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Handmade Pasta Recipe - Florence Style

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November 7, 2012 / Italian / By
Dinh

This recipe is inspired by handmade pasta cooking lessons I experienced while I was visiting Florence (Italy). I have since modified the recipe slightly to suit my personal tastes. Handmade pasta is actually quite simple in terms of ingredients, but the magic happens in the 'labour of love' of kneading and rolling out the pasta. This recipe calls for the traditional way of pasta making by using the classic rolling pin. If you haven't tried the taste of hand made, fresh pasta before, give it a go. Even though it requires some effort, it's worth it! It's also a great way to catch up with friends/family by enjoying the experience and fun of making pasta together.

Pasta Ingredients

Quantity per person:
100 grams of '00' flour (super fine flour used for pasta, you can find this in most supermarkets)
1 medium sized egg (45 - 50 grams)
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Measure out flour required, and place on a flat, clean surface.
  2. Make a big well in the centre of the pile of flour.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and slowly stir to combine in the flour gradually.
  4. Progressively add the extra virgin olive oil to the flour mixture, one teaspoon at a time, as you are adding the egg, as per step above.
  5. Once the flour, egg, and oil has combined to form a dough, start kneading the dough for approx. 10-15 minutes (knead dough by pulling the dough into the centre with your fingers and gently but firmly press down with the palm of your hand into the centre of the dough. Turn the dough 90 degrees, and continue to knead the dough with the same motion described above. Continue to turn the dough 90 degrees, and continue kneading the dough for 10-15 minutes).
  6. Note: if you find the dough a little dry, add a bit more extra virgin olive oil, as required.
  7. After 10-15 minutes, wrap dough in cling wrap or place under a wet towel and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  8. After resting, take out dough, and lightly press the centre of the  dough, it should spring back up, which indicates that the dough is ready for rolling into pasta sheets.
  9. Shape the pasta into a long thick roll and use a knife to cut pasta into thick slices/chunks.
  10. To experience the 'true' handmade pasta experience, take a pasta chunk, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. If you have a marble type surface, the pasta is thin enough when you can see the marble through the dough.
  11. Roll up the thin pasta sheet you have created so they look like long cigars/egg rolls.
  12. Use a knife to cut it into 'Pappardelle' strips (ie. about 2 cm wide).
  13. Proceed to roll out all the pasta chunks, and repeat steps 10-12.
  14. Note: for those who like 'shortcuts', a pasta machine can be used instead of the rolling pin, but it's just not as fun.
  15. Boil a big pot of water (add salt to the water).
  16. Once the water boils, put some of the pasta into the water and cook for about 30sec (the pasta is ready when it starts floating to the top).
  17. Transfer the pasta over to the pasta sauce (see instructions below on how to make the pasta sauce) and continue cooking the rest of the pasta in small batches.
    Note: you can add some of the water used to boil the pasta into the pasta sauce, if the pasta sauce gets too thick.

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Quantity for 5 people:
1 large onion (diced)
550 grams of minced beef (about 90% lean)
550 grams of peeled and cooked, whole canned tomatoes (ideally italian san marzano tomatoes)
4 cloves of garlic (press garlic, and slice)
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
300 ml of red wine
1 small bunch of basil
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or fresh chilli
Salt & pepper

For garnish/serving:
parmesan cheese - grated/shredded
cherry tomatoes


Instructions:

  1. In a large, deep frying pan, add the oil. Once pan is hot, add garlic and onion and continue to stir fry until onions are caramelised.
  2. Add minced beef and continue to fry until meat has browned.
  3. Add tomatoes and basil and let it cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use a wooden spoon to break up the whole tomatoes.
  4. Add red wine and cook through until you can't smell the alcohol from the wine anymore.
  5. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stir occasionally, add the chilli.
  6. Add salt and pepper, as required.


Final Notes:

I can proudly confirm that I have been able to recreate what I learnt, and have since made handmade pasta many times since returning home.

The key thing I have learnt is putting firm pressure when kneading, but not too hard, and rolling the pasta until you can see through it.

Enjoy the fun and satisfaction of making your own pasta!

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Country: Italy

Province/State: Toscana

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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