I’ve always wanted to make pasta from scratch; it’s one of those rewarding and simple pleasures. When you think about it, it’s simply a mixture of flour and eggs, but the versatility of what it can do never seems to fail to amuse me. Thanks to Brad from Kitchenware Direct, I was given a pasta machine to play around with and as you’ll see at the end of the post, one lucky reader would be able to win themselves a Baccarat Pasta Machine as well. The pasta machine was very easy and fun to use, I even got Ant to help me out.
The entire process of pasta making was fairly easy, it’s not rocket science, you just need to work it and show it some love. Initially, it does get a little messy but that’s just half the fun of it. It has been suggested that Tipo “00” flour should be used to make pasta. Basically, Tipo “00” flour is just finely milled flour but it’s not entirely necessary for pasta making; using plain all purpose would do the trick, just make sure you sift it before use.
I loved seeing the dough transform from a rough dough into a smooth and elastic dough after kneading it for some time. Get into it. This is the time to release all of your frustrations out; bash it, stretch it (this is most helpful if you use the bottom of your palm) and squash it. It does good for you and the dough so keep at it.
I remember hearing from a chef a while ago, for one generous serve of pasta the basic recipe is 100g flour and 1 egg. So if you were to make pasta for 3 people, you’d need 300g of flour and 3 eggs etc That’s easy to remember right? However, I followed the pasta dough recipe from one of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook and noticed that the recipe wasn’t quite the same and that it made more than enough for the serving size it suggested (it was 600g flour & 6 eggs for 4 generous servings). The recipe I’ve included in this blog post is the basic recipe of 100g flour and 1 egg per person.
Now here comes the fun part; the rolling and cutting of the pasta. I got all giddy as the pasta dough got longer and thinner as I passed it through each setting and seeing the strands of fettuccine fall from the machine. Ahhhh the simple pleasures.
As it’s (suppose to be) Spring here, I wanted to make a pasta sauce that wasn’t heavy but also very quick to whip up. I thought prawns were easy and quick to cook and as asparagus are in season at the moment, they would match perfectly together. To keep it simple, the base of the “sauce” was olive oil and the burst of flavours were provided from lemon, chilli, garlic and parsley. I had kind of winged the recipe based from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie cookbook because I forgot to bookmark the recipe and couldn’t find it when I needed it, but of course found it after I cooked lunch. In hindsight, there was an oomph lacking in the dish, I’d say add more garlic and chillies for that extra kick.
As we were having lunch and enjoyed the fruits of our labour, we both felt a sense of accomplishment knowing we had made everything from scratch.
Now thanks to the lovely people from Kitchenware Direct, this pasta machine is up for grabs for one lucky reader. This competition is open to Australian residents only and ends at 11:59PM (AEST) on the 16th November 2011. All you have to do is tell me what pasta dish you would make for Spring/Summer.
Congrats to Rusty Hoe (LOL!) on winning the prize. That pasta dish sounds great! And it would definitely go down well with a glass (or two) of chilled white wine.
Recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver
Makes dough for 1 serve
100g Tipo ’00’ flour (or all purpose flour, sifted)
1 large egg or 2 egg yolks (for a more richer and yellow pasta)
Making the dough
(NB – If you have a food processor, you can make the dough by combining the flour and eggs until it resembles breadcrumbs. Continue at step 5.)
- Place flour on a board or bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- Whisk eggs lightly with a fork until combined.
- Pour eggs into the well and mix together with flour as much as possible.
- Alternatively, combine the flour and egg in a food processor until dough resembles breadcrumbs.
- Knead dough until smooth, silky and elastic; about 5 minutes.
- Cover dough with clingfilm and leave to rest in fridge for about 30 minutes.
Rolling the dough
(NB – If you don’t have a pasta machine, it’s ok, just roll out the dough (of smaller pieces) at thin as you can with a rolling pin; making sure to lightly flour the working surface, rolling pin and dough.)
(NB – For pastas like fettuccine; tagliatelle or lasagna, roll the dough down to between the thickness of a beer mat and a playing card. For filled pastas such as ravioli or tortellini, roll the dough slightly thinner or to the point where you can clearly see your hand.)
- Dust work surface, machine and dough lightly with flour.
- Flatten a lump of dough (size of an orange) with your fingertips.
- Set the machine at the widest setting, roll the dough through it.
- Click the machine down a setting, roll the dough through it again.
- Fold the pasta in half, click the setting back to the widest setting and roll dough through it again.
- Repeat this process 5 or 6 times. (This works to dough.)
- Working through the widest setting to the narrowest, roll the dough through the machine; dust lightly with flour each time you run it through the machine.
- To get tidy sheets of pasta, fold the pasta in half length-ways, then half again, then once more until you have a square-ish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees (so that the “open” ends are horizontal) and feed it through the machine at the widest setting.
- Shape or cut the dough straight away. (Pasta dries quickly, so don’t leave it more than a minute or two before cutting or shaping. Lay a damp cloth to prevent it from drying)
- Cut the sheet of pasta into 20cm (8 inch) lengths.
- If using the machine, feed it through the fettuccine setting.
- If cutting by hand, fold the pasta sheet in half 3 times, dusting with flour each time.
- Cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) strips.
- Toss the pasta until they separate.
Prawn and asparagus fettuccine
Recipe based from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver
250g raw prawns, shelled and de-vined
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and shaved lengthways
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of half a lemon
50mL olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil water and add salt to a saucepan.
- Heat olive oil and butter in fry pan.
- Fry garlic until translucent.
- Add prawns, chilli and parsley (reserve some for garnish). Cook for about 4 minutes until cooked throughout.
- Place pasta in saucepan and cook for 3 minutes until al dente (if using fresh pasta, otherwise follow instructions on pasta packet).
- Drain pasta and reserve some of the water.
- Add lemon juice and asparagus to the pan.
- Add cooked pasta and toss to combine, adding a little of the water to lighten the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with remaining lemon zest and parsley. Serve.