I have a new kitchen toy! Being "toying" around to get this kitchen gadget for soooooo long! No more "toying" around. Bought one home and couldn't wait to use it. Introducing my new kitchen toy the "Pasta & Noodle Machine". So, it only make sense that the first recipe to "open ceremony" is to make pasta! Since this is not an electrical appliance, I wash it and wipe it dry. Then I look at the instruction leaflet, to my horror it states that never, never wash this machine with water or in the dishwasher. This instruction is on the last page of the manual listed under "maintenance of the machine" .Oh gosh! how should I know. The first thing we usually do when using anything when it is new is to wash it first before using! I quickly took a dry cloth and wipe it again and hope that it won't damage (maybe rust?) in corners that I can't wipe! Well, I guess that I shouldn't have assumed that since it is not an electrical gadget, it is okay to wash with water. Read the manual instruction first!! Anyway, I still think that this important information should be listed FIRST in the manual.
I was very excited about making pasta. This is the first time I'm making one. It turned out not too bad but there is still room for improvement! I need more practice. I thought that homemade pasta would take a shorter time to cook but it takes almost as long to boil as the packaged pasta. The colour of the dough is a nice corn yellow but turns to almost white when it is cooked. I made meatball with tomato gravy to go with this pasta.
Here's the recipe for the pasta.
Basic Plain Dough for Pasta
(adapted from "The Essential Pasta Cookbook")
300gm plain flour
3 large eggs
30ml olive oil (optional)
pinch of salt
- To mix the dough by hand, mound the plain flour on a work surface or in a large ceramic bowl and then make a well in the centre.
- Break the eggs into the well and add the oil if using, and a large pinch of salt. Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs and oil together, incorporating a little of the flour as you do so.
- Gradually blend the flour with the eggs, working from the centre out. Use your free hand to hold the mound in place and stop leakage if any of the egg escapes.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface with smooth, light strokes, turning it as you fold and press. It should be soft and pliable, but dry to the touch. If it is sticky, knead in a little flour.
- It will take at leat 6 minutes kneading to achieve a smooth and elastic texture with a slightly glossy appearance. If durum wheat semolina is used, the kneading will take a little longer, at least 8 minutes. Put the dough in a plastic bag without sealing, or cover with a tea towel or an upturned bowl. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. The dough can be made in a food processor.
Rolling and Cutting With A Hand-Cranked Machine
- Clamp the machine securely onto the edge of your work surface. Divide the dough into three or four portions and shape each into a rough log. Keeping the unworked portions covered, take one and flatten it by one or two rolls with a rolling pin. Dust lightly with flour.
- With the machine's roller at the widest setting, crank the dough through two or three times. Fold it in thirds, turn the dough 90 degrees and feed through again. If the dough feels damp or tends to stick, lightly flour the outside surfaces each time it is rolled until it passesm through cleanly. Repeat this folding and rolling process eight to ten times, or until the dough is a smooth and elastic sheet with a velvety appearance. From now on the dough is not folded.
- Reduce the width of the rollers by one setting and pass the dough through. Repeat, setting the rollers one notch closer each time until you have rolled the desired thickness. Some machines may roll the sheets too thinly on their last setting, tearing them. A way around this is to stop at the second last setting and roll the dough through several times. It will come out a little thinner each time. This step also applies to machines that don't roll the pasta thinly enough on the last setting.
- As each sheet is completed, place it on a dry tea towel. Leave uncovered to surface dry for 10 minutes if the sheets are to be cut, but cover them if they are to be used for filled pasta.
- For lasagne sheets, cut the pasta to the desired size. For narrower lengths, select the appropriate cutters on the machine and crank each pasta sheet through it. Spread them on the tea towel until ready to be cooked, only covering them if they appear to be drying too much. Long pasta such as tagliatelle can be hung to surface dry on broom handles or long wooden spoons between two chairs.