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The Fresh Pasta Topic

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#61 jende

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:09 AM

I, too, roll and cut all of mine before cooking. You should report back on your results if you switch to this method. I bet you'll come out with a cooked pasta with a firmer texture from the little bit of drying time.

#62 MaxH

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 01:23 PM

Marcella Hazan, whose books taught mainstream America northern Italian cooking, mentioned that her grandmother made fresh egg pasta at home daily, into her 90s.

Almost 30 years ago as a university student I was introduced by housemates to the addiction of freshly made pasta. An addiction I managed to "kick" for a while, but it's back.

We'd used Atlas six-inch-wide (150mm) hand-crank roller-cutter machines.* Recently I revisited the Atlas after making some pasta by hand, and I'm glad I did. The texture and character of freshly made noodles (I like to include semolina flour) is unique, and with the Atlas it's quick and easy. The machine (which scarcely needs cleaning, just dusting) has high-torque smooth rollers, spacing adjustable by a clutch from #1 (3mm or eighth-inch) to #9 (0.2mm, basically transparent noodles, one egg should make enough to cover a soccer field). By moving the crank to two other insert points, it cuts wide (fettuccine) or narrow (square spaghetti) noodles, or you can cut the pasta by hand.

It's one of those tools whose full effect can't be grasped by reading, you must use it or see it to understand. Partly it's the immense torque. After assembling and briefly kneading some dough (with the oft-quoted basic proportion of around three-quarters cup flour to one egg), using enough flour that it's not sticky, you run it a few times thru the rollers wide open (3mm), folding and if necessary dusting w/flour between. Dough's forced gently but decisively through steel rollers. After 5-6 quick passes, folding in thirds before each, you've redistributed the ingredients circa 1000-fold and have a very elastic, supple dough; this takes about a minute. You then run it through at successively smaller spacings which both thins it and builds coherence. By #7, one egg's worth is say 2 sq. feet (0.2 sq.-m) of sheets about the thickness of commercial egg noodles. But much better, surpassing the quality of even any commercial fresh pasta I've bought. It cooks in a minute or two. Lately I hand-cut wide noodles. Used one batch with a Gulasch from Autumn peppers. Other batch tossed in a light Alfredo-oid** sauce assembled in hot platter atop boiling pot: fresh black truffle butter (from local firm, Fabrique Délices), Parmesan, light cream. Exquisite. The noodles themselves have enough character that even simpler treatments come out unusually good. I checked some earlier pasta threads here, and look forward to trying fresh sage with slightly browned butter on fresh noodles!

--------
* The milieu included an Internet food-discussion pioneer and fellow Atlas user who in 1982 created net.cooks (renamed rec.food.cooking in 1986), which is still active, the "granddaddy" (Jason Perlow's word) of eG and other current Internet food discussion fora.

** Alfredo de Lellio popularized a version of a very old simple Roman pasta dish with butter and Parmesan cheese. Alfredo didn't use, or need, cream, as writers have long mentioned: a 1990s summary from Italian sources is available on rec.food.cooking.


#63 Peter the eater

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 04:33 PM

MaxH, that's a true testimonial. Fresh pasta is something I don't make enough of at home, usually it's twice in early summer when the duck eggs are around. After that it's from a bag or box for most of the year. It doesn't have to be that way!
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#64 MaxH

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:43 PM

... Fresh pasta is something I don't make enough of at home, usually it's twice in early summer when the duck eggs are around.


Duck-egg pasta! I never heard of it before, sounds fascinating. Details, please! (Why; how compares to chicken eggs pasta; etc. etc. &c.)

#65 Jenni

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:25 AM

Anyone here make rice noodles at home? I make a kind of South Indian rice noodle called idiappam. It's quite delicate though, and I have only ever used them to make little noodle "nests" with coconut - see the picture here: http://www.manjuscoo...od/idiappam.jpg I imagine that the more robust kind that could be stirfried and so on is trickier to make.

