HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Home & Family » Cooking & Baking (Group) » DU Recipe Collection Upda... » Reply #25

Response to Glassunion (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2018, 07:09 AM

25. Making fresh pasta

The first rule of pasta dough is you do not talk about pasta dough -- sorry, that's another set of rules. The actual first rule is flour should be measured by weight, not volume. If you do not own a scale, the rule of thumb is a pound of flour is 3½ packed-down cups, and half a pound is 1¾ cups.

Making fresh pasta is much easier if you have a pasta rolling machine. They cost about $50, and will last for years with proper care. I regularly use the Atlas I bought about 35 years ago. Do not put the machine in water, as the gears will rust. If you don't have a pasta machine, you can roll it by hand – which is a good way of developing the muscles in your forearms.

Some put olive oil in pasta dough, some put in salt. I do neither. For example, if I’m making fettuccine alfredo, I don’t want the taste of olive oil. Cooking the pasta in salted water will salt it properly.

There are several types of flour used to make pasta. The first is the Italian variety called doppio zero ("00" or "double zero". This is very finely ground, relatively low protein (11.5-12.5 percent) flour which yields smooth dough. You can find imported doppio zero at some specialty stores, and King Arthur sells it as "Italian Style" flour.

There is all-purpose flour, which has about the same protein percentage as doppio zero and can readily be substituted. Use unbleached flour, because it tastes better.

The third type is made from high protein wheat, which Italians call farina Manitoba "“Manitoba flour" (a name unknown in Canada); or "strong flour" in Britain; or "bread flour" or "semolina flour" in the US.

Any one of these three will give you excellent pasta. I like to use a half-and-half combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour.

The flour and the eggs should be at room temperature, so if you refrigerate either one, take it out half an hour or so before you make the pasta. Warm flour absorbs warm liquid better, and room temperature eggs are easier to separate.

The first ingredient list makes a small amount, satisfactory for one pot of chicken noodle soup. The second list will give you somewhat more than ½ pound of dough. The third makes somewhat more than a pound.

First ingredient list

5 ounces flour
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks

Second ingredient list

8 ounces flour
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Third ingredient list

16 ounces flour
3 whole eggs
5 egg yolks

Keep the extra egg whites: if the dough is too dry, you have some liquid to add. If it's too wet, add flour. The exact ratio of egg to flour depends on mainly on two things: The humidity of the air and the size of the egg (the USDA defines large eggs as weighing between 2 ounces – 57 grams – and 2¼ ounces – 64 grams). Incidentally, egg whites freeze very well.
Put the flour in a mound on the table and make a well in the center. Put the eggs and yolks in the well and start mixing them together. When the dough has formed, knead it for at least five minutes, ten would be even better. The second rule of pasta dough is that it is impossible to over-knead it.

You can cheat and use either a stand mixer or a food processor. If you use a stand mixer, start with the flat beater until the dough comes together and then switch to the dough hook. With a food processor, if I were making a pound of dough, I would make it in two batches to avoid burning out the motor. In either case, mix the dough for at least five minutes.
However, I prefer to knead by hand, since the way the dough feels tell you if it is too dry or too wet, and if it is kneaded enough. When it feels smooth and all (or almost all) the flour has been taken into the dough, it is kneaded enough.

Wrap it in plastic film or put it into a covered bowl and let it rest for at least 15 minutes; half an hour is better, and two hours is not too long. You may read that this rest is to “relax the gluten,” but the real reason is to allow the flour to absorb the liquid. The dough will be far easier to work after it has rested.

Assuming you have a pasta machine, cut the dough into two or more pieces and run it through. The first few times through, fold the dough on itself and keep running through the number 0 setting until you have a smooth dough; three or four times should do. If it sticks to the rollers, dust it with some flour. Then increase the setting and run it through each one in turn. Number 6 should probably be the last setting.

If you do not have a pasta machine, take out the rolling pin and start rolling. You want to end up with dough so thin that if you hold it up and put your hand behind it, you can see what looks like the shadow of your hand.

Cut it into pieces appropriate for your use – for example, lasagna should be as long as the baking dish and three or so inches wide. I use a pizza cutter with a plastic wheel to cut pasta, as it will not scratch the surface I am cutting on.

To cook fresh pasta, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Have a large bowl of ice water next to it to shock the pasta after it cooks. Put the pasta into the boiling water, and cook it from 30 seconds to no more than a minute. Shock it in the ice water, and then put it on a towel or some other cloth (I have a tablecloth made from what is essentially thin cotton canvas that works perfectly) to drain.

Uncooked fresh pasta will keep in the fridge for no more than a day. On the second day, it will turn a muddy yellow, although it will still taste OK. I don’t know if it will last longer than a second day without starting to go bad, and I don’t think I want to find out.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Glassunion Dec 2012 OP
cbayer Dec 2012 #1
Glassunion Dec 2012 #2
flying rabbit Dec 2012 #3
Callalily Dec 2012 #4
Lucinda Dec 2012 #5
Glassunion Dec 2012 #6
Glassunion Dec 2012 #10
Glassunion Dec 2012 #7
cbayer Dec 2012 #8
bif Dec 2012 #11
pinto Dec 2012 #13
yellerpup Dec 2012 #9
pinto Dec 2012 #12
pinto Dec 2012 #14
Glassunion Feb 2013 #15
bif Mar 2013 #16
Aerows Jun 2013 #17
bif Aug 2013 #18
rdharma Jan 2014 #19
arla17 Nov 2014 #20
arla17 Dec 2014 #21
ArianaA Jul 2015 #22
zoneofmakin Oct 2015 #23
mysteryowl Aug 2018 #24
LineNew Reply Making fresh pasta
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2018 #25
yellowdogintexas Jul 2019 #26
yellowdogintexas Jul 2019 #27
Maxheader Jul 2020 #28
Please login to view edit histories.