As much as I love having other people cook/bake for me (and by love I mean I once went for a whole 6 months only eating 4 home cooked meals), sometimes you have to get your hands dirty and get stuck in, even though my version of getting stuck in is normally supervising from a distance making sure no one dehydrates. What follows is our first attempt at making homemade pasta (and I’m hoping it’s success was not just beginners luck).
A guide to terminology used in this recipe:
My family has a long standing history of renaming everyday objects using words, that while making perfect sense to use, often leave friends and strangers alike, completely baffled. In a hope to avoid confusion, I would like to explain a word I have used while describing this recipe.
Machine (noun) – used to describe any device which performs any number of functions, either independently or by being operated by a user. For example a TV machine is used to control the TV, it can turn the TV on and off, change volume and select the channel you would like to watch. “Please pass me the TV machine so that I can change to the rugby”.
Also, the gate machine is a hand held device, which allows the user to to instruct another machine to open or close the gate, allowing a vehicle to drive through.
Other machines include: the A/C machine and the vacuum machine.
In the recipe below, machine refers to a hand cranked pasta maker, or an Imperial Dal 1932 to be exact.
First attempt at homemade pasta
You will need the following ingredients:
For the Dough:
· 250g cake flour
· 250g semolina
· 5 eggs
For the Mixed Mushrooms (serves 6):
· 500g mixed mushrooms (we used Woolworths exotic mix)
· Olive oil
· 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
· 2 – 3 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
· Salt and pepper (freshly ground)
· Lemon juice (1/2 to a whole lemon – do to taste)
· A large handful of grated parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
· A handful of parsley
· 70g unsalted butter
In a bowl or on the counter top, combine the 2 flours. Make a well in the centre and add your eggs. Using a fork, whisk the eggs and gradually bring the flour into the egg mix until it forms a dough. Knead the dough for 3 – 5 minutes until it is smooth, sticky and elastic. Shape it into a ball and wrap it in Clingfilm and leave it to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Once rested, divide the ball into 6 even pieces, flatten them slightly on a floured surface and begin rolling. This is where I stopped supervising and started doing. Slightly flatten each piece with your hands and then feed it into the pasta machine, starting the machine on its widest setting. We found at least 4 hands where needed here, one person cranking the pasta machine, and guiding the pasta into the machine, and one person controlling the pasta as it comes out. Send the piece through the machine a few times, keeping the pasta machine on the widest setting, and folding the sheet in half each time. This just gives the dough a bit more of a knead. Once you’ve done this about 3 times, turn the machine one setting down (smaller space between the rollers) and roll the sheet through, but only once this time.
Again set the machine one setting down, and repeat, until you are at the lowest setting. By the time we reached our lowest setting, the pasta sheet was over a meter long (hence why two people where needed). Then feed the sheet through the tagliatelle cutter, attempting to catch the cut pasta on the other side. We did each piece or sheet from start to completion before moving onto the next one. Once cut, find something to rest the tagliatelle on, the only thing we could think of being a triple layered biscuit cooling rack. We also found it helps to keep your work surface well floured, to avoid the pasta sticking, as well as sprinkling some flour onto the pasta every now and again during the process.
The LiveInBaker used a Jamie Oliver recipe for the mushrooms:
Clean the mushrooms using a pastry brush or damp tea towel and slice them thinly. Put olive oil in a very hot pan and fry the mushrooms for a minute, add the garlic, chilli and a pinch of salt. Fry the mushrooms over the high heat for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, add the lemon juice and season to taste.
In the meantime, cook your pasta in salted boiling water (should take 2-3 minutes as its fresh). Add it to the mushrooms and add the parmesan, parsley and butter. Toss it all together and serve to your brave dinner guests.
We served ours with extra parmesan, and toasted pine-nuts.
Drinking with this recipe:
The pasta maker is one piece of heavy machinery you can operate while under the influence so don’t be modest. The LiveInBaker started with a gin and tonic, and myself with a Darling Slow Beer.
during the meal we all tucked into a bottle of Wolftap.
Don’t worry, no guests were harmed in the making of this recipe.
(This post, including photos, was done using only an iPad and iPod, so apologies for photo quality)