#66 MaxH

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 01:41 AM

Jenni, could you say more about making fresh rice noodles?

(I've cooked with commercial dried ones for many years, and keep diverse kinds on hand; they are also common in restaurants in my region with its large international émigré population; fresh thick "fun" noodles for stir-fry arrive daily at the local Chinese grocer; but I never made any rice noodles, or saw them being made.)

#67 johnnyd

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 06:13 AM

I'm curious too - I've had a bag of rice flour for a while with the intention of making rice noodles but I'm not sure if it's the right kind.

and Maxh, I've never made fresh pasta but I'm pulling the trigger this weekend.

Edited by johnnyd, 16 October 2009 - 06:14 AM.

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#68 Peter the eater

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 07:41 AM

... Fresh pasta is something I don't make enough of at home, usually it's twice in early summer when the duck eggs are around.


Duck-egg pasta! I never heard of it before, sounds fascinating. Details, please! (Why; how compares to chicken eggs pasta; etc. etc. &c.)


Use duck eggs and yolks just like the chicken kind. They make the noodles a bit more yellow and rich.

The Rooster Brand Instant Noodles that I buy are made with flour and duck eggs.
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#69 Jenni

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 07:46 AM

The type of rice noodles I make are a particular South Indian kind. As I said before, they are quite delicate and not really appropriate for stir-frying and so on. I make them by mixing rice flour, a little sesame oil, salt and hot water into a batter and cooking it till it becomes a dough. I then put it in my idiappam press - here is a picture of one. They are available from Indian grocery stores. They come with several different size plates, and you can make deep fried snacks with them too, as they can press out a variety of different shapes. Anyway, the dough goes in the press and is extruded into noodles which are piled up in little mounds with grated coconut sprinkled between the layers. They noodle mounds are then steamed for a few minutes.

These are just one kind of noodle, and I am really interested in making other kinds of rice noodle. I am also interested in making other kinds of noodle that are made without eggs (I don't eat eggs). Does anyone know how this is done? I have a pasta maker at home, but I don't know if egg free pasta is trickier to make.

#70 Prawncrackers

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 09:46 AM

I have the same Atlas machine as you M!axH, bought it for £10 on ebay, absolute bargain. Only started making pasta this year, what i found really annoying was the uneven sheets i was getting. You know when the leading edge becomes tongue-shaped then you either have to square it off and waste a little pasta or put it through the cutter as is and have uneven lengths. Then the last couple of times i tried folding the sheet over and creating a loop of pasta. Bingo! It works perfectly, everytime you turn the dial the pasta gets thinner and loop gets longer. When you get to the right thickness you just slice against the top of the machine and you get perfectly straight edges.
What I found tricky too was how to deal with the pasta after it had been through the cutter. It was such a messy job until i bought a
Marcato drying rack which also has this great tool that makes transferring the pasta to the rack so simple. Freshly made pasta is so good, the silky texture just feels so special everytime you eat it.
Last time i made pasta was with duck eggs and little saffron. I think i enjoyed it more than the lobster it was accompanying!

#71 Toliver

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 09:58 AM

Regarding rice noodles, I've posted about this before but I saw Martin Yan, in one of his PBS cooking series, make rice noodles in a basket steamer over his wok. The batter was relatively thin and he poured it onto what looked like a large banana leaf in a steaamer basket. The way he poured the batter reminded me a lot of crepe batter where the object is to not make it too thick. He then covered the basket and in a short while he had a rice "pancake" that he cut into noodle strips. He certainly made it look easy. I'm not sure if he put the noodles into a stir fry. This makes me wonder how fragile the fresh noodles are.
If anyone attempts making rice noodles, please post your results.

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#72 MaxH

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:27 PM

I am also interested in making other kinds of noodle that are made without eggs (I don't eat eggs). Does anyone know how this is done?

