Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Kitchen Bootcamp Number 1

This series is about getting back to basics in cooking. Tips and tricks for people wanting to roll up their sleeves, throw away the box and do some real cooking. Please feel free to share any questions or tips you may have in the comments.

Basic Pasta Dough

Fresh pasta is something that is so easy and cheap I wonder how they got people to eat the dried stuff. I got this recipe from my grandmother. The recipe is easily scalable so you can make large batches and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. I usually roll and cut mine as needed. It is still is faster than cooking dried pasta. Personally I like my Italian made pasta mill but roll and knife cutting works ok for a more homey feel. This dough makes great ravioli and lasagna noodles too.

  • 2 cups of hard semolina wheat flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • a pinch of salt
  1. pour the flour on a clean work surface
  2. make a depression in the middle of the mound
  3. widen the "well" so you have room for the wet ingrediants
  4. break the eggs into the well
  5. add the salt. water and oil
  6. use a fork to mix the eggs water and oil
  7. begin pulling flour into the liquid as you stir
  8. keep working the flour into the center till you have a ball of dough
  9. dust the ball with flour and cover with plastic wrap.
  10. let the dough rest for half an hour
  11. roll into a thick sheet and cut into squares.
  12. Dust with flour and stack them up
  13. Seal the pieces in a plastic bag for storage

Ok, What Can I Do With All This Dough?

Think of it as play time. The choices are nearly limitless. For starters you can make your own home-made lasagna noodles.The beauty of home made pasta is you roll and cut the noodles as needed. It's faster and easier than you may think. Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried. The amount of time required for preparing fresh and dried pasta is the same.

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