Friday, August 8, 2014

Fresh Pasta=Food o' the Gods

All you need to make pasta . . .

"Pasta doesn't make you fat.
How much pasta you eat 
makes you fat."
~ Giada di Laurentis

Making pasta is simple, and you need only two ingredients—flour and eggs—to make it.  While I did a post on making pasta previously, I'll show you how we made the tagliatelle since the spinach version is a little different.

100 grams (about .22 pounds)
1 egg
(NOTE: My grandmother and mother used a cup measurement, and they went with one egg per cup of flour.  i think it's much easier to do so their way.)

Make a well in the flour (See photo above.), and drop egg into the well.  Using two fingers of one hand, mix the egg and flour together (Left and below).

(I use both hands normally, but Davide says that if you use just the one hand, you can use the other hand to push the dough off of your hand. I found that it works great that way.)


Let me change gears for just a second and add that should you want to make spinach pasta (or tomato or mushroom or whatever), you would cook the vegetable down and mash it into a paste that looks like what is in the bowl on the right.

You need add only a heaping tablespoonful of the paste to the egg and flour.  NOTE: Because the paste adds liquid to the mixture, you need about 10 grams—maybe two heaping spoonsful—more of flour.


 Continue mixing the the ingredients until you have a dough ball.  If your dough is too sticky, you can add a little flour.  If your dough is too dry, wet your hands and knead the water into the mix.

At this point, you'll knead the dough for about 10-12 minutes. I can't tell you how to tell if the texture is right as I just know. The dough will be smooth and have a little elasticity to it, though.

When you have finished kneading, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap (right), place it under a damp towel, or place it under an upside-down bowl.  Let it rest 20 minutes.  (Note: You must let the dough rest at least 20 minutes. If you do not, the dough will resist more when you roll it out.)
 You can use a pasta machine to roll and cut the dough, but we used the matterello (rolling pin) to roll it out.  It takes longer, but the chef insists that using the wooden pin instead of the machine's metal rollers makes the sauce stick to the pasta better.

At any rate, flour the wooden board. Flatten one ball of dough with your hand, and roll it with the matterello. After each pass, turn the pasta over. You may need to dust a little flour over the dough every few passes.

Rolling the dough is time consuming because you want to get it thin enough so that the pasta will not be too hard.  Davide said that when the dough is translucent, he knows it's done.

Dust the rolled piece with flour, and set aside for 10 minutes.

After the dough has rested again, roll it into a tube (right), and cut it in strips with a sharp knife.  You should *roll* the knife to cut it in strips. If you chop at the dough, the edges will be uneven and rough.

Once you've finished cutting, dust the ribbons with flour and place on towels until you're ready to cook.  Davide had a screen, so we used that (left).

 Here's the only other thing I can tell you about cooking pasta:  Make sure you use a big enough pot to cook it. If you don't use enough water, the pasta will stick together and taste gummy.

 On the left side of this photo, you can see the pot Davide used. He didn't drain the water, as I mentioned yesterday.  He used two big pasta "forks" to remove the pasta from the water, and he threw it into a pan in which he'd added half of the sauce (also on the right). 

Toss the pasta with the sauce, and serve it.

One little side note:  If you have never eaten fresh pasta (and I don't mean the packaged kind you can buy in the grocery), you are missing out.  Pasta party at my house when I get home. . .   :-)


  1. I always thought making pasta was difficult, but you make it look so easy. I'm gonna have to try it this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes!

    1. I'll be interested to know how you do!! If you look at the photo albums on my FB page, there is one called, Quadrattini.... It has photos and directions, too.