Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pasta most worthy

When making a pasta sauce from your home-grown veggies, it seems only fair that the pasta it's presented on is worthy of such an honour. And naturally, the only pasta worthy is going to be home-made. It's actually surprisingly easy.

I use a pasta machine, which is a lovely piece of equipment to have, but not essential - you can substitute it's use with a rolling pin and some elbow grease (it will take longer, but you'll save money on a gym membership - swings and roundabouts).

The result is a bowl of delicious, yellow ribbons of eggy pasta; the perfect companion for your sauce. This time I made double the quantity I needed and froze the remainder for a speedy meal in the future.

Pasta (serves 4)
Measurements for this recipe are easy, just allow one cup of flour and one egg per person. This pasta is far more filling than regular dry pasta, so you'll need less per meal. Also, I'm making pappardelle here, but you can make any style you wish.

4 cups plain flour
4 eggs

Pile the flour on your work surface and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and sprinkle with salt (approx. 1 pinch of salt per egg).

Use a fork to break the yolks and work the flour into the eggs. Continue with the fork until the combined, then you can get your hands in and start kneading. The dough will be be quite firm, but keep kneading until its texture is smooth and silky to the touch, then divide the dough in half. Now you can let the pasta machine do your hard work.

Place the machine at the largest setting and roll the dough through. Fold the sides into the centre and roll through again. Repeat this process a few times. Then you can begin to pass it through each of the narrower settings, one at a time (I skip the smallest as I find this makes the pasta too thin and easy to tear).

Lay your thin sheet out flat (you may want to cut it in half to make it more manageable) and sprinkle with flour. Loosely fold the narrow edge of the sheet in about 10cm and keep folding it in until you have a small square of many layers. Use a knife to cut along the long edge - forming ribbons (about 2cm in width). Unroll the ribbons and hang to dry. Repeat this process with the remaining half of the dough.

This pasta freezes well - simply dust the ribbons with flour, set on a tray in the freezer til hard, then break up and place in a plastic bag and return to the freezer for easier storage.

Of course it can also be cooked immediately in a pot of boiling, salted water and will only need about 5 minutes in the pot. Drain and and serve with your equally worthy pasta sauce (stay tuned for recipes)!

From the garden: eggs

No comments:

Post a Comment