Tag Archives: Fresh Pasta

My Grandmother’s Pasta Machine

I still remember the aroma of home-made tortellini coming from my grandmother’s kitchen, at my grandparents’  apartment, which is where I live now. The texture is different from any pasta I have ever eaten since then. The pasta was thicker, not very smooth and would melt in the mouth easily, unleashing a feast of comforting flavours. The meat in the filling was lean but very tasty and the broth, in which the tortellini were served, was very warm and intense.

The aroma would remain in the apartment for hours after the meal. I can still clearly smell it now, in my memories.

Today, I am using the same kitchen, the same sink (an old-fashioned genoese marble model with all the stains) and the same pasta machine that was used by my grandmother to prepare her “famous” home-made tortellini…

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Fresh Egg Pasta with Flour 00 (Step by Step)

This week we are going to prepare plain fresh egg pasta, using flour 00. This pasta can be used as a base for making a variety dishes, prepared with all sorts of creative stuffings and sauces, but we will see this in the next posts.

I generally tend to use more complex and heavier types of flour, because they are tastier and rich in nutrients. In some recipes , however, it’s better to use a finer and more delicate flour, in order to avoid covering the flavour of the other ingredients. For this recipe the Italian flour 00 is perfect for making pasta, because it is finer than normal flour, however, if you can’t find it use plain flour.

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tips.

1. The ingredients listed are for 400 g of (uncooked) pasta, but if you need a different quantity, just bear in mind that for every 100g of flour you have to add an egg. For example, if you need 200 g of pasta just halve the ingredients (and use 2 small eggs).

2 . It is important to sift the flour before using it to avoid lumps or impurities (I don’t usually say this but you should always do it).

3. Here I am using a rolling pin, but if you are planning to make large quantities of fresh pasta I strongly advise you to get a pasta machine, to make things easier.

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Fresh Egg Pasta (with flour 00)

 Ingredients

for 400 g (14 oz) of pasta (approximately)

300 g (10.5 oz)  flour 00 (or plain flour)

3 eggs

salt to taste

 Tools

a clean kitchen cloth

an airtight container

a long rolling pin

a wooden board (with a rough surface) or a table

 Method

1. Sift the flour with a sieve, add some salt, make a well and crack three eggs in the centre. With a fork, beat the eggs lightly, in order to mix the whites with the yolks. Still using a fork, combine the flour with the eggs starting from the outer edge, then continue mixing the ingredients with your fingers and begin to knead.

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2. Knead until you get a smooth dough, then wrap in a clean cloth and place in an airtight container (or use cling film). Let stand for about an hour at room temperature (if you don’t have much time, 30 minutes is fine).

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3. After an hour (or 30 minutes), take the dough and divide it into 3-4 pieces. Dust the working surface with some flour and, using a rolling pin, roll a very thin sheet of pasta. Repeat this process with the other pieces and cut the sheets as required by the recipe you are going to prepare.

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Notes.

You can make lasagne, ravioli, cannelloni and many varieties of pasta from these sheets. We will see how in the next few weeks. See also the post on spelt (farro) pasta for more ideas.

Pasta fresca all’uovo.

Ingredienti

per circa 400g di pasta

300g di farina 00

3 uova

sale q.b.

 Utensili

uno panno pulito

un contenitore a chiusura ermetica

un matterello lungo

una spianatoia di legno (con superficie ruvida)

 Preparazione.

1. Setacciate la farina con un colino grande (oppure un setaccio) e disponetela a fontana con tre uova al centro. Con una forchetta sbattete leggermente le uova, in modo da mischiare il bianco al tuorlo. Sempre con una forchetta, unite la farina all’uovo partendo del bordo esterno, poi proseguite con le dita e incominciate ad impastare.

2. Lavorate bene l’impasto, poi avvolgetelo in un panno pulito e mettetelo in un contenitore con chiusura ermetica (potete anche utilizzare la pellicola). Lasciate riposare un’ oretta (oppure 30 minuti, se non avete molto tempo).

3. Prendete l’impasto, dividetelo in 3-4 pezzi e incominciate a stendere la pasta (infarinando bene le superfici), fino ad ottenere una sfoglia molto sottile. Ripetete l’operazione con gli altri pezzi e tagliate la pasta come richiede la ricetta che state preparando.

