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making fresh pasta

How to Make Fresh Pasta on the Cheap

You don't need expensive gadgets or pricey ingredients to make your own healthy, tasty pasta.

By Jean Nick, The Nickel Pincher


RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Making fresh pasta is very easy, and requires no special equipment (despite what the pasta-machine makers may tell you). The result is a gourmet treat for half the price and twice the taste of that boring stuff that comes in a box. Fresh pasta also cooks really fast, which can help shrink the eco-footprint of your diet by reducing the energy it takes to cook it. All types of pasta—spaghetti, lasagna, bow ties, and even ravioli and pierogies—are basically the same thing: some type of flour, plus liquid (usually water, egg, or a combination), a pinch of salt, and, if you so desire, some pureed veggies, such as cooked spinach or tomato paste. So to make your own pasta, you start out with a basic pasta recipe and then follow the instructions for how to cut, fold, and cook.

Basic Whole Wheat Pasta Dough Recipe (4 servings)

Ingredients:

2 cups sifted organic whole wheat flour (or half whole wheat flour and half organic unbleached all-purpose flour), plus ¼ to ½ cup more for rolling it out later
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

Directions, Manual Method:

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, water, and salt until the mixture is a uniform color. Scoop the sifted flour into a pile on a clean counter, and make a depression in the top so it's shaped like a volcano.

Pour the egg mixture into the depression and use a fork to stir the egg mixture, gradually working in more and more of the flour until it is all incorporated. You should have a big lump of soft, but not sticky, dough. If it is too dry to form into a lump, add water ½ teaspoon at a time until it's soft enough; if the dough is too sticky, work in more flour a teaspoon at a time.

Once the consistency is right, knead the dough until it's smooth and stretchy. First, flatten the lump with the heels of your hands and then fold the dough over on itself and turn it a quarter turn; flatten the folded dough again, fold and turn again, and so on. Sprinkle a little extra flour onto the counter as needed to keep the dough from sticking. If any does stick, clean it off by scraping off as much as you can with a wooden or stiff plastic scraper. Then wash off the remaining residue with cold water and a sponge; hot water will start cooking the dough and make it harder to dissolve. Rinse doughy hands under cold water for the same reason.

Filed Under: ORGANIC FOOD, THE NICKEL PINCHER

Published on: February 24, 2010



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home made noodles

We made noodles; but noone could ever match my grandmother's noodles for her chicken-noodle soup...a mainstay at our family dinners and when we were sick. She let them dry on the rolling cloth on the table and then she cut them with a knife...as thin as broomstraws. No one else could ever get them that thin. I still long for that noodle soup when I am sick, but I can't do gluten anymore...thanks for the buckwheat recipe.

Noodles for noodles

Hmmmm...sounds incredibly easy! I just might have to add pasta to the list of things we rarely make from scratch, but really should more often. I'm totally going to try it out this weekend.

Gluten-Free Pasta

If you want some gluten-free pasta (or just enjoy buckwheat) I heartily recommend the following:

2 cups of organic buckwheat flour (or part wheat flour)
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Twelve to 24 hours before you want to cook your noodles combine the ingredients and knead it on a floured surface until it forms a smooth ball. Add small amounts of additional water or flour if it is too dry or too sticky to work with. Once it is in a ball quit kneading. Rinse and dry the bowl, put the dough lump back in, cover the lump with a clean, moist tea towel and cover the bowl with a lid, and let it sit at room temperature for at least 12 or up to 24 hours. This allows the buckwheat flour to start to ferment just a tiny bit and is quite safe. Turn the lump out onto a floured surface and roll, cut, and cook!

noodles

I didn't get to know any of my grandparents and while my Mom made just about everything else from scratch, she never made noodles. I do have a clear memory fragment of a cheery, well-aproned, grandmotherly type showing me how to make egg noodles in her kitchen when I was pretty small, but I have yet to figure out just who it was. Maybe I never will, but thanks, whoever you were!
:-)

share your pasta fun

A simple pasta dough is something everyone should learn to make. I have been known to show up at friends' houses with various types of flour and eggs, and roll out pasta--forcing friends to stuff and fold tortellini as a fun, social gathering.

Of course, there would be a pot of sauce or two simmering behind us and enough boiling water for our little pockets to have a relaxing soak before dressing.

making fresh pasta

I've been wanting to make my own pasta for years. I've got fond memories of visiting my grandmother. There she'd be - huge mound of flour on the kitchen table just kneeding and rolling away - and she'd have on one of those kitchen aprons that women wore in the 1940's and 1950's. She'd be up to her eyeballs in flour. BUT her chicken noodle soup, with her noodles, was wonderful. So, I've got my Rodale Institute Organic Flour and pastured eggs(only thing missing will be one of those nify aprons) and I'm ready to do homemade pasta...or as grandmom used to make, homemade NOODLES!!

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