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Friday, 5 September 2014

Pasta And Pesto . . . Take One

The pasta went really well, in fact, I love home-made pasta. The pesto, on the other hand, well, it was a bit, alright, very, tasteless and an extremely odd colour (see picture below). Which is a shame really, as proper pesto is gorgeous. I'll try to make it again soon, but to a different recipe, the recipe I used was Theo Randall's one and it involved tipping everything into a blender.  Possibly not the best of ideas as you end up with a thick paste. Having said that, I think his other recipes are great and I might not have followed this one correctly. Oh well, Sam Stern's pesto recipe next, I'll let you know how it goes!

Pasta Recipe
Requires a stand mixer with dough hook and a pasta roller/cutter as I like my recipes to be fairly speedy, especially as this still takes 2 to 3 hours!!!
Basically you need one egg for every 100g and then add as much water as needed to make it stick together, and that will feed one hungry flatmate!
You have to prove the dough for 30 minute or so
For 2 to 3 people

200g pasta flour, also known as 00 flour, plus extra to stop it all sticking together when you roll it out
2 eggs
Water - how much depends on your dough

Put the flour and eggs in the bowl of your mixer and attach the dough hook.
Mix them together until all the egg has joined the flour and then add water a little bit at a time until the dough comes together in one ball without getting sticky.
Then leave the mixer to work the dough for 5-7 minutes, checking occasionally to keep the dough from trying to escape up the hook as it is wont to do.
Take out and cover your dough with cling film and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes, the dough should feel fairly smooth and almost leathery (it's hard to describe but you'll know it when you feel it).
Get out the pasta roller and pull off a fifth of the dough from the ball before covering the rest back up.
Flour the small ball and flatten into a rectangle.
With the pasta roller on the widest setting, roll the rectangle through and then fold it in half, adding more flour.  Pass this through the roller again.
Repeat the above step 4-5 more times, as this kneads the dough again and it important for the taste and texture.
Move the roller to the next thinnest setting and put the dough through.
Continue this process of moving the roller settings until you achieve the desired pasta thickness.
Now, to cut the pasta, if you want lasagne sheets then just cut it with a knife to less than the size of your pan.  If you want spaghetti then either send it through the spaghetti cutters (I have these and linguine ones for my KitchenAid) or use a knife again. Google pasta shapes videos if you want fancy shapes as I've yet to try them and I've got my eye on the KitchenAid pasta shapes cutter, maybe Father Christmas will give it to me? After all, Christmas is only a hundred and something days away!
Leave the pasta to dry out slightly on a clean tea towel, keeping the pieces from touching one another or you'll wind up with one big lump of pasta.
Repeat the rolling and cutting and drying steps for the rest of the pasta, using small pieces at a time.
To cook the pasta you need a large pan of boiling salted water and then put the pasta in for 4 minutes or so, tasting it to see if it's done or not (the lasagne sheets do not need to be pre-cooked).

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I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know