Gluten-free Buckwheat Gnocchi (Step by Step)

I adore gnocchi! Gnocchi with pesto has been my favourite pasta dish since I was a kid. In Italy there are numerous variations of this wonderful pasta, some of which are really colourful and tasty. Today we are going to prepare a gluten-free version made with buckwheat flour. This flour might be a little expensive, but I decided to use it because of the benefits that introducing gluten-free meals in our every-day diet have. Even though I don’t have intolerances or allergies, but also because I think it’s delicious. Of course, it is also a good alternative to traditional gnocchi for celiac people.

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 A few words about Buckwheat. 

Buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb. The seeds are fruit seeds, not cereals, very similar to sunflower seeds, and with a distinctive triangular shape. They are rich in protein, important minerals ( iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and potassium.) and vitamins B. Buckwheat is normally used in flour or grains. The flour is very tasty and perfect for pasta recipes, in fact, in Italy it is widely used in many traditional dishes.

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Ingredients

Preparation: 25 minutes

Potatoes Cooking time: 15-20 minutes + time to cool

Gnocchi Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4-5

1 kg (35.2 oz) large potatoes

200 g (7.05 oz) buckwheat flour (and a little bit more for dusting)

50 g  (1.76 oz) potato starch

salt to taste

 Tools 

wooden board or table

A large pan (with a steaming basket  or you can use a steamer if you prefer this cooking method)

a large sieve (to sift the flour)

potato ricer (or a potato masher)

a knife

a fork (or a gnocchi board)

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 Method

1.Wash, then steam or boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes (if you boil, put them in cold salted water and then, bring to the boil). Mash the potatoes and let cool. Once they have cooled down, add the flour and starch (previously sifted and mixed).

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2. Combine all the ingredients, add some salt and work until you get a soft and smooth dough (adding some flour, if necessary).

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3. Dust the board, then divide the dough into 4-5 equal pieces and roll each piece into long ropes (the ropes should be 1,5 cm [0.39 uk inches] high). Cut each rope into small pieces (3 cm [ 1.18 uk inches] long and 1,5 cm [ 0.39 uk inches] high).

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4. Use a fork to indent the gnocchi by pressing the centre and roll each piece on the fork (watch the video below) , in this way the gnocchi will absorb the condiment better.

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Watch the video:

5. Add more flour to prevent the gnocchi from sticking together and lay them a little apart from each other on a table, previously covered with clean kitchen cloths (I used a plate because I prepared only one portion). Cook as soon as possible.

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 Tips.

Boil in plenty of salted water for a few minutes. Once they rise, gently drain and season as you prefer (serve these wonderful gnocchi with pesto or with a nice tomato sauce. If you don’t follow a vegan or a low-cal diet I suggest you try them with a gorgonzola sauce).

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Gnocchi di patate e grano saraceno.

Preparazione: 25 minuti

Cottura delle patate: 15-20 minuti + il tempo di farle un po’ raffreddare

Cottura degli gnocchi: 5 minuti

Ingredienti

per 4-5 persone

1 kg di patate farinose

200 g di farina di grano saraceno ( e un po’ di più per infarinare)

50 g di fecola di patate

sale q.b.

Utensili

una spianatoia di legno abbastanza grande

Una pentola grande (con cestello per cottura a vapore oppure una  vaporiera, se preferite questo tipo di cottura)

un setaccio o un colino grande (per setacciare la farina)

uno schiaccia patate

un coltello

una forchetta

 Preparazione

1. Lavate bene le patate e fate cuocere a vapore per 15-20 minuti (o lessatele mettendole in acqua fredda salata e portando a bollore). Schiacciate le patate e lasciate raffreddare. Aggiungete la farina e la fecola (setacciate e mescolate in precedenza).

2. Amalgamate gli ingredienti con un po’ di sale, fino ad ottenere un impasto morbido ed uniforme. Nel caso fosse necessario, aggiungete un po’ di farina.

3. Infarinate la superficie della spianatoia, dividete l’impasto in 4-5 pezzi uguali e rotolate ogni pezzo fino a formare dei filoncini molto lunghi e alti 1,5 cm. Tagliate ogni cilindro di pasta in piccoli gnocchi (lunghi 3 cm e alti 1,5 cm circa).

