Fresh pasta!

This is a simple recipe which I’ve learnt some years back. The portion of the ingredients is so simple it’s hard to unlearn once you have acquire the technique. The only tip to this is picking the right sort of flour (sorry if you are gluten free). It is pretty fool proof.

Ingredients:
Tipo “00” flour
Semolato flour
eggs

(Left) flour for pizza and (Right) flour for the surface

(Left) “00” flour for pasta/pizza and (Right) flour for the surface

1. First decide how many you are cooking for. I am cooking for four tonight and have measured 400g of the “00” flour to start. When you get the “00” flour at the supermarket, you will see that it says it is for pizza base. I have chosen this because it will give you that lovely al dente bite when cooked.

"00" flour for the pasta

“00” flour for the pasta

2. The recipe is pretty simple – with 100g of flour you add one full egg and one egg yolk. Here is 4 + 4 (oops, egg yolk does break on impact!)

100g flour = 1 full egg + 1 egg yolk

100g flour = 1 full egg + 1 egg yolk

3. I like to mix the eggs and flour in a bowl before transferring on to a flat surface, simply because with a wet dough it will stick more on the surface than to itself. So I usually have it roughly mixed in a large bowl until the eggs and flour are all together, then transfer the dough on to a clean, dry, flour dusted surface.

Roughly mixed dough

Roughly mixed dough

4. This is the fun part. Knead the dough for as long as it takes for you to feel boyancy in the dough AND until it doesn’t stick to your fingers. So during this process you may have to continue dusting the dough with more “00” flour. You do end up with a bigger dough, and how much flour you’ll need depends on the size of your eggs and the moisture in the atmosphere. The kneading usually takes a good 5-10 minutes.

knead the dough

knead the dough

5. Once complete, rest the dough a side, best to wrap in a bit of glad wrap and put them away in the fridge for 30 minutes or until it stop being so bouncy (press firmly with a finger and you can leave an imprint). During this time you can prepare your other dishes, grate some cheese, cook up your sauce…etc etc

shhhh....have a good rest zzzz

shhhh….have a good rest zzzz

6. When the dough well rested, dust your table surface with the Semolato flour and roll your dough out to a thin sheet. Semolato flour will give your pasta a lovely rough surface to cling on to any sauce and flavouring you want!

Wakie wakie! Time for a big stretch!

Wakie wakie! Time for a big stretch!

7. If you don’t have a pasta machine you can just roll it out by hand and cut using a knife. If you have a pasta machine just roll the dough out slightly until you can put it through for a good press.

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8. To set the machine, I usually go for level 1 and run the pasta twice through the machine, dust more Semolato flour on top, then thin it out to level 3 or 4 for the optimal thickness.

Lazy bum setting

Lazy bum setting

9. Once you have the pasta in the thickness you like, you can start cutting.

ta-da!

ta-da!

10. Once the pasta is cut into the desire width, dust with more Semolato flour and hang the pasta out so they don’t stuck together. If you don’t have a pasta tree, you can also leave them together with lots of Semolato flour on the surface to avoid sticking together.

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11. To cook – bring to boil a large pot of water, add salt and make sure your pasta can swim in it comfortably. Once boiled, the best way is to taste test your pasta and not trust the clock. If you are going to have sauce served separately, DO NOT drizzle your pasta with olive oil or only the oil will cling on to the pasta and not the sauce. So ideally, you’d cook your pasta last when everything else is ready. Enjoy 🙂

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Thick tomato soup with beef and elbow pasta

Quick meal tonight for two. All we want was something warm and filling for a wintery night. So we had diced up tomatoes into chicken broth and boil until the soup thickens. Prepare some elbow pasta separately and divide them up evenly into shallow bowls. If you want to save time, blend the tomato and broth together until smooth. Bring it back to boil and add in thinly sliced beef with the remaining heat in the pot.

Serve while hot!

Thick tomato soup with beef and elbow pasta

Thick tomato soup with beef and elbow pasta