Monday, December 31, 2007

Fresh Herbed Fettuccini

What’s the heck of making fresh pasta when there are available ready made in the supermarket? Well, the taste really differs!!! Been wondering why some restaurants are very proud to tell their customers that they make fresh pasty and that makes it quite pricey! Fresh pasta is more succulent and there is the flavors just comes alive in your mouth every bite compared to the dried lifeless ready made ones, but the TIME is the essence! Do you really have time to make your own fresh pasta? Well, it is really up to you, good food doesn’t come quickly.

It’s New Year 2008 and I think the very last night of 2007 deserves a special treat for some detailed cooking! So, if you really want to make something special you have to find the time. Another advantage is you can add your own flavors as desired plus you know what’s really in there. Today, I will try to add some herbs from my tiny garden.

300 g. Plain flour

3 pcs. eggs

1 tsp. salt

Parsley leaves (finely chopped)

1 cup flour (for dusting)

In a bowl, slightly beat eggs, add parsley and set aside. Place the flour on a clean working board and make a well in the center, add egg mixture in the center. Working with a fork, slowly mix with the flour starting from the center. Keep the well shape until almost all of the flour is mixed with the egg. Gather the flour and shape it into a ball start kneading like bread dough until soft and elastic but not sticky. Kneading will take about 7 minutes. If the dough still sticks to your hand, add a little flour or if its too hard, add a little egg, however dough must not be soft as it would jam in the pasta machine. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape each like a ball. Wrap each with plastic and let the dough rest in 15 minutes.

Assemble the pasta machine on a working table and flour the rollers. Keep a cup of flour at your side; you will need them each time the dough rolls out of the machine.

Take 1 ball of dough and knead a little shaping it into a rectangle using your fingers and then flatten with a rolling pin. Pass the dough into the rollers of the machine which is set to the widest setting and start rolling manually. As dough rolls down the machine, catch it with your hand so it would come out straight but don’t pull as it would tear. Flour the dough and pass through again at least twice on the same setting and eventually narrow the rollers each setting. It is important not to skip a single setting because the dough is likely to get stucked at the bottom.

As you narrow the rollers the dough will become thinner and longer until the thinnest setting is achieved then you get a nice long sheets of dough. Pass the sheets into the desired cutter like fettuccini or spaghetti. Some machines need the cutter to be attached, but the one I had, it’s already there and all I need to do is transfer the dough and roll from there. Hang the pasta and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, this gives enough time to dry. I used the oven rack to hang them. Then your pasta is ready to cook until al dente.

Here’s a tip in cooking pasta, after boiling to al dente, wash the pasta with running water to get rid of the extra flour so that the pasta won’t stick together so that you can incorporate the flavors of your sauce into it.

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