4. Usate una forchetta per rigare gli gnocchi (guarda il video).

5. Appoggiate gli gnocchi distanti tra loro su un tavolo coperto da strofinacci puliti, leggermente infarinati (nelle foto uso un piatto perché ho preparato una porzione sola).

 Note.

Per la cottura consiglio di far bollire in acqua abbondante e salata per qualche minuto. Poi scolate e condite come preferite. Un ottimo condimento per gli gnocchi di grano saraceno potrebbe essere una salsa al gorgonzola, oppure condite semplicemente con del buon pesto o una salsa al pomodoro, se seguite una dieta vegana o a basso contenuto calorico.

Easy Fresh Egg Spelt Pasta (Step by Step)

This week we are going to prepare home-made spelt (farro) pasta. In Italy there are several kinds of pasta, made with different ingredients, colours and shapes. Each type has its own precise measurements, name and tradition. Today we are going to make pappardelle. This pasta is very similar to tagliatelle, only a little bit easier to cut, with a thin and long rectangular shape (about 1,5- 2 cm wide).

Pappardelle is made by mixing flour (usually 00 or plain) with a few eggs. In the next posts I’ll show you how to prepare different kinds of pasta, some without eggs and some gluten-free recipes as well. First of all, let’s make a list of the things we need.

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 Spelt Flour (Farro) Pappardelle.

Preparation: 30 minutes +1 hour refrigeration

Cooking: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

3-4 servings

100g (3.5 oz) plain flour (best if you find 00 flour, which is very fine)

200g (7 oz ) wholemeal spelt flour (whole wheat farro flour)

50 g (1.76 oz) of plain flour, for dusting

a pinch of salt

3 eggs

 Tools 

a large knife

a large wooden board (or a large table will do)

a long rolling pin

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Method.

1. Mix the flours with salt on a wooden board and make a well in the centre. Put three eggs in it, then mix them slightly using a fork.

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2. Starting from the outside edges, slowly combine the flour with the eggs.

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3. Work the dough until smooth.

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4. Fold a kitchen cloth around the dough and place it in an airtight container for about an hour (during this time the dough becomes more elastic).

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5. After an hour, take the dough (dust with some flour), divide it into two parts and using a rolling pin make two thin sheets of pasta.

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6. Using a rolling pin, roll the pasta from the outside inwards (see the picture).

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7. Cut the pasta (each cut should be about 2 cm, 0.70 inches, from the next). Roll and cut both sheets of pasta.

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8. Dust with more flour and separate the pappardelle on the wooden board, then cook and serve.

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Tip. Boil the pasta in plenty of hot water, with 1/2 a tablespoon of salt (no oil needed) for 10-15 minutes. Then drain and serve with fresh pesto or tomato sauce.

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Pappardelle di farina di farro.

Preparazione: 30 minuti+1 ora in frigorifero

Cottura: 10-15 minuti

ingredienti 

per 3-4 persone

100g di farina 00

200 g di farina di farro (preferibilmente integrale)

50 g di farina 00 (per non fare attaccare la pasta)

un pizzico di sale

3 uova

Utensili

un grosso coltello

una spianatoia in legno (abbastanza grande e con superficie ruvida)

un matterello lungo

1. Mescolate le farine e il sale su una spianatoia. Disponete la farina a fontana con tre uova al centro, poi sbattete leggermente le uova usando una forchetta. Unite gli ingredienti, partendo dal bordo esterno.

2. Lavorate fino ad ottenere un impasto omogeneo. Ricopritelo con un panno e mettetelo in un contenitore ermetico per circa un’ora (in questo modo l’impasto diventerà più elastico).

3. Dopo un’ora, prendete l’impasto (dividetelo in due) infarinate bene tutto e fate due sfoglie sottili con il matterello. Sempre aiutandovi con il matterello, arrotolare la pasta per tagliarla (vedi la foto).

4. Tagliate la pasta (ogni taglio deve essere distante 2 cm circa dal successivo). Infarinate e separate le pappardelle sulla tavola. Cuocete le pappardelle per 10-15 minuti e condite come preferite.