The Famous Pasta
For me, Pasta is not only food. Pasta is a tradition. Pasta is a national craft and one of the things, Italians are very proud of. There are several kinds of pasta. You know, all the colours and shapes, one can buy at local market. In this case, we’re talking about factory made – dried pasta.
First of all, I need to mention one very important think. There’s nothing bad about dried pasta at all. Sometimes, it is even better then the fresh one, depends on the type of a dish. Spaghetti, Penne, Fusilli, Rigatoni and a few more are the part of factory made Pasta. The reason is very simple. The actual shape of the Pasta named above is a bit difficult to make by hand, so there are factories using forms which can give the shape. The dough for factory Pasta is made from Semolina – golden yellow wheat flour, and water.
Fresh – Egg Pasta
As I mentioned before, the actual process of making pasta is very fascinating. It is a tradition, probably older then your grand grandma. Depends on regions, almost every of them has it’s unique style of making pasta. No one in Italy can grow up without learning of making Pasta.
It is very important what kind of flour you’re gonna choose to make fresh pasta. In Italy the most using flour is 00 flour. I didn’t found this flour in Scotland, yet. So, I am using the strong white bread flour which is also good but there seems to be a problem. The dough for fresh, homemade pasta has to be very thin which is a bit difficult with strong white flour as it’s need a bit more time to roll it out. But there’s nothing you can’t do with a little bit of patience.
Use one egg per 100 grams of flour. You can make the dough straight on the wooden surface by hand or use a bowl. I found the bowl better. So, sift 100 grams of flour to the bowl, make a well and pour in the egg. I always start with fork to make a rough mix. When it’s mixed roughly, It’s time to get your hands dirty. Squeezing the flour with egg, make a soft and non sticky dough. Knead good and leave for about 10 minutes to chill, wrapped in cling film. This is the recipe for all the fresh – egg pasta. If you want to make a green pasta, just add a little bit of spinach and a bit less flour.
Tagliatelle – Long, lengthwise cutted strips, the most preferable Pasta for Bolognese sauce. They have to be cut by hand. If you’re using pasta machine, then it’s called Fettucine.
Pappardelle – Small, squared shaped Pasta using for soups.
Lasagna sheets – Probably the easiest cut of pasta. The size depends on your Lasagna baking tin.
This is absolute basic of Pasta. Obviously, there are more cuts you can use. But I didn’t try them yet, so I am not able to speak about them.
Tomorrow, I’d like to talk about the stuffed pasta and also mention some basic cooking tips for you. This article may be the most boring from all week but for someone who never tried to make pasta at home can be very useful. I promise, that tomorrow will be much more exciting.