For wheat noodles, it's the same as egg pasta. You mix water, rather than eggs, with flour to make the dough. Without the fat, albumin, etc. from eggs, the dough texture is different. But then (make sure any purists or dogmatics have left the room first -- ) you can put anything you want into a dough -- it's your own cooking! (That's another thing I like about homemade noodles, forgot to mention it.) You can add oil or anything else, just as with your rice dough above. You can improvise or experiment, or try wild ideas.*

I'd guess 99% of commercial European and east-Asian "pasta" (spaghetti, mein, etc.) is made from just flour and water. The option of making noodles that are richer, more flavorful, differently textured when cooked, etc. is no doubt a reason why some people go to the trouble (modest though it be) of making their own.


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#73 MaxH

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:57 PM

You know when the leading edge becomes tongue-shaped then you either have to square it off and waste a little pasta or put it through the cutter as is and have uneven lengths.

Loop suggestion sounds elegant -- saw it in an earlier thread too. But aiming simply for home pasta, which need not meet DIN or ISO precision standards, I've not been concerned about uneven noodle lengths nor has anyone I know (even a diner who noticed it would forget after the first bite) -- no waste. In fact traditionally in Europe, and today in some US families with roots there, pasta sheets are hand-cut, leaving even the width uneven (and the thickness, if hand-rolled without machine), so there are precedents. I imagine that some presentations, or storage of fresh pasta, might be better with exactly uniform length.

... how to deal with the pasta after it had been through the cutter. It was such a messy job until i bought a Marcato drying rack ...

In certain student residences I knew, it was usual to press dinner guests into service extending arms forward, forming ample drying racks to drape long (2-foot or longer) noodles straight from the cutter, if the guests were patient enough to hold the position (which, anticipating eating fresh pasta, they always were). Also, hardware stores and lumber yards sell untreated wooden dowels, your choice of diameter and wood, in lengths a few meters long, cheap -- I use them, they can be cut to length for drying rods, braced in some temporary position in the kitchen then stowed away compactly. Long-handled kitchen utensils also serve.

Freshly made pasta is so good, the silky texture just feels so special everytime you eat it. Last time i made pasta was with duck eggs and little saffron. I think i enjoyed it more than the lobster it was accompanying!

Touché ! :smile: :smile:

#74 Jenni

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 01:12 PM

For wheat noodles, it's the same as egg pasta. You mix water, rather than eggs, with flour to make the dough. Without the fat, albumin, etc. from eggs, the dough texture is different. But then (make sure any purists or dogmatics have left the room first -- ) you can put anything you want into a dough -- it's your own cooking! (That's another thing I like about homemade noodles, forgot to mention it.) You can add oil or anything else, just as with your rice dough above. You can improvise or experiment, or try wild ideas.*


I know that plenty of kinds of noodles and pasta don't contain eggs, I just wondered if it was more difficult to make such pasta - most home-made pasta I have come across seems to be the eggy kind.

#75 mgaretz

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 01:29 PM

I will second the recommendation home made pasta and of Hazan's books - one to not overlook is "Marcella Says..." which builds on her previous books but with the wisdom of time since they were written and with more modern equipment.

My basic pasta recipe is 100 grams of flour (50g of AP Unbleached and 50g of Whole Wheat Durum - more later), one extra large egg and a pinch of sea salt. That's it. I mix the ingredients in my KA stand mixer with the standard blade on low speed until all the dry flour on the bottom of the bowl is incorporated - about 3 minutes. It will come out very dry and crumbly at first but then I roll it into a log and split into 3-4 parts per egg.

I use the KA pasta roller and cutters. I need no extra flour on the rollers. Very fast and easy.

More on the durum flour: It's whole wheat durum "atta" flour from the Indian grocery store. Golden Temple brand - make sure you get the whole wheat version - it comes in a brown bag with orange-red stripes on the side. The flour is from Canada and it's whole wheat durum and a fairly fine grind which I think gives the pasta a hand-rolled texture. Golden Temple is a Pillsbury company.

