Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fresh Pasta

Spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagne, linguini, pappardelle, tagliatelle, fusilli, farfalle..... you name it, I make it! They all come from the same sheet of pasta and it's up to us to decide what shape and form we should give them.
Making fresh pasta is easy and fun, it gives you room to create the shape you want plus the flavors you want. When rolling out your pasta you can incorporate herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil or even edible flowers. You can also incorporate vegetable puree to change its color and impact the flavor. All of these options are only made possible when you make your own pasta.
If you are thinking that it's not possible to make your own pasta if you don't own a pasta machine you are completely wrong . We not always need special equipment to make something happen and pasta is a good example. A rolling pin will do the job and if you don't own a rolling pin a glass bottle can also work. The biggest challenge when rolling out your pasta manually is to achieve the right thickness which is suppose to be thin (nothing like some extra drips of sweat to make you achieve this goal).

meat ravioli with tomato sauce
Just like any other dough the amount of flour may change from brand to brand, from city to city and that's exactly why it's so important for you to understand the principles of a good pasta  and this way you can manage to add more water or flour when necessary. Semolina flour requires more liquid than regular flour for example. For a healthier version you can also use whole wheat flour, your body enjoys whole grains more than refined grains, whole grains makes our body work a little bit more and they love it, it makes us feel satisfied for longer.

The myths about pasta making/cooking are many but I'm going to list some italian rules here on how to make your pasta like a pro and also vanish some non sense myths about it:
1-You DO NOT have to add oil in the water to cook pasta, the only ingredient you add besides water is salt, make the water taste like sea water and that is the correct amount of salt you should add.
2-The pot with water should be bigger than the amount of pasta you have, your pasta should have plenty of room to "swim" in the pot.
3-Wait for your water to come to a full boil before you add your pasta.
4-Cook it until al dente and finish it by placing the pasta in a pot with the sauce, this way the pasta absorbs some sauce and coat itself with it plus it prevents from sticking. 
5- Carbohydrates are good for you, they provide energy, please don't see them as your enemy.
6- Enjoy your pasta with love and affection =)

Trust the food you make and not the ones that comes in boxes, the earth and your body thanks you for that!

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour (or only all purpose flour)
pinch of salt
3 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water 
Storage tips:
You can place it in an airtight container and leave it for up to a week in your refrigerator sprinkled with semolina flour.

Music list:
Gotye- Somebody that I used to know
10 anos de Toquinho e Vinicius- Pot Pourri N01
Miike Snow- Paddling out
Chico Buarque- Ate o fim