Friday, October 30, 2009



The perfect pasta

After working to perfect homemade pasta for many years I think I finally got it! I experimented, took classes everywhere possible, including Italy, and tried many different kinds of pasta machines. The one I found to be the best is a simple hand roller type. You can adjust the rollers starting at 0 or 1 and work your way gradually up to 7. This gives you a thin even thickness pasta.

Pasta machine

I use 00 Farina flour. I’m not able to find it locally but a friend brought me some from an Italian grocery store in Maine. I use one cup of the farina and two cups of semolina flour to make one and a half pounds of pasta.

00 farina flour

The eggs must have a deep yellow yolk and be placed in a well in the center of the flour. I use a large wooden pasta board to knead the dough on. It is perfect for this job. It also is just the right width to accommodate the pasta machine’s locking device.

Oops! One egg got away

The sauces I use vary each time I make my pasta. So far, my favorite sauce is a simple one that I learned to make in Italy. It is just a matter of sautéing butter and adding sage leaves to it. It is ladled over the cooked and drained pasta. If I have a truffle on hand, which I usually don’t, I will slice it and sprinkle over the pasta.

Gorgonzola cream sauce

The sauce I made for last night’s pasta was a gorgonzola. It is just as simply made. I placed about 6 oz. of crumbled gorgonzola into about 2 cups of whipping cream and sautéed until the cheese melted.

Gourmet salts

Sometimes the pasta and sauce still seem a bit bland to me. I have come upon a wonderful solution for that. Recently, while shopping at Provisions Kitchen Store here in Roanoke, I found a beautiful display of gourmet salts. In a later post I will be visiting the store and show you the salts as well as their remarkable salt blocks. I added Himalayan Pink Rock Salt to the pasta and “ La pasta perfetta.” I was back in Italy.

Here is my recipe:

Egg Pasta:

1 cup 00 Farina flour
2 cups semolina flour
1 t. salt
4 eggs
2 T. water and 1 T. olive oil

l. Combine flours and salt on a work surface.
2. Make a well in the center of flour and add eggs
3. Work flours into the eggs with hands to form dough and add water and olive oil.
4. Dust work surface with flour and knead for 10-12 minutes or until satiny.
5. Place dough in refrigerator for about 30 min – 1 hour
6. Break off a handful of dough, roll smooth with rolling pin
7. Run dough through the pasta machine starting with 0 on the dial and ending with 7.
8. Continue with the rest of the dough.
9. Let dough dry on counter for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil water with about 1 t.salt
10. Cut pasta according to what you are making, I cut mine in wide ribbons
11. Boil for about 2 minutes
12. Pop in a bowl of cold water and then put in strainer
13. Place pasta in bowls and add sauce of choice
14. Sprinkle with a gourmet salt

Homemade pasta! Yum!

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