#76 vice

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 01:34 PM

I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.
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#77 Aloha Steve

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 02:24 PM

I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?
I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?
[size="1"] edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)[/size]

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#78 OliverB

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:44 PM

I love making pasta, don't do it often enough. Mainly because I'm too lazy to clean off the long counter that I need to do so...

I also never cared about the not square end parts, who's measuring their pasta on the plate? I'd probably show them the door, :laugh:

Alfredo - the original - is fantastic. Uses a truckload of butter, but it's oh so good! No cream, thanks. just parmesan and butter. Some magazine, I think Sauveur or La Cucina Italiana - had an article about this a while ago, including pictures of them preparing the dish at the table side at the restaurant where it originated. Lots of butter on a serving platter, add noodles and cheese, toss with golden spoons I think.

I love to make "stained glass" pasta too, where you put small parsley/oregano/thyme/what have you leaves on half a rolled sheet, fold it over and run it through the machine again. I usually hand cut that into large lasagna style pieces. gorgeous to look at and oh so good! A bit of butter, parmesan, and some fava beans sauteed in butter with a touch of garlic - heavenly :-)
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#79 MaxH

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 06:14 PM

I know that plenty of kinds of noodles and pasta don't contain eggs, I just wondered if it was more difficult to make such pasta - most home-made pasta I have come across seems to be the eggy kind.

Not that I recall, from years ago, but I think the dough was a little harder to work, and again you can influence that with oil etc. (In case it was unclear, my pph that followed the one you quoted above concerned why I believe egg pasta is so common at home: preference for the richer flavor and more luxurious texture.)


vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ? I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?

FYI lack of a mixing machine is not a great burden. Mixing the dough by hand is a little more work but not much (and a roller machine finishes the job, therefore requires less kneading, for a given result, than if the whole process is manual, in my experience.)


Some magazine, I think Sauveur or La Cucina Italiana - had an article about [Alfredo style] a while ago, ... at the restaurant where it originated. ...toss with golden spoons I think.

Oliver, your "stained glass" suggestion sounds brilliant and versatile. ("Pasta al Oliver?" :-)

(N.B., as a student of food history I want to stress that Alfredo and his restaurant -- which, along with more history than most references show, is in the link I included in first post -- didn't invent that preparation at all, it had been in Rome for centuries. He did do it in a stylish way, with good ingredients, and he helped popularize it internationally, particularly in the US, acc. to the sources in the link.) Alfredo de Lellio's own golden utensils were confiscated later by the Fascisti, in their effort against capital flight (which tends to happen in dictatorships) -- acc. to the Romagnolis' US Italian cookbook, IIRC.

#80 Jenni

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 02:50 AM

I know that plenty of kinds of noodles and pasta don't contain eggs, I just wondered if it was more difficult to make such pasta - most home-made pasta I have come across seems to be the eggy kind.

Not that I recall, from years ago, but I think the dough was a little harder to work, and again you can influence that with oil etc. (In case it was unclear, my pph that followed the one you quoted above concerned why I believe egg pasta is so common at home: preference for the richer flavor and more luxurious texture.)



Thanks, that seems to be a reasonable deduction. I wonder if there are specific techniques that make it easier, or do you need years of skill and practice?!

#81 KennethT

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:09 AM

I love making fresh pasta - but my machine seems to have a problem when I get to the thinnest divisions.. I have a Weston hand operated pasta machine that I got from the local rest. supply store... The problem is that when I get to the last two divisions, the dough seems to pull to one side causing a pile-up and my rectangular sheet becomes a rounded triangle... I keep meaning to contact the factory but never get around to it. Any suggestions?

#82 vice

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:27 AM


I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?
I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?


