MAKING YOUR OWN PASTA


from the April 1986 "Drying Times "


by Barb Moody

Pasta making is an art that requires practice and patience. Here are some tips to get you started. If you want to learn more, there are many cookbooks that deal with this art.

Making the dough


Following the recipe below for "Basic Pasta Ingredients", place flour on a pastry board or counter top (wood surfaces work best). Make a well in the center of the flour. Break eggs into the well. Beat the eggs with a fork. Gently work some flour from the side of the well into the egg mixture. Keep adding flour a little at a time, beating constantly. Continue until a soft dough has been formed it becomes difficult to mix the dough with a fork.

Kneading the dough


Sprinkle board and hands with flour and begin to knead the dough. Add more flour as needed. Continue until dough is smooth, pliable, and quite elastic (usually about 10 minutes). You should be able to stick your finger into the middle of the dough and have it come out dry.

Divide the dough in 3 parts, forming each into a ball. Place each ball in a plastic bag to prevent drying out. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.

Rolling the dough


Place 1 ball of dough on a lightly floured board. Flatten it slightly by hand. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough. Start from the center and move towards the edges. Stretch it with your hands as you roll it. Roll dough into a wide circle. To prevent sticking, dust the surface with flour as needed and flip dough over often. Continue to roll and stretch dough until it is about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch thick. Sprinkle lightly with flour and let it rest and dry for about 15 minutes on a lightly floured dry towel.

Cutting Options

(1) Score each sheet into desired noodle with and place sheets on dryer tray. Dry for about 2 hours then separate noodles along scored lines. Return noodles to the dryer and dry for 3 more hours or until noodles break when bent.

(2) Roll sheet into a jelly roll and cut roll into desired width. Gently unwind noodles and hang on pasta rack or lay them on trays. Dry 3-5 hours.

(3) If using a pasta machine, follow the steps above up to rolling the dough. Then, follow the instructions provided with your machine.

Basic Pasta Ingredients

Note: Altitude, humidity, and the size of the eggs will influence the amount of flour needed. To make an eggless pasta, substitute 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water for the eggs.

Variations

Vegetable Pasta

Substitute 1/2 cup dried, powdered vegetables for 1/2 cup of the flour. Some good possibilities are spinach, broccoli, beets, tomatoes, carrots, or zucchini.

Lemon Pasta

Substitute 3 tablespoons finely powdered, dried organic lemon for an equal amount of flour. This is a delightful pasta to serve with fish or vegetables.