November 2, 2010

Homemade Fettuccine Pasta

Making homemade pasta is very rewarding for me. I'm not sure why exactly, I certainly enjoy eating it and love how soft it is compared to dried pasta. Perhaps it is my type A personality and OCD tendencies... Actually what I think it is that drives me to make things like this in the kitchen is that as a stay at home Mom, you get no validation (yes, it is rewarding and I love it, but there's no one around to say, 'well done!'). I like making things in the kitchen that are challenging and objectively good or impressive, it makes me feel accomplished!

Here is a recipe that is a great, basic dough. It won't be quite as moist as the dough we made when we demonstrated Pici, that dough contains vegetable puree. But this is also a great dough.

Basic Pasta Dough
3 cups flour (unbleached, all-purpose)
1 egg (room temperature)
generous pinch sea salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cool water, plus more to make the dough come together

Using a medium sized bowl, add the flour, making a well in the center. Place the egg, salt, olive oil and 1/4 cup of cool water in the well. Using a fork, pierce the egg yolk and begin to beat the ingredients in the well together in a circular motion, some of the flour will incorporate also. Use the fork for as long as is feasible, at some point the flour will make it so gummy that you can't continue with the fork. At that point, remove the fork, extracting what is stuck to it and returning that to your dough. With either gloved hands (disposable plastic gloves like you see at a doctor's office, you can buy them at the drugstore) or your bare hands (you can put olive oil on your hands to prevent sticking), knead the dough and add more cool water as necessary to bring it together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or so.

Now you're ready to make noodles! So exciting. I predict you will really enjoy turning this simple dough into very impressive and beautiful looking pasta! You'll need one or more floured work surfaces, like a cutting board. I use a clean dish towel for my finished pasta sheets and noodles.

Now here is video of a lasagna sheet from start to finish:

And now the fettuccine noodles! You'll see in this video that I have trouble with the second sheet of pasta. If you let your sheets dry a little and dust them with flour before you cut them into noodles, they fare better!

Now you are a pro at homemade pasta- either use your beautiful pasta immediately, boiling in salted water for just a few minutes, or freeze the noodles and use them at a later date! Pair them with a delicious sauce, like this one (or any other you like!):

I like to make a lot at once and then freeze a bunch. It makes me feel like I have money in the bank to have good, homemade food in my freezer!

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