It's a pretty stiff dough compared to a bread dough, so I doubt the dough hook on a KA would be effective (and could possible overwork the motor or gears). Something like the Electrolux DLX may be another story. Perhaps someone who has one and has used it to knead pasta dough will chime in.

That said, I like the hand-kneading. The transformation of the dough from a sticky, shaggy mess to a silky smooth ball is rather remarkable. Also, for what it's worth, Ruhlman seems to knead considerably less than Keller recommends, usually calling on his blog to "knead just until it comes together". I've never done a side by side, but I'll try to the next time I make fresh pasta.
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#83 MaxH

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 11:34 AM

Another variation: Spelt is an ancient wheat variant long cultivated. It's an excellent food grain, even for some people who can't eat bread wheat. It's useful gastronomially too: Part or all spelt flour in egg noodles imparts a subtle heartiness that I find unique -- different from whole wheat, buckwheat, or rye. It goes beautifully with meat dishes. (Hand-rolled spelt noodles were my reintroduction to fresh noodle making.)

I used this variation in a comfort-food casserole dish. Egg noodle dough (this time half spelt, half semolina), rolled rather thick (#5 on the Atlas rollers). Large noodles hand-cut from the dough sheets, boiled until barely or not quite cooked; fetched from the water with a handheld strainer. Tossed, in a deep glass baking dish, with light chicken velouté sauce, grated Parmesan, chunks of leftover roast-chicken meat from the day before (the rest of the bird had simmered overnight for the chicken stock that was the base of the sauce), and a little fresh-ground pepper. Into a hot oven until bubbling and brown on top (half an hour). Good hearty food like grandmas of many countries used to make (and cheap, and not too much fat).

For an everyday velouté I simmer meat stock and add, rather than cream, canned evaporated milk with some cornstarch worked into it; salt and maybe white pepper to taste. A little simmering cooks the starch (for the dish above, the sauce should not be too thick, about like "whipping" cream.) Use say half as much evap. milk as strong meat stock. The milk behaves like light cream in cooked dishes, gives similar flavor with somewhat less fat, and is very easy to keep on hand. (Not to be confused with "condensed" milk, which in the US denotes added sugar.)

#84 Aloha Steve

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 01:23 PM



I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?
I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?


It's a pretty stiff dough compared to a bread dough, so I doubt the dough hook on a KA would be effective (and could possible overwork the motor or gears). Something like the Electrolux DLX may be another story. Perhaps someone who has one and has used it to knead pasta dough will chime in.

That said, I like the hand-kneading. The transformation of the dough from a sticky, shaggy mess to a silky smooth ball is rather remarkable. Also, for what it's worth, Ruhlman seems to knead considerably less than Keller recommends, usually calling on his blog to "knead just until it comes together". I've never done a side by side, but I'll try to the next time I make fresh pasta.

Great and please tell how it turned out.
[size="1"] edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)[/size]

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#85 Moopheus

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:11 PM

I've recently started using my old pasta maker again (a Marcato) after several years of dormancy. So far I've had the best results starting with the procedure in Bugialli's Fine Art of Italian Cooking. I only mix the ingredients just enough to make a ball, then let it rest for a while, then run it through the machine. A few passes at the #1 setting is usually enough kneading. I cheat and use the outboard motor, which leaves the hands free for guiding the dough.
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#86 hathor

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:49 AM

Ciao Ragazzi!
I make a lot of fresh pasta and I almost never use my pasta machine/cutter. I find I can process more dough with a large rolling pin rather than feeding through lots of strips. Although I love the loop idea. It's just quicker to roll out a big sheet and hand cut it.

The type of flour that you use will determine if you can get away with not using eggs. If you don't want to use eggs, then you need a hard wheat flour, like durum wheat. It makes a gorgeous, soft, supple dough and it dries beautifully.

I also hand knead, much quicker to clean up than cleaning up a machine. I've also found that after you finish kneading, roll the dough into a ball and then wrap it very tightly with saran wrap and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. It seems the pressure helps the hydration process and its much easier to extend the pasta.
I know it sounds very retro to do it all by hand, but I've found it just works out quicker in the long run.

