Make your own Fresh Pasta!
I love pasta! And who doesn’t have a bag in their cupboard ready to throw in the saucepan for a quick dinner? But I do also love fresh pasta. I don’t really think there’s anything to beat it! Its also great fun!
We haven’t had a pasta maker in a long time as our kitchens slowly been renovated and demanding lifestyle meant no fun Saturday afternoons to make pasta however life has slowed down recently and our kitchens almost completely, so I jumped at the chance of reviewing Worlds of Flavour by KitchenCraft pasta machine. If nothing else the shot of gorgeous sunshine colour in kitchen can’t but help make you smiles.
As I said pasta making is great fun! Whether you just want spaghetti, tagliatelle or home-made ravioli this machine copes with them all. It’s a great little multitasker for pasta and comes with 9 thickness settings so you can also make noodles and flat bread. It also rolls fondant icing and clay! I was slightly wary of the some of the reviews online but having played with the machine all weekend our top tip is to choose the right recipe, make sure the machine is firmly secured, and use flour to dust the dough so it doesnt stick.
It takes about an hour start to finish if you include the 30mins fridge rest time and its surprisingly easy to do. Both the boys took over after the dough was made and loved rolling out the different thicknesses and choosing what style to make.
We used Jamie Oliver’s Fresh Egg Pasta Recipe:
6 – large free range eggs
600g Tipo 00 flour
1. Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth.
2. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined.
3. Knead the pieces of dough together – with a bit of work and some love and attention they’ll all bind together to give you one big, smooth lump of dough!
4. Once you’ve made your dough you need to knead and work it with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour, otherwise your pasta will be flabby and soft when you cook it, instead of springy and al dente. There’s no secret to kneading. You just have to bash the dough about a bit with your hands, squashing it into the table, reshaping it, pulling it, stretching it, squashing it again. It’s quite hard work, and after a few minutes it’s easy to see why the average Italian grandmother has arms like Frank Bruno! You’ll know when to stop – it’s when your pasta starts to feel smooth and silky instead of rough and floury.
5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes – make sure the clingfilm covers it well or it will dry out and go crusty round the edges (this will give you crusty lumps through your pasta when you roll it out, and nobody likes crusty lumps!)
6. If using a machine to roll your pasta, make sure it's clamped firmly to a clean work surface before you start (use the longest available work surface you have). If your surface is cluttered with bits of paper, the kettle, the bread bin, the kids' homework and stuff like that, shift all this out of the way for the time being. It won't take a minute, and starting with a clear space to work in will make things much easier, I promise.
7. Dust your work surface with some Tipo 00 flour, take a lump of pasta dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting - and roll the lump of pasta dough through it. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it sticks at all.
8. Click the machine down a setting and roll the pasta dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. It might seem like you're getting nowhere, but in fact you're working the dough, and once you've folded it and fed it through the rollers a few times, you'll feel the difference. It'll be smooth as silk and this means you're making wicked pasta!
9. Now it's time to roll the dough out properly, working it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to around the narrowest. Lightly dust both sides of the pasta with a little flour every time you run it through.
10. When you've got down to the narrowest setting, to give yourself a tidy sheet of pasta, fold the pasta in half lengthways, then in half again, then in half again once more until you've got a square-ish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and feed it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll it down through the settings for the last time, you should end up with a lovely rectangular silky sheet of dough with straight sides - just like a real pro! If your dough is a little cracked at the edges, fold it in half just once, click the machine back two settings and feed it through again. That should sort things out.
11. Whether you're rolling by hand or by machine you'll need to know when to stop. If you're making pasta like tagliatelle, lasagne or stracchi you'll need to roll the pasta down to between the thickness of a beer mat and a playing card; if you're making a stuffed pasta like ravioli or tortellini, you'll need to roll it down slightly thinner or to the point where you can clearly see your hand or lines of newsprint through it.
12. Once you've rolled your pasta the way you want it, you need to shape or cut it straight away. Pasta dries much quicker than you think, so whatever recipe you're doing, don't leave it more than a minute or two before cutting or shaping it. You can lay over a damp clean tea towel which will stop it from drying.