh pasta can be paired with lots of different sauces from rich, meaty duck ragu to fresh pesto. As Josh Eggleton's Fresh tagliatelle with tomatoes recipe demonstrates, sometimes it is better to keep things simple and let the natural vibrancy of a few fresh ingredients shine. Fresh pasta can also be used to make ravioli, cannelloni, lasagne or tortellini stuffed with anything from crab to goat’s cheese, butternut squash to truffles.

 
 
 
 

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