Monday, July 29, 2013

Homemade Pasta

Out of every place in the world that I've visited, Italy has been my favorite. As a lover of wine, carbs, history, and a half-Italian man (i.e. my husband) it makes sense. Being able to walk in the places the Peter, Paul, and the Caesars used to walk was absolutely surreal. 

Me and my parents in front of the Colosseum
I had also always heard that the pasta in Italy was the best that I would ever eat in my entire life. I don't think there was one meal that I had in Italy that didn't include either pasta or pizza. People weren't lying, the homemade pasta that every restaurant served was absolutely amazing. 

All the restaurants also served their glasses of wine in mini-wine bottles or in these containers. I loved it.

A few months after I came home, my parents took their office to a cooking class outing at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Edina, Minnesota and allowed me to crash. Being that the cooking class was Italian cooking, I was very excited. I became even more excited when I found out that they were teaching us how to make homemade pasta. Finally, I would be able to have pasta like I did in Italy again.

While making the pasta was easier than I anticipated, the only downside was that it required certain tools that are unique to pasta making. I had tried hand rolling my pasta with a rolling pin, and couldn't get the pasta thin enough. For my wedding registry, I requested a pasta machine and pasta drying rack, and luckily received them. If you are wanting to make pasta, these items are fairly inexpensive, and I would highly recommend buying them.

Homemade Pasta 
Learned from a Cooking Class at Cooks of Crocus Hill

3 cups flour
4 large eggs
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt

Place flour in a mound on a flat surface. Make a well in the center of the mound.

Add the eggs, oil, and salt to the well in the center of the mound. With a fork, mix the ingredients by bringing the flour to the center of the mound until a dough starts to form. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for another 15 minutes.

Divide into 4 parts and roll through your pasta machine as directed. With my pasta machine, you roll the pasta through the press multiple times, each time tightening the press until the pasta is at the desired thickness. 

To cut the pasta, fold into thirds lengthwise, and cut into strips. 

Place on a pasta drying rack and let sit for 30 minutes. I've also heard that Old School Italians dry their pasta on floured sheets of newspaper, so that and a floured towel are also options for drying your pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the pasta in the boiling water, and let cook for 2-4 minutes.
Add sauce or other ingredients. With my pasta I made Tagliatelle Pasta with Asparagus and Gorgonzola Sauce, another recipe I learned at my cooking class. The recipe can be found in the Betty Crocker's Italian Cooking Cookbook, which was written by our class instructor.
Buon Appetito!
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