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Scott -- DFW

The Fresh Pasta Topic

213 posts in this topic

Bumping this up to ask about saucing your fresh pasta. I'm trying new recipes for sauces for fresh linguini and/or spaghetti (when I have more time, not a work night, I'll be filling ravioli or tortellini). What are people's tried and true recipes? Feel free to include everything, from basics to more involved.

gallery_19213_936_27210.jpg

Fresh raviolis with ricotta and spinach filling with a simple cream and spinach sauce. Very tasty.

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This summer I started making fresh pasta and love it. I'm especially keen on ravioli as one can just invent fillings depending upon what's on hand. Also, for live alone cooks, they're perfect as they freeze so well. It's lovely having these little quick dinners waiting in the freezer next to a pouch of homemade soup. A salad, good bread, and you can have a great meal in minutes when you don't feel like "cooking."

First, when I make ravioli, unless it's a simple cheese filling, I like to keep the "sauce" simple and complementary to the filling. For example when I made beet ravioli, I tried it with the poppy seed and butter sauce I've seen several recipes for - bleh. How annoying are those little seeds! But then when I used an infused lemon olive oil a few drops of lemon juice, and some herbs (chive, I think), it was just right. The subtle lemon fragrance and the sharpness of the juice

countered the sweetness of the filling.

Many fillings don't require a "recipe" as such for the home cook. Professionals may need them for consistency, ordering, etc. But for home cooks some tasty leftovers can be inspired fillings. When I had some leftover braised short ribs, I sauted up some shallots mixed in the shredded ribs, a little of the juices, maybe deglazed along the way with some wine. Again a simple oil, herb, and cheese was enough to enhance the ravioli. Today, I have some leftover raddichio and onion that I cooked up last night as a pasta condiment. It was a little bitter, a little sweet. My guess? it will make a really neat filling with a little oil, cheese, and herbs over it. And of course, add almost anything to ricotta that's flavorful (duxelles, incredible) and you can make stunning ravioli.

At home, I think ravioli offer a wonderful way to experiment with try out flavor combinations. That said, I'm always open for others' recipes. The peas above sound very tempting.

I haven't yet tried any dessert ravioli, but it's on my radar.

Edited to add an afterthought: I'm trying to control the amount of fatty meats, such as beef, that I eat. But I don't care to give them up altogether. A few ounces of meat filled ravioli does not seem as meager as, say, a 3 ounce piece of meat might appear on the plate.


Edited by Mottmott (log)

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I don't have a food processor (it broke and it was so much trouble to clean I never replaced it) so I use a bread machine to make pasta. Here's the deal: I put three eggs, a tsp. of oil, and two cups of regular flour into the bread machine. Start the machine on the dough cycle, keeping the lid open. As it churns the stuff around I add a bit of water and occasionally push any stuff stuck in the corners towards the middle with a spatula. Soon enough it starts to form a ball. Once it's nice and firm, I turn off the machine, take the dough ball out and let it sit until it's time to run through the pasta machine. Works a charm.


Paul B

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I do a little of both, some by hand and some in the food processor. I strart it off in the food processor until it starts to ball up a little, then I kneed by hand. I also roll and shape the pasta by hand , papardelle being the most common since it is easiest to cut by hand.

I also love to make gnocci by hand.

I don't find the pasta chewy .. I do roll it very thin though ..

I LOVE homemade pasta but it is very time consuming.. in my opinion worth the wait!

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Been making pasta for over ten years. Basic recipe - 3 cups semolia, 2 eggs, egg shell of water knead in KA with paddle until ball formed. Divide into three, roll in hand machine, folding and rolling, until smooth -- reduce down to desired thickness, layout on folded table cloth to dry - turn some. Cut and cook in lots of salted boiling water. Never sticks, rustic, toothsome takes 15 - 20 minutes to got it in the pot.

If you want green posta add some spinich to the KA while kneading - or anything else. Sometimes I add black pepper or fresh oregano.

Enjoy


The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I just want to add another voice in favor of hand rolling. I don't own a pasta machine. I am by no means large or muscled, and I have no problem rolling it out myself into sheets I can see through. After trying it once, I scrapped my plan to buy a pasta machine, as I see no need for it.

I also knead my pasta dough by hand, but I can see why a person might save time by using the food processor. As with bread, however, I find I only get the feel I want-- and an accurate judgment of the firmness of the dough-- if I knead it by hand.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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This question is inspired by eating bigoli during a recent trip to Vicenza.

Has anyone tried making extruded pastas at home?

I have an Indian sev press (this functions basically the same as a cookie press, but the patterns in the molds are all vermicelli/pasta shaped in varying sizes). Sev is (usually) made from a besan (chick pea flour) dough that is pushed in long strands directly into hot oil. The same press is used for making rice flour noodles, and also falooda - thin vermicelli made from cooked cornstarch that are pressed into iced water to set firm.

One thing I notice with all the doughs used with the sev press is that they are not going to have any gluten. The difference in dough quality makes me uncertain as to whether it can be used for extruding pasta - would there be too much resistance from the dough?

Adding to my doubt is the fact that a friend from Vicenza has a bigoli press at home (which I haven't seen). She says it's huge, and that a lot of energy is required to extrude the bigoli. Because of this, I'm wondering whether the sev press (or my hands) would be sturdy enough.

I could of course simply experiment, but I'm worried that I might break my press or injure my hands if this turns out to be a bad idea.

Has anyone tried anything along these lines?

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When I am making a bunch of fresh pasta like I do when I make lasagne, should I roll all the sheets out and then cook and assemble at once? Or should I cook them as I roll them and then throw them in and leave them in a ice bath? My current: roll, cook, shock, assemble two/three sheets, repeat process seems pretty inefficient.

Or does it matter?

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I haven't had any problem making fresh pasta a few hours ahead of time, I don't think you need to cook it as you go. It doesn't dry out enough to notice, from what I've seen.

I do toss the pasta with a little corn meal to keep it from sticking together.

When my grandmother made homemade noodles (she didn't call it pasta!) she hung the long, hand rolled noodles all over the kitchen to "dry". They were delicious.

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I usually cut mine to length and let them dry to the leathery stage before cutting and/or cooking them. A little bit of flour, semolina, or cornmeal tossed with the noodles after cutting will keep them from sticking together.

I haven't tried freezing the uncut sfoglia yet, but probably will sometime soon. If it works well, it will be a big timesaver for me.


Fat=flavor

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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.

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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.

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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!


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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... 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.)

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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.manjuscookingclass.com/images/food/idiappam.jpg I imagine that the more robust kind that could be stirfried and so on is trickier to make.

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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.)

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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 (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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... 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.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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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.

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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!

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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.


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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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.

* "Now you are really cooking." -- J. Child in (I think) From Julia Child's Kitchen

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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:

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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.

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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.

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