On Saturday I pulled out the hand-cranked pasta machine and made some pasta. This was not my first attempt, but I think it was the most successful. Though the homemade pasta was always delicious in the end, I have had varying degrees of success with the rolling and cutting process, and at times it was rather labour intensive, which stopped me from doing it very often. But Saturday’s pasta worked quite well and things seemed to work the way they were meant to work.
I attribute some of the success to the fact that I used semolina flour to make the dough. The whole process of putting it through the various rollers seemed much smoother. I set up the drying rack in the kitchen and carefully hung my finished pasta there to dry. I did find, however, that it was a little tricky to remove the pasta from the rack without having them break, so the drying step needs some work. I’m curious to see if I can dry the pasta in little nests without having all the pieces stick together.
Here is the recipe I used:
2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup water
Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor or by hand. If it is too dry add a little more water. (I added a fair bit more water, but the stone-ground white flour I used always seems to use more water) Knead the dough on the countertop for 2 minutes, or until it is smooth. Let it rest in a covered bowl for 5 minutes. At this point you use the machine to roll out the pasta, but if you don’t have a machine you can see how to cut pasta by hand here. I read that pasta is best left to dry for at least an hour before cooking. Cooking time is very short, but of course depends on the thickness and shape.
We had a delicious meal of fresh pasta and I’ve now got a box full of hand-made dry pasta for later this week. I’m hoping pasta can be yet another thing, like bread and yogurt, that I can stop buying and make myself!