By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and writer at Food Network.
Making pasta by hand is as satisfying as playing around with Play-Doh. It’s also a fun activity for a group dinner. Here we walk you through every single step of pasta making, from making the dough to cooking. Plus a roundup of our favorite fresh pasta recipes on Food Network.
The answer to this question depends in large part on what type of pasta you are making.
All-purpose flour is a totally viable option for pasta making. So does bread flour. All you have to do is mix in egg to add protein to the mixture (in order for pasta to hold its shape and have a al dente texture when cooked, the dough needs to contain starch and protein). You’ll also need to knead the dough a little longer to activate the gluten and get smooth, elastic results.
00 flour is made from durum wheat that is finely ground into a powder. It has less protein than semolina flour and makes for a soft dough that’s ideal for recipes like tagliatelle, ravioli and linguine. If you can’t find it in your supermarket, you can use soft wheat flour.
Semolina flour is also ground from durum wheat. It is coarser and higher in protein than 00 flour, making it less elastic. It works best for pasta that needs to maintain its ridges and ridges during cooking, such as noodles. B. Rigatoni or Penne.
Pasta flour mixes are also available. For example, the King Arthur Baking Company sells one that combines durum wheat flour, semolina flour, and all-purpose flour. This type of mixture can be used to make any type of pasta.
Here we show you how to make pasta with all-purpose flour.
First, pour the flour and salt in the center of your cutting board or bowl. Make a well in the center and beat your eggs and add them to the well. If your recipe calls for olive oil in the batter, add it now. Using a fork, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones, starting at the inside edge of the well. Add more and more flour to the egg mixture in the center until all of the egg is completely absorbed.
The dough forms a shaggy mass. Gather the dough with your hands and mix the sticky pieces with the dry ones. If the dough is very sticky, gradually add a little flour until it is kneadable. When dry, collect the wettest parts and leave the driest parts aside. Form a ball and knead with the palms of your hands. Use flour sparingly, otherwise the noodles will become tough.
Once the surface of the dough is slightly smooth and still a little sticky, form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature or in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes. As the dough rests, the starch in the flour absorbs water from the egg and the gluten relaxes a bit.
While the dough is resting, prepare the rest of your workstation. If you are using a hand crank pasta maker, make sure it is securely attached to the counter. If you have an electric pasta roller, make sure you don’t have long sleeves or hair that could get caught in the machine. Set the rolling pin to its widest position.
You need a place to put your pasta once it’s rolled. For sliced pasta like pappardelle or fettuccini, sprinkle the sheets with either cornmeal or rice flour to keep the pasta from sticking together after cutting and before placing in the pasta pot. Cornmeal and rice flour may stick to the noodles a bit, but if you drop the cut noodles into the boiling water, both grains will fall off the noodles and sink to the bottom of the pot, their job done.
Multiple passes through the pasta machine’s widest setting are a quick and easy way to knead your dough a second time.
Divide the dough into slices. Work one section at a time and cover the rest. Curl the dough while turning the crank to the widest setting. Once the dough has gone through the machine, fold it in thirds like you would fold a letter going into an envelope. Roll the dough through the machine again on the wide setting, with the folded edges facing the sides of the rollers and not straight (otherwise you will create an air bubble that will burst and make a hole in the dough). If the dough comes through the machine raggedy, with large dents, and a few holes, it means it’s too wet. Roll the dough in flour and cut in thirds again. Continue to roll and third the dough until silky smooth, dunking in flour with each pass if you continue to see shaggy holes.
Now that the dough is fully kneaded, you have to run it through the pasta machine a few more times. Each time you roll the dough through the machine, move the rolls closer together until you get the thinness you want (your recipe should specify).
At this point, the rolled out pieces of dough are perfect for lasagna or any hand-cut pasta like pappardelle. Once rolled, cut the noodles and place them on the sheets prepared with cornmeal or rice flour. With ravioli, it’s important to work quickly so the pasta sticks together as you stuff and squeeze. Cook the noodles that day or freeze them by sprinkling more cornmeal or rice flour on top and placing them in ziplock bags.
Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dry pasta, so you should use a pasta pot with a strainer (called a pentola) if you have one. A pentola allows you to quickly lift the pasta out of the boiling water, leaving all of the cornmeal or rice flour at the bottom of the pot.
Creamy pumpkin and flour are processed into pumpkin noodles in a food processor. Sage butter is the simplest sauce to serve with it.
Plows of fresh pasta don’t take much, just butter and freshly grated parmesan.
This dough comes together in a food processor. They fill the pasta sheets with a mixture of ricotta, Gruyere, leeks and bacon, then cut ravioli with a pizza wheel (brilliant).
Here’s a fresh pasta recipe that shows you how to roll out durum wheat semolina-based buns with a rolling pin, no pasta machine required.
After preparing the ravioli, bread and fry them. Why are fried ravioli called toasted ravioli? You’ll have to ask someone from St. Louis. In any case, they are addicting.
Six cups of baby spinach gives this homemade pasta its bright green color and refreshing herbal flavor. When you run your handmade dough through your pasta maker, make sure it’s thin but not translucent.
These popular bowtie pastas are easier to make than you might first think. While shaping their distinctive shape, it’s important to further dust your pasta pieces with flour as they become sticky.
This homemade pappardelle is the perfect base for a variety of delicious sauces like creamy mushrooms, saffron cream, ragu and classic Bolognese.
A delicious blend of ricotta, parmesan and pecorino cheeses make up the filling for these envelope-shaped stuffed pasta.
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