A funny thing happened last weekend.
My husband and I were having dinner at a new Italian restaurant and half way through the meal I asked him “Did you bring any money?”
I can’t remember what prompted me to ask but his answer, “Of course”, was enough to appease my concerns.
When the time came to ask for the bill, my husband gave his credit card and the waiter looked down and said the dreaded five words no one wants to hear “We don’t take American Express.”
The waiter was kind enough to allow us to go back home and get some money but needless to say, it’ll be awhile before we recover from the shame.
In the meantime, I’ve been resorting to making my own pasta and thought I’d share my Basic Pasta Recipe as well. After all, there really is something to be said about being able to make your own pasta. In fact, for such little effort, you’ll be surprised to see how impressed your friends are when you tell them you made your own pasta.
And just for fun, I’ve also tried my hand at making my own video (my husband asked if I was making a comedy when he saw it!) to further illustrate how to make the pasta.
The basic pasta recipe starts with 2 large eggs and 200 grams of flour. Some people prefer to use the Italian Tipo 00 flour but I think all-purpose flour is fine. Just make sure that the protein is around 9% to 12% (the one I used had 11.9%). Sometimes, depending on the weather, you might need more, sometimes you might need less flour, but as a general rule, it’s 1 egg to 100 grams of flour.
First place 180 grams of flour on your work surface and make a well in the middle (reserve the 20 grams for later if the dough is too wet and you need it). Add the two eggs in the middle of the well and beat them lightly.
Using a fork, incorporate the flour a little at a time until the egg/dough mixture is thick.
Once most of the flour is incorporated, cover the well with the rest of the flour and switch to a pastry scraper and gather the dough into a ball.
Using the palm of your hand, push the dough down and away from you then turn the dough 90 degrees. Continue this motion until the dough is smooth, this takes around 5 to 10 minutes.
If the dough is too sticky, use the extra 20 grams of flour (and more if you need it and dust the work surface occasionally if necessary). The dough is ready when you can press your fingertip on it and it comes out clean and the dough springs back.
Now allow the dough to rest by covering it with a bowl for around 30 minutes. Attach the pasta machine to your workbench and set it on the widest setting (usually at 1).
Cut one third of the dough and flatten it (you can use a rolling pin) so that it will fit into the pasta machine. Feed the dough through the pasta machine and then turn the slot down to the next smaller setting and again feed the dough through the machine. Continue to do this until you reach slot number 8 and the dough has become almost translucent. As you do this, make sure to occasionally flour the dough to prevent it from sticking on the machine.
Continue with rest of the dough (this time use half of what is left and then repeat with the remaining half) and then the dough is now ready to cut, be used immediately or dried for future use.
To dry the pasta dough, use clothes hangers or a pasta drying rack if you have one. Once the pasta has dried, store in a sealed container at room temperature until ready to use.