Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pasta pronto

I love fresh pasta. But the price often stops me. At $4 or more for 8 ounces, that's about the same per pound as a nice piece of fish or steak. And whole wheat pasta, which has more nutrition, often is even pricier.
What to do? If you know how to roll out a pie crust, and you don't mind it looking a little rustic, you can make it yourself. Jamie Oliver, TV's Naked Chef, says making pasta is so easy that he's "seen a 10-year-old turn out a decent ravioli." He's right about it being simple; I made some this morning for lunch.

Lori K's basic wheat pasta
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup pasta flour, divided
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix the wheat flour, ½ of the pasta flour and salt in a large shallow bowl. Make a well in the middle. Beat together the egg, milk and oil (if you need to limit your cholesterol, use just the egg white and add another tablespoon of oil). The dough will be sticky; add as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a rather dry dough. Knead for at least 3 minutes until smooth. Form into a ball and cover bowl with a towel, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While waiting, roll out the dough to about an ⅛-inch thick, then slice it into ¼-inch ribbons. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta strands. Stir as the pasta cooks and check it for doneness at 3 minutes. Do not overcook or it will turn into a paste. Drain and toss with a little olive oil and whatever else you desire. I used chopped sun-dried tomatoes and olives for lunch today and that was delicious. 
If you don't use all you've made, it dries easily. Drape it over a rack for faster drying, but it will dry on a breadboard as well; flip the strands over every hour or so.

1 comment:

  1. This is so exciting! I was just telling my friend Tim yesterday that I wanted to learn how to make my own pasta!!! :)