Tuesday, on an total whim, I made pasta.
It’s one of the few things on my Unprocessed October to-do list. (I’m also working on crackers, but I’ll write about that once I’ve found just the right recipe — in our kitchen now is a crispy wheat cracker that lacks just a little something I haven’t quite put my finger on).
Semolina flour is the secret to the good stuff … I think. So I’ve been on the hunt for it the past two weeks. Turns out, it’s not at any of our nearby grocery stores (my next stop’ll be the co-op, which I’m almost certain will have it).
I got antsy to make this stuff, though, so I looked over recipes again and I came across a simple Cook’s Illustrated recipe that called for all-purpose flour. Niceo.
We don’t have a pasta roller or any pasta-making paraphernalia. “No problem. I know how to mix dough and use a rolling pin.”
Except that maybe they invented pasta rollers for a reason. Because this dough is fierce.
I first tackled it with the french rolling pin my father-in-law made me; not enough potential downward force.
Next I tried the more familiar rolling pin with handles. OK … that bought me the pressure I needed to actually spread the dough. Very slowly, and with a lot of muscle power. (Seriously, my arms are sore today.)
I had to take it a step further: I placed my pasta dough near the edge of my counter, so I could hang one of those handles over the edge and use my left arm to kind of pull down on it.
And still — and still! — the dough was too thick. But I only found that out after I cooked it (having cut it into long fettuccine-like strands). No worries. It was tasty, and I made it.
One-egg pasta recipe
Slight adjustments on a recipe I found on the Cook’s Illustrated website. I share this recipe for any other beginners who will get the same thrill I do out of making your own cupboard staple for the first time. It’s incredibly simple and makes enough pasta for two filling meals. I rolled my pasta as thin as I could then cut it into narrow strips. I made more than I wanted to cook; I laid the extra strands on a piece of parchment, triple-wrapped it in cellophane, and put it in the freezer.
You and I both have a ways to go in our pasta-making education; isn’t it exciting?
3/4 cup plus 2 tsp. (4 oz.) all-purpose flour
3/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. olive oil
In a medium bowl, sift/whisk the flour and salt together well. Add the egg and oil and stir to form a (very stiff) dough. Knead a few times on a counter. Roll and cut pasta.
Cook in a large pot of boiling, salted water for up to 5 minutes. (Because my pasta ended up being so thick, I probably should have added 2-3 minutes to the cooking time.)
Hi … you’re done!