Hand cranking pasta!

I’ve been wanting a pasta machine to play with polymer clay, but making homemade lasagne noodles and cannelloni was also fun!

Basic Pasta recipe

  • 2 cups 00 flour, plus more as needed
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Scant 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  1. Mound 2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden board and make a well in the center. Beat the eggs, oil, and salt together in a small bowl, and pour them into the well. Using a fork, begin incorporating the flour into the eggs, a little at a time, working from the outside edges. The dough will come together and be lumpy, but don’t worry. This can also be made using a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Be sure to add eggs one at a time and blend after each addition, before adding oil.

  2. When the dough becomes too stiff to mix with a fork, or it comes together in the food processor, dust your hands with flour and begin kneading it. Sprinkle more flour onto the dough and knead until it is no longer wet and sticky. Once it becomes smooth and somewhat stiff, lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 to 5 minutes more, until the dough becomes elastic. Knead it for 4 more minutes, always dusting the board and your hands with flour, if necessary. Divide the dough in half, flatten it into small rectangles of a size to fit through a pasta machine, wrap in plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature to rest.

  3. Using either a hand crank or an electric pasta machine, adjust the rollers to the widest setting. Working with one rectangle of dough at a time, feed the dough through the rollers. Remove and lightly dust with flour. Fold the strip into thirds, flatten it with your fingertips, and pass it through the machine at least twice more, or until the dough is very smooth and the edges are even, lightly dusting each time. Once the pasta is silky and smooth, do not flour it.

  4. Adjusting the rollers to ever-narrower settings, continue rolling the dough until it is as thin as needed, usually the last or next to last setting. As the strips become increasingly longer, take care not to pull or stretch them, the easiest way to hold the strip is to drape it between your left thumb and forefinger while cranking with the right hand.

  5. Cut the strips into 18-inch lengths. After rolling the pasta on the narrowest setting, cover the strips with a clean cloth and let them rest for 30 minutes to an hour, then roll twice more through the narrowest setting. For spaghetti, change the rollers to cut the sheets into the size you desire.

  6. If not cooking the pasta immediately, spread it on clean, dry towels and lightly dust with flour, tossing to separate the strands, or hang it over a pasta drying rack or kitchen chair. Repeat with remaining dough.

Up next …..

Beet Pasta

  • 8 ounces red or golden beets (about 2 medium), without greens
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Semolina flour, for storage
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss beets with oil and a large pinch of salt. Wrap tightly in a parchment-lined piece of foil, and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool. Rub beets with paper towels to remove skins. Puree in a food processor (you should have 1/2 cup puree).

  2. Add eggs and yolk to puree in food processor, and process until combined. Add flour and 1 heaping teaspoon salt, and process until dough just comes together, about 20 seconds.

  3. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 2 tablespoons flour if dough is sticky. Place on a piece of parchment and cover with an inverted bowl, or wrap tightly in plastic; let rest for 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Cut dough into 8 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time (keep the remaining pieces covered with the inverted bowl), flatten dough into an oblong shape slightly thinner than the pasta machine’s widest setting (number 1). Dust dough very lightly with flour, and feed through machine. Fold lengthwise into thirds and rotate 90 degrees. Repeat twice on same setting to smooth dough and increase its elasticity.

  5. Turn the dial to next narrower setting. Pass dough through twice, gently supporting it with your palm. Continue to press dough, passing it through ever-finer settings, two passes on each setting, until sheet is almost translucent and very thin but still intact (number 5 of 8 on a KitchenAid pasta roller). The dough will stretch to about 16 inches long. If dough bubbles or tears, pass it through again, and dust with flour if the dough is sticking.

  6. For farfalle, lasagna squares, or ravioli: Place rolled sheet on a lightly floured surface, and cut into desired shape, using a dry brush to dust flour off if needed. Cook according to corresponding recipe. For ribbon pastas: Place dough on a drying rack until slightly tacky, 10 to 15 minutes, and then cut into strands using a pasta machine, cutting attachment, or by hand. Drape over rack until strands are semidry and don’t stick together, about 20 minutes. Cook immediately, or lay in a single layer on a baking sheet dusted with semolina, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.



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