Thursday, 3 March 2011

Homemade Fresh Pasta

I have posted 2 recipes in the last week, both of which have had feed back regarding my deviation from following "traditional methods". This got me thinking about how far back does one have to go to stay true to "traditional". Do we need to make food the way it's always been done in living memory or hit the history books and find the first time it was made and follow that?

I started thinking of what is now called Italian food. I think for most people if you say "We having Italian for dinner", pasta (or pizza) will spring to mind. But is pasta really Italian? And what makes it Italian as opposed to Chinese?

Pasta was brought to Sicily by the Arabs after their conquest in about 500AD. This fact surprised me, because I always thought it was Marco Polo who brought noodles back from China, 1295AD. The Chinese were enjoying noodles, made from bread-fruit in 3000BC!

Food belongs to the global village. Whether you sitting in Nonna's kitchen in Tuscany or in Wài zǔ mǔ's kitchen in Beijing - noodles or pasta are traditional home made comfort foods. 

This long trip around the world (I'm starting to feel like Phileas Fogg) brings me to MY traditional home made pasta recipe. I can not tell you how old it is or if it has it's roots in a traditional Italian kitchen - but it works for me and my family love it.

Fresh Pasta

Homemade Heaven Fresh Pasta

Per Serving

100g Flour (I like Italian 00 flour or cake four)
1 Extra large Egg
Lots of flour for dusting.

I use my food processor to start the mixing, but it can be done by hand too.
Place the flour in the processor and start the machine running.
Add the egg and allow it to run until mixture forms a ball.
Dust your work surface well and take the dough and knead for about 5 minutes.
You must end up with a smooth elastic dough which is not sticky.
You might need to knead in extra flour to get the right texture.
Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes, while you set up your pasta machine.
Cut the dough in 100g balls and start to work through the pasta machine settings -
Starting with the biggest first, working all the way down to the thinnest roller.
I usually do each ball twice, making sure my end result is smooth and very thin.
If you do not have a pasta machine, you can roll your pasta out with a rolling pin
and cut the pasta with a knife.
Leave the flat sheets to rest for about 10 minutes, on a dusted surface.
Using the cutter on the pasta machine, cut to the required thickness - I like tagliatelle.

To cook your pasta
Take a large saucepan and fill ½ way up and add a generous amount of salt.
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for about 4-5 minutes until al-dente.
Serve with a sauce of your choice.
I used Pesto Princess Thai Pesto (with coriander and chilli), which I highly recommend.


Pesto Princess said...

LOVE your history lesson! So interesting - thank you!

I feel cooking is like art; everyone has their own idea of what is right & wrong, but at the end of the day if it looks/ tastes good to you, and you're the one looking at it/ eating it... then I say well done! :)

Rose&Thorn said...

Thanks Princess. I love to hear how others make things and I am always open to new and fresh ideas. But I also think that it's okay to break out the box and try things differently sometimes.

Marisa said...

I think once you've tasted home made pasta it's not easy to go back to storebought, is it? :-)

Rose&Thorn said...

Marisa - You are so right, the only thing is that dried pasta is such a great pantry staple, I couldn't live without it. But fresh is so much better.

polkadotcupcake said...

I entirely agree with Marisa, once you have homemade, it IS hard to go back to dried, and homemade is so easy! This is lovely, Rose, and what a delicious vehicle for that yummy pesto!

Nina said...

Who cares about traditions, you are creating traditions in your own kitchen making your own delicious food! Love making pasta with the children!

Merut said...

If we always stuck to tradition we would never come up with something new! Blah - let those food conservatives whine all they want. I love homemade pasta, even though I don't make it nearly enough. Yours looks perfect!

Val said...

What a beautiful vision homemade pasta is...Great blog.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love homemade pasta! Your history of pasta was a wonderful read and I'm saving your recipe :)

Gattina Cheung said...

you remind me, one time when I made italian pasta, I got a couples of changllengers :) :) I agree with you! And your lovely pasta looks so lovely, feel like to make some tonight.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

Search This Blog

South African Food and Wine Blogger Directory

The South African Food and Wine Blogger Directory