Dinner ideas

Pasta dough

Making your own pasta dough is incredibly satisfying and easier than you might think. You do need a pasta machine, but the investment is worthwhile; just one bite of freshly made pasta and you'll see why.



1.Pulse flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in a food processor until ingredients are well combined. Add water if needed ­ the dough should be firm.
2.Place dough on a work surface; knead into a ball. Knead dough for 5 minutes or until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.
3.Divide dough into quarters; wrap three pieces in plastic. Shape one piece of dough into a rectangle narrower than the rollers of the pasta machine.
4.Sprinkle dough and rollers of pasta machine with a little extra flour to prevent sticking. Roll one piece of dough through the pasta machine on its thickest setting. Fold short sides of dough into the centre, turn it 90 degrees and roll through the machine about six times until it is the width of the rollers. Repeat rolling several times, without folding or turning, adjusting the setting each time so the dough becomes thinner with each roll. Roll to second thinnest or thinnest setting, depending on thickness required. (The thinnest setting is used for lasagne sheets, ravioli and pappardelle.) Sprinkle pasta sheets with a little semolina or flour. Repeat with remaining dough. Pasta can be cooked immediately.
5.For machine-cut pastas such as tagliatelle and linguine, insert the attachment into the machine. Cut rolled pasta sheets to desired lengths. Dust with flour. Roll sheets through the machine. Dust the cut pasta with semolina or flour; place, in a single layer, on a tray. If you’re not cooking it straight away, dry it out to help prevent it sticking and clumping. Drape the cut pasta, in a single layer, over an opened cupboard door or on a clean clothes drying rack.
6.To cook, add pasta to a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until just tender, this can take up to 2 minutes, depending on the shape and thickness. Fresh pasta cooks quickly so watch it carefully. Drain pasta; return to pan, add sauce, toss gently.

00 flour is imported from Italy and available from some delicatessens and major supermarkets. If you use 00 flour you will only need 1 tablespoon of olive oil and no water. If you use bread flour, you will need 2 tablespoons each of oil and water.


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