Making pasta – the basics
I’ve been wanting to have one for a while; a real pasta machine… Once.. a couple of years ago I followed a workshop on making pasta. That was not a success. Far too many people where crammed into one space with just a handful of pasta machines. The result? I was convinced that making your own pasta was difficult and not worth the trouble. Until Charlotte suggested we try her machine (which needed some serious dusting before we could use it) and make our own pasta. It was on the hottest day of the year and we were sweating in the kitchen but apart from the fact that we had a lot of fun doing it it was also quite tasty and not at all difficult. So I wanted to have a machine too. And as luck would have it I have a Kitchen Aid and there is a handy attachment for the Kitchen Aid to make pasta. It does the turning itself and I kind of liked that fact.
And – such coincidence – it was also my birthday, so Tom got me a pretty attachment for my Kitchen Aid. To make my own pasta. So ofcourse Charlotte and I set a date to make some more pasta (why change a winning team right?) and we set out to make our pasta. Dough came together in a few minutes. I still had some 00 flour lying around, egg thrown in and start the kneading. I kind of forgot that that is the part that takes a bit of work, but if you need some extra exercise or need to get rid of some frustrations; perfect!
And while the dough was resting we could cook and bake some other delicious things for dinner and after about 1,5 hours we could start turning the dough. As you can see… the first attempt left something to be desired… 😉 I had to kind of get to known the machine and how to handle the dough but once we got the hang of it, it was very simple.
And the turning of the dough was so much easier with the KitchenAid than it was with the handmachine. Biggest advantage? you have two hands available for guiding the dough through the machine. ofcourse you have that as well if you’re with more than one person but still it’s handy that you can also do it alone. We chose to make spaghetti this time. In the package there are three rollers; one for lasagna sheets and kneading the dough, one for spaghetti and one for tagliatelle. We did make the spaghetti a little too long. Spaghetti of about a meter is maybe a bit too mcuh.. Lol… It gets entangled and becomes hard to mix with anything!
The pasta itself was really good. I picked a simple recipe from Jamie (as in Jamie Oliver) because it seemed a good choice for fresh pasta. And I had test the cooking times as well, as fresh pasta literally takes a few minutes to make. But ofcourse the thickness of the pasta determines the final cooking time. Three minutes in our case.
- 400 gr flour type 00
- 4 eggs
- 150 gr white almonds
- 600 gr cherry tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4 handfuls of basil
- 150 gr parmesan cheese
- 1 clove of garlic
- seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the dough for the pasta you need to put the flour into a large bowl and make a dent in the middle so you have a nest to break the eggs in. Use a fork to mix the eggs with the dough until it is firm enough to start kneading. Knead until it is a soft and pliable dough that is not too sticky.
Wrap the ball in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for 1,5 hours
Remove from the fridge and divide into smaller pieces. Keep whatever you are not using in the plastic so it doesn't dry out.
Knead it for a bit and flatten it with a rolling pin so you can put it through the pasta machine.
Keep working the pasta by folding it and putting it through again for as long as it takes to get a really smooth and nice dough. Put the roller on a thinner number as you go along until it is thin enough.
Dust your pasta with flour to make sure it will not stick and than roll it through the spaghetti cutter. Leave to dry on a drying rack and cook until al dente (depending on the size of your pasta but mine took 3 minutes to cook
According to Jamie you should first roast the almond and then put them in a pestle and mortar but I skipped that part and blitzed them in a stick blender. It might have adifferent flavor but I liked it the way it was. Put the ground almonds in a large bowl.
Put garlic, basil and the parmesan into the stickblender as well and blend till a fine puree with salt and pepper. Add to you almonds. Add the tomatoes and squeeze them all with your hands and mix with the almonds. Make the sauce even more moist by adding some olive oil and mix it through your cooked and hot pasta. Add salt and pepper if needed!