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RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE PASTA
160g plain flour
160g semolina flour (note 1)
3 eggs (about 60-65g with shell), *at room temperature (note 2)
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
- Combine the ingredients: On a work surface, sift the flour to give it some air. Make a well in the center, place the eggs that you have previously broken in a small bowl, one at a time, followed by oil and salt. Gently beat them with a fork. Stir the flour, a little at a time, into the egg mixture. After a while, you can use a large scraper or hands to cover the egg mixture with the remaining flour. Keep going until all the flour is combined and a rough ball is formed. Cover the ball with a clean cloth while washing your hands and cleaning the work surface.
- Knead the dough: Press the dough with the heels of your hands, pushing it forward and down without much force. Rotate it 45 degrees, fold it and repeat the same step. Work on it gently for 8-10 minutes until it is smooth to the touch and not sticky. You may find that the dough is slightly firm. That’s ok. It is safer to have a firmer dough than a softer dough so the pasta sheet can be easily passed through the pasta roller and cutter.
- Rest the dough: Wrap the dough in cling firm and put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you do not want to use the dough on the same day, you can store the wrapped dough in the freezer for up to a month. When you are ready to cook the pasta, thaw the frozen dough completely and then continue with the remaining steps. For me, before resting the dough, I cut the dough into small pieces (ie 6 or 8 portions), roll into balls and then wrap them individually.
- Roll out the dough: After the resting time, remove the chilled dough from the fridge. Cut the dough into the portions you prefer if you haven’t done so. Work on one piece at a time and keep the rest wrapping in the cling firm. The dough should never be left uncovered as it will form a crust. Take a piece of dough, dust some flour. Flatten it with your hand and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a small oval (1cm thickness). Set the dial of the pasta rollers to the widest setting (“0”) and let the dough pass through twice. Turn the dial to the next setting (“1”) and repeat the same. After you have done with setting “2”, fold the dough in 3-fold, use a rolling pin to flatten it. This folding step will make the dough a rectangle and also helps to strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked. Then start all over again at the widest setting (“0”). Keep reducing the width of the rollers until you reach the desired thickness. It is best to roll it twice at each setting until you have reached setting “5”. After that, one time will be sufficient as the pasta sheet is very deliberate and translucent. At this point, be careful not to tear the dough. If the pasta sheet starts to feel sticky, dust some more flour. If the pasta sheet gets too long to handle, cut it into half.
- Resting the dough: After rolling, let the pasta sheet rest on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Flip it once or twice during the resting time. This will help to yield cleaner and easier cutting.
- Cutting the pasta: Run the pasta sheet through the fettutine cutter. After the pasta has come through, dust some flour and shake them gently into separate strands to avoid them sticking together.
- Drying the pasta: It is important to dry the pasta before cooking. This helps to improve the texture and flavour of the pasta. Hang the pasta strands on a pasta rack to dry for 15-30 minutes before cooking. You can also improvise by using laundry racks, cloth hangers, long cooking chopsticks, wooden spatula or back of a chair. Alternately, lay the pasta flat on a lightly floured towel, wire cooling rack or surface.
- Cooking the pasta: Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil. Add oil (optional). Add the pasta, stir gently and cook for 2-5 minutes (depending on the thickness). Remember homemade pasta cooks much faster than the dried pasta you buy from the store. Taste it and keep checking in one-minute increment until the pasta is al-dente. Once it’s done, drain and toss the pasta with any pasta sauce or other ingredients. Serve immediately.
- Store the pasta:
– To store in the refrigerator: After drying the pasta, curl them up into nests or gather them in a loose basket-shape, store them into an airtight container and chill. It is best to consume within 1 day.
– To freeze: After drying your pasta, curl them up into nests or gather them in a loose basket-shape. Store them in a freezer bag or food container and freeze for up to 3 months. Frozen pasta can be cooked directly without having to thaw.
– For dried pasta: You need to make sure the pasta is fully and completely dry (from 12 to 24 hours) before storing at room temperature or else mould will develop. This dried pasta may need an extra 2 to 3 minutes of cooking time.
- Semolina flour is a coarse flour ground from hard durum wheat. It assembles the look of fine cornmeal. It delivers more yellow hue, nutty flavour and chewy texture for pasta. If you cannot find semolina flour, use plain flour to substitute but the pasta will be soft and less chewy.
- The egg liquid is around 150g. For eggless version, you can substitute the amount with water. However, this may affect the taste and texture of the pasta. In this case, the taste will be bland and the texture will be softer and mushier.
- The ratio between egg liquid and flour is about 1: 2 (softer dough) or 1: 2.2 (firmer dough). This ratio should be just considered as a guide. At time, flour may absorb more. You can use this ratio to make any amount of pasta you desire.
- You can use hands to mix the ingredients. Alternatively, you can do it in a large mixing bowl.
- My Marcato Altas 150 pasta roller comes with dial setting from number “0” to number“9”. I usually stop at setting “7” when making fettuccine.
- It would be easier to roll the pasta with 2 persons. One person feeds the pasta sheet through the machine and turns the handle while another one supports it as it comes out.
- If you intend to hang your pasta to dry, make the pasta longer. So, after drying, you can break it into two.
- I bought my Marcato Altas Ampia 150 pasta machine in a Chinese kitchenware shop at Kepong Baru market, Kuala Lumpur. I saw this item sold at CK Tangs, Singapore one year ago.
– How to Make Authentic Egg Pasta by the world renowned Sorelle Simili [Simili Sisters] of Italy (video)
– The Science of Best Fresh Pasta, SeriousEats
– Make Great Fresh Pasta at Home: Tips From My Italian Mother-in-Law, The Kitchn
– Step by Step on How to Make Fresh Pasta From Scratch – Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
– Fresh Spinach Pasta by Smitten Kitchen (many useful tips!!)