California Central Coast Recipes
Fresh Egg Pasta by Machine
Pasta may be the crown jewels of Italian Cooking. Every province in Italy has their own specific names for the varieties of pasta. For most people, Pasta IS Italian cooking. Fresh pasta is the ultimate pasta, and with a little mechanical help, it is not that hard to make.
As we mentioned in Fresh Egg Pasta by Hand
There is a lot of mystery and confusion about making fresh egg pasta. It is really quite simple, it has only two ingredients: Flour and fresh eggs!
We recommend that you give it a try to making pasta by hand a few times -but making it by hand really is a chore! If you like pasta and want to make pasta a lot, invest in two time saving common kitchen devices, the food processor and the pasta machine-the type with rollers, not the extrusion type. The Italian made manual rollers Altea (not Atlas) and Imperia are very good. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, the pasta roller attachment is a fantastic time saver.
Preparation time: 45 minutesCooking time: 5 minutes
4 Jumbo Eggs
2-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
A side note: For fresh pasta we use the ration of 1 Jumbo egg per 2/3 - 3/4 cup of all purpose flour, depending upon the dryness of flour type.
Tools and accessories:
. Food Processor
. Pasta Machine
. Plastic wrap
1 Place the steel blade on the food processor.
2 Place the eggs and any liquid you are using into the food processor, and start the machine.
3 As the machine is running, add the flour through the feed tube in a steady stream. At first the dough will look granular, but continue processing until the dough forms a ball on the blade.
4 Turn off the machine and check the dough. It should be a bit sticky. If it is very sticky, break the ball into several pieces, sprinkle it with a bit of flour and process again (it helps to pulse the pieces a few times first to break the clumps down).
5 When the dough is ready remove it from the machine and knead the dough by hand for about 3 to 5 minutes. When you are done, the dough should feel smooth, elastic -almost alive feeling, and slightly sticky.
6 Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it relax at room temperature for 30 minutes. This step helps the moisture to distribute evenly throughout the dough.
7 Next step is to stretch out the dough with the pasta machine. Start by working only a quarter of the dough at a time, leave the rest covered with the plastic wrap.
8 Form the dough into a ball, then flatten it out by hand into a disk. Set the machine to its widest opening (usually marked as 1) and run the disk through the machine. The first pass will look terrible. Don't worry!
9 Fold back 1/3 of each end of the ribbon to the center (like you would fold a letter), and run it through the machine again. Repeat this 3 or 4 times until the ribbon emerges nice and even textured.
10 In sequence start clicking the machine thickness setting successively down to thinner settings and continue running the sheet of pasta through each setting of the machine. If the sheet gets too long to handle, cut it half, cover one half with plastic wrap and put aside, then continue working the other half.
11 If you are making ribbon pasta, you probably will want to stop one or two settings before the end setting. For ravioli and stuffed pastas using sheets, run the pasta through to the last setting (some machines may make the sheet too thin and it will tear - only experimentation with your particular machine will determine the best setting.)
12 If you are making pasta strands, allow the dough to dry a bit (10 to 20 minutes) for easier cutting.
13 A side note: If you are making ravioli type pasta, it is better to finish the pasta as you complete each sheet. If you make all the sheets in advance, the first sheets will probably be too dry and hard to use by the time you finish rolling the last sheet.
When using fresh pasta don't over cook the pasta! It cooks much faster than semolina types.
Also, when you remove the pasta from the cooking water, do not over drain the pasta. It is best to use thongs to pick up the pasta out of the pot and leave some of the water clinging to the pasta before you sauce it. The Bolognese call this "the second sauce."