Basic Pasta Dough-Pasta,Pasta di Base

When I think of Italian Cuisine, usually the first thing that comes to mind is pasta. Pasta comes in so many different shapes and sizes it is hard to know where to start.  There are over 200 different types of pasta so I thought the best place to start is with the basics – making your own pasta dough.

Yes, I know, pasta is readily available and can be purchased at your local supermarket either dry or fresh.  But there is something to be said for making your own pasta.  First off, in my option, store made pasta does not taste as good as homemade fresh pasta.  Second, I think making your own pasta is not only rewarding, but it can be fun.  All you need are some simple ingredients and a rolling-pin.  You can use a food processor to mix the ingredients if you have one, but you can mix the pasta dough by hand.  And yes, if you are going to make homemade pasta on a regular basis, a pasta machine is a great tool to have.  But, you don’t need these to get started on making homemade pasta, but these tools can make things simpler.

I am including two recipes for homemade pasta.  If you have never made homemade pasta, I would recommend that you start with the first recipe that is made out of regular flour.  The dough in this recipe is easier to work with.  Pasta dough made with semolina flour is harder to work with than dough made with regular flour so you might want to try this one after you have gotten used to making pasta dough.

If you are not using a pasta machine to roll out the dough, you have to let the dough rest for 15 minutes before rolling out the dough.  Just wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let the dough rest and then roll out the dough.

Basic Pasta Dough

Ingredients

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

To mix by hand

Add the flour into a medium mixing bowl and make a well (a hole) in the center of the flour.  Add the eggs and olive into the well.

Gradually stir the flour into the eggs and olive oil using a fork until the mixture comes together and comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl (comes together to make a ball).  Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes.  If the dough is too wet or sticky, add a little flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is not sticky.  If the dough is too dry or crumbly, add a little water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together, but is not sticky.  Knead the dough until it is smooth and flexible. For about 10 minutes.

Dough Ball

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.  After the dough has rested, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thick and using a knife, cut the dough into strips.


(If you are using a pasta machine to knead the dough, skip these steps and run the dough through the pasta machine until the dough is smooth and flexible, You can also use the pasta machine to cut the dough.)
After cutting the pasta dough and before you cook the pasta, the pasta needs to dry for 15 minutes or so. Dry fresh pasta by hanging the pasta on a dowel or other object (a clothes drying rack works wonderful). You can also lay the pasta flat on a kitchen towel to dry.


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.  Fresh pasta cooks very quickly so it only takes a few minutes to cook.  I like to start testing the pasta for doneness after 2 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Semolina Pasta Dough

Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1-cup semolina flour
½ cup water

Add the flour into a medium mixing bowl and make a well (a hole) in the center of the flour.  Using a fork Gradually stir the water into the flour a little at a time until the flour mixture comes together and comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl (comes together to make a ball).  Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes.  If the dough is too wet or sticky, add a little flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is not sticky.  If the dough is too dry or crumbly, add a little water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together, but is not sticky.  Knead the dough until it is smooth and flexible. For about 10 minutes.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.  After the dough has rested, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thick and using a knife, cut the dough into strips.
(If you are using a pasta machine to knead the dough, skip these steps and run the dough through the pasta machine until the dough is smooth and flexible. You can also use the pasta machine to cut the dough)
After cutting the pasta dough and before you cook the pasta, the pasta needs to dry for 15 minutes or so.  Dry fresh pasta by hanging the pasta on a dowel or other object (a clothes drying rack works wonderful). You can also lay the pasta flat on a kitchen towel to dry.


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.  Fresh pasta cooks very quickly so it only takes a few minutes to cook.  I like to start testing the pasta for doneness after 2 minutes.  Serve with your favorite sauce.
I hope you enjoy making your own homemade pasta. Once you get the hang of it-the possibilities are endless.

Con tanto amore

Maria

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