Pasta

Fresh Pasta

I’m pretty sure I promised you guys’ pasta a few weeks ago. And I did make some…I really did. But then I ate it and didn’t have time that night to make more. But I’m back today making more pasta and some for the freezer, so plenty of photo opportunities 

There is just something about fresh pasta. I have struggled with eating pasta my entire life. Unless it’s swimming in a ridiculous amount of sauce it just didn’t taste good. It tasted like the cardboard box it came from. Who wants cardboard carbonara? Any takers? No? I didn’t think so. My entire outlook on pasta changed drastically when my wonderful husband bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer for my birthday and my in-laws bought me the pasta roller/cutter attachments. Now I see that the Italians had it figured out! Fresh pasta is PHENOMENAL! And the best part is once you get a few batches under your belt it only takes about 20 minutes of work!

If you are using a stand mixer, it makes the process much simpler.

Add your ingredients to the mixer bowl:

-2 cups regular flour

-3 XL eggs OR 3.5-4 lrg eggs

-1 tsp olive oil

-1/2 tsp salt

Pasta Ingredients

(The difference is in the eggs! Extra-large eggs have more liquid which makes the dough wetter. But if you are like me, you generally only have large eggs on hand. When using large eggs, I typically use 3.5 to 4 eggs to achieve the same consistency. To get half an egg, crack a single egg in a bowl and scramble with a fork until it’s no longer stringy. Pour enough egg into the mix to achieve a soft, slightly sticky dough ball.)

Mix on speed 2-3 until the flour is combined, then switch to the dough hook. Knead for 5-6 minutes until the dough is mostly smooth and slightly sticky.

If you are mixing the dough by hand, make a well in your flour to hold your eggs, oil, and salt. With a fork, slowly combine the eggs/oil/salt with the flour until your dough forms. Then knead by hand for 6-10 minutes until the dough is mostly smooth and slightly sticky.

Pasta Dough Ball

Cover the pasta dough and let stand for 20 minutes.

Cut the dough ball into 5-6 pieces. Smaller pieces are easier to handle once they are rolled. Dust each piece of dough with a little flour and roll through the pasta roller at Setting 1. Fold the dough in thirds, dust with more flour if necessary, and run through the roller at Setting 1 again. If your pasta tears it’s ok. Just continue folding, dusting, and rolling through at Setting 1 until you get a soft, smooth sheet of dough.

Folded Pasta Sheet

Smooth Pasta

Set your roller to Setting 2 and pass the pasta sheet through the roller. Do not fold the pasta once you are finished with Setting 1. It increases the change that your dough will tear and you will have to start back at Setting 1. Run the pasta sheet through each Setting up to Setting 5. I find that Setting 5 is thin enough for almost any pasta I make. If you want thinner pasta, continue rolling your pasta sheet through the higher Settings until you reach your desired thickness.

Setting 5

Lay your pasta sheets out on parchment paper that has been dusted with flour. If you are making regular pasta allow the sheets to dry another 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pasta. If the tops are still sticky, keep drying until it’s mostly dry but not hard. I like to turn my sheets over about half way though the drying time. If you are making ravioli use the pasta sheets immediately.

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Once the sheets are dry it’s time to cut them. I am making fettucine noodles and bowtie pasta.

For the fettucine, simply run half your pasta sheets through your pasta cutter. Lay the cut pasta out flat in a single layer. Cut the noodles to your desired length. I generally cut mine around 8”. Allow to dry another 5-10 minutes. If you are planning on cooking your pasta immediately, you can skip the second drying.

The goal with the second drying time is for the pasta to dry enough to not stick together, but still be pliable enough to nest. Using a kitchen scale, weigh out 6oz per adult serving you plan to cook at one time. Twirl the pasta into what looks like a bird nest (aka nesting) without squeezing it. Wrap tightly, but gently, in saran wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Nested pasta

On to the bowties! Can you tell I’m excited? Sometimes you just want something a little different! For Christmas one of my friends bought me a fondant cutter. So I am using that to make pretty edges on my pasta. I’m making my bowties about 2 inches long and about 1 ½ inches wide. Cut out your strips using a hand held pasta cutter or pizza cutter or fondant cutter, then using a straight edge cutter, cut the pasta into rectangles 2 inches long by 1 ½ inches wide.

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Your decorative edge should be on the outside edges. In the middle of each rectangle, pinch the straight edges of the pasta together, making a bow tie!

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Lay each bowtie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze in a single layer for 20-30 minutes. Just like the fettuccine, measure 6oz into a small bag and return to the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

One thing about fresh pasta is that it cooks MUCH faster than dried pasta. If you are cooking fresh pasta, boil in salted water for 4-5 minutes. Frozen pasta should reach al dente in around 7-10 minutes. Add to the dish of your choice and voila! You just made your own pasta!

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Here is the printable!

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 cups regular flour
  • 3 XL eggs OR 3.5-4 lrg eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in the mixer bowl. Combine with the paddle attachment until combined, then switch to the dough hook and knead until a cohesive ball is formed and pulls away from the side of the bowl. The dough should be slightly sticky. Add more flour a tsp at the time if the dough is too wet or water by the half tsp if it is too dry. Knead for another 5 minutes and cover the bowl with a damp towel to stand for 20 minutes.
  2. Roll sheets to desired thickness and let dry for about 5 minutes (or until no longer tacky to the touch) before cutting if using for noodles. If using for stuffed pasta’s, like ravioli, use immediately. After cutting, boil in lightly salted water for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Serves 4 if used for a main dish. Serves 8-10 if used for a side dish.
  4. Makes 24 oz. of pasta

NOTES: To get half an egg, crack one egg and beat until blended or not stringy. Pour about half the egg into the mixer.

To freeze, curl 6oz of pasta into a nest and wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. To cook, place frozen pasta in boiling salted water. Boil for 5-7 minutes.

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