Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Adventures in Pastamaking I

After our success in making gnocchi last month, Court & I decided we wanted to try making pasta from scratch. The only thing stopping us was lack of a pasta machine, and no desire to spend a lot of money on something we didn't know we'd enjoy enough to do more than once or twice. A quick look on Kijiji and I found one for $10 (electric, unfortunately) - we were on our way.

I wasn't sure if special flour was required for pasta, so I stopped by the Italian Centre Shop and they did have imported flour with a pasta recipe on the back which we decided use (Thank you, Google Translate!).

Fresh Pasta (6 servings):
200g Semola di grano duro
250g Farina tipo ''00''
3 whole eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
enough tepid water to make the dough moist but not sticky

Sift both flours together, form a well in the centre and mix in the eggs and oil; the result looks a little like breadcrumbs. Now to add the water - this is where you need to be careful and where we made our mistake: I added too much water as the dough was very difficult to get together at first. I would recommend adding a little at a time and kneading it in, never adding too much. As soon as it feels the least bit sticky you've added too much water. Not to worry though, if you add to much the dough is still salvageable. We ended up having to knead in extra flour, and every time we thought it had absorbed as much flour as it could it was able to take more. The dough was very stiff, and once we got the dough right it finally started going through the machine properly.

The pasta machine turned out to be the loudest thing I have ever heard - worse than a food processor. The shrill motor eventually made me give up on using the machine and I hand-rolled the final bit of dough (which I wouldn't recommend as the stiffness of the dough made it nearly impossible).

That night, I made Linguine Aglio e Olio from David Rocco's recipe. Tasty! This is a super easy dinner to make when you have no ingredients in the house. I can't wait for our second attempt, as hopefully we've got all the mistakes out of our system. Plus, fortunately, a borrowed pasta attachment for a KitchenAid mixer. Wish us luck!


  1. Looking forward to reading around your pasta attempts! Have a KitchenAid but no pasta attachments. Once you've had homemade pasta, you don't want anything else.

  2. Nice work. I haven't made fresh pasta in years and years, and I've always being meaning to pick up the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid as well.

  3. I agree. Home made Pasta makes anything outside the house taste not as exciting anymore.

    Unless you are in Taormino of course.

  4. Good for you for taking this step into homemade pasta. I make homemade at least weekly. Used to be scared of it. But, I discovered using 2 eggs per cup of flour (any all purpose, or even eagle's ultra grain) and doing by hand, makes a perfect pasta. Then I hand crank it through one of those $50 atlas machines. No water, no oil..it's never sticky or gummy. Give it a try. I learned by trial and error. I threw my first pasta out. I keep my atlas attached to my island...always ready to go.