Pasta is a staple in most of our kitchens. Pretty sure we eat (well I do sometimes) pasta at least once a week or fortnight. I mean, who wouldn’t want a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs or a Fettuccine Alfredo.
Real pasta making I think is becoming a lost art. Handed down from nonna, watching her using her hands to transform the flour, eggs, and a dash of salt into silky pasta dough. A memory many of us have.
Pasta making is both fun and rewarding, so let’s get started!
Types of Pasta
One of the most popular types of pasta, easily distinguishable through their large, very broad ribbon-like strands. Most commonly mixed with hearty and full-bodied sauces, such as mushrooms, truffle or beef brisket.
Long, flat ribbons traditional rolled out into thin paper sheets and hand-cut. Their rough texture is ideal for soaking up thicker sauces like ragu made with veal or pork.
Available in long strands or in curled nests, fettuccine is similar to tagliatelle. Because it is a thicker pasta, it is generally served with heavier, meat-based sauces. Works best with sauces that are less chunky, as larger pieces of meat or vegetables end up separated from the strands of pasta rather than enjoyed with each bite. Creamy sauces and tomato sauces work well also.
A long, thin piece of pasta, spaghetti has a lot of versatility and mixes wonderfully with a variety of sauces. Probably best known for being paired with tomato sauce and meatballs, but it can also be a great complement to chunky sauces like Bolognese, or with light or cream sauces.
Making delicious homemade pasta is easy with Wiltshire’s pasta tools! Made from quality stainless steel and non-slip feet, designed to last. The Pasta Machine is equipped with smooth rollers and 3 different cutters so you can prepare various types of pasta.
Wiltshire’s Pasta Dough
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes + chilling
Baking Pan: Wiltshire Perforated 12 Cup Mini Quiche Pan
• 280g ‘OO’ flour
• 120g fine semolina flour
• 4 large eggs
• 1 egg yolk or 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Pinch fine salt
• Extra flour for dusting
Note: Fine semolina can be replaced by using all ‘OO’ flour
Place flours and salt on a clean, sturdy work surface and make a large well in the middle with your hands. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, or olive oil together in a medium bowl until combined, then pour the mixture into the well. If you are using a stand mixer please refer to the below.
If using a stand mixer:
Attach the Flat Beater and add ingredients into the mixer bowl. Turn to speed 2 and mix until dough is combined. If you find the dough to be too sticky or too dry, simply add more flour or egg yolk following the steps above. Remove Flat Beater and attach Dough Hook, mix 3-4 minutes on speed 1, or until dough indents when touched. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Using a fork, whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating more and more flour into the eggs by moving your fork along the edges of the well. Once almost all the flour is incorporated, start bringing the dough together with your hands. The dough should be pliable, but not sticky – add more flour if the dough is sticking too much to your hands or the surface. Alternatively, if it is too dry, whisk an extra egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and use your hands to sprinkle some of the mixture over the dough, continuing to do so until the dough is easier to knead.
Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Unwrap the dough and cut into 8 equal pieces so that it is easier to work with. Take 1 piece and wrap the rest in the plastic wrap to avoid them drying out.
To roll the pasta dough, take one portion of dough and use the palm of your hands to flatten it into a rectangle. Follow the use instructions of this pasta machine by dusting the rollers with flour and rolling the dough portion through starting at the lowest setting. Dust again with flour and repeat on the same setting.
Fold in the shorter sides of the dough to meet in the centre to form a smaller rectangle and feed through the machine again. Repeat this process 5-6 times or until smooth.
Once smooth, start to reduce the width between the rollers by 1 and roll the dough through once per setting. Repeat the process, reducing the setting each time until the dough is 1-1.5mm thick or your desired thickness is achieved. Repeat same process with the remaining portions of dough. Sprinkle generously with flour to prevent sticking while doing remaining dough.
To make spaghetti, fettuccine or tagliatelle, feed the pasta sheets through the cutting roller attachment to cut the pasta to your desired shape. Toss in a small amount of extra flour to prevent sticking.
To cook fresh pasta, gently add it to a large pot of salted boiling water. Spaghetti and fettuccini pasta times vary but will take approximately 3-4 minutes until cooked to al dente.
Have your pasta sauce ready to serve before cooking pasta. Save a little of the pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
Depending on the humidity, the finished pasta should be left to dry on a rack/ tea towel for at least 48 hours, or dry in the oven at approx. 35°C for approx. 24 hours. Leave the oven slightly open. Properly dried pasta can be stored in airtight containers for 3 months (regardless of whether the dough is made with or without egg). To avoid mould, the containers should always be completely free from moisture.