Fresh pasta also freezes very well, get into the freezer asap, in a plastic bag or container and you have fresh pasta at a moment's notice. I'll usually make up a kilo or so and pack it into 200 or 300g packages. If I was a really good Girl Scout, I'd also label the bags, but hey, no one is perfect.

#87 mtigges

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:23 PM

On Saturday, I bought two ducks, portioned them to breasts and legs, made confit, ate a breast and froze the rest, made stock, a pot of rillete, and today plan on making a nice noodle soup with the stock and the left over picked off meat.

My plan was to make my regular noodle, one egg, white flour, whirred in a food processor, rest, then # 5 fettucini on a marconi.

I'm willing to be encouraged to refine this noodle. Due to my wifes recent bread making obsession I have just about every flour you can imagine, even spelt, but I don't have rice flour (I don't think). So, any suggestions on what kind of noodle?

#88 Chris Amirault

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 11:03 AM

I'm going to be giving fresh rice noodles a go following this recipe. The rice is soaking as I type, the Ultra Pride grinder is good to go, and I'm trying to figure out how to do the steaming given the equipment I've got. Any ideas, warnings, etc?
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#89 LindaK

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:45 PM

Chris, thanks for linking to the discussion of the Ultra Pride grinder, I missed that thread.

I've been making fresh egg pasta for years now. It really is worth the effort and not hard, once you get the hang of it. One thing I've discovered, as I've moved around and have had to source ingredients in new cities, is how wildly different so-called pasta flours are. My favorite is the ultra-fine durum flour often labeled "00" flour. Beware the coursely ground durum flours often sold as pasta flour. At least for handmade pasta, it's unworkable.

Another variable is the egg:flour ratio. My standard is Marcella Hazan's recommended 1 cup flour: 2 large eggs. But if you crave extremely rich pasta dough, then hunt down Matt Kramer's A Passion for Piemont for his description of Piemontese pasta, tajarin, which uses 30-40 egg yolks per kilogram of flour. I've never tried it, but it did convince me to add a couple of extra egg yolks to my basic pasta recipe--delicious, but a little trickier to roll out because it's so soft.


 


#90 Chris Amirault

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:49 PM

2c jasmine rice with 2 c water, soaked for 5 hours:

Posted Image

Into the Ultra Pride:

Posted Image

After 12 minutes, smooth as silk:

Posted Image

A little over 3c:

Posted Image

The colors are a bit off, but here's what it looked like when I placed ~1/2c of the batter into a well-peanut-oiled cake pan that had been prewarmed in the steamer:

Posted Image

After 5 minutes of steaming:

Posted Image

I kept oiling the surface, ladling over the top, and resteaming, until I ran out of batter and was left with this big cake:

Posted Image

The layers peeled pretty easily, it seemed:

Posted Image

Used half the batch in a simple dish with greens, basil, green peppercorns, garlic, onion, shallot:

Posted Image

A few notes:

-- The batter was, and thus the noodles were, a little bit too thick. Next time, I'd add a touch more water, to allow the batter to spread more effectively.

-- 5-6 minutes is too little in the steamer for this set-up, as the center of some of the layers didn't cook through. (The cake pans are thick Chicago Mettalic pans, which may be the culprit.) Next time, 7-8 minutes at least, and a poke in the belly to check.

-- I now know why industrial fresh rice noodles are so oily: without a lot of oil, pulling these things apart is a real pain in the keyster.

I'm not sure that I'm going to be making these every weekend, but given the sporadic availability of fresh rice noodles here in town, I think that, with a few tweaks, this is a manageable process using the Ultra Pride. Most of the time is unattended, save for the noodle separation just before cooking. And, though I'm a biased reviewer, they definitely seemed like they were more tender and less rubbery than the storebought ones.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Italian