My 16 year old daughter and I have both wanted to try our hand at making homemade pasta. I went first and it was disasterous! Even after watching my frustrating evening wrestling with pasta dough, my daughter wanted to give it a try. You gotta love her tenaciousness!!!
Armed with a different recipe and our friend, Michael’s, Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment, she embarked on her triumphant night of pasta making! The difference between my failure and her success? Using Semolini flour in the pasta recipe and making the ravioli filling as dry as possible!
In my first effort, I made the mistake of using bread flour, which was all I had on hand. Don’t do it!!! My second mistake, was using a filling recipe that had added olive oil. Not needed!
So below are the recipes that can get you on the right track if you’re wanting to try your hand at making your own pasta. We stuck with the sheets and made ravioli, but you can also cut and dry your pasta into noodles.
This recipe comes from Chef Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
2 cups semolina flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
Combine the semolina flour, all purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, mix these ingredients together, then using a sifter, sift into another bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs & beat well with a fork.
Add extra-virgin olive oil to the eggs and mix with a fork.
Add the cold water to the egg & olive oil mixture, and mix with a fork.
Pour the liquid ingredients into your mixer bowl and attach the flat beater.
Add half of the sifted flour mixture, turn to speed 2 and mix 20 seconds. Add the rest of the sifted flour mixture and mix an additional 20 seconds.
Exchange flat beater for the dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for 2 to 3 minutes, until a dough ball is formed.
Remove dough from bowl and hand-knead for 2 to 3 minutes. NOTE: Good pasta dough should be elastic and pliable, but FIRM (not soft like bread dough). It should not stick to your fingers or fall apart. To test for the correct consistency, pinch a small amount of dough together after kneading for 2 to 3 minutes — if the dough stays together without sticking to your fingers or falling apart, it should work well. If too soft, add more flour by dusting the top of the dough and knead some more, continuing to dust the dough with flour until achieving the right consistency. If too dry, wet your hands and knead some more, continuing to wet your hands a little at a time & knead until the right consistency. (Achieving the right consistency isn’t hard at all — We got it just right the very first time we tried this recipe).
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour (this step is important). While your dough is resting is a good time to do your other prep; make ravioli filling, make or warm pasta sauce, make salad or other side dishes.
Remove dough from refrigerator and let it rest for 15 minutes. Using your hands, roll dough into a log, about 12 inches long.
Cut log into 8 slices, then flatten each piece slightly. Spread slices out so they aren’t touching and cover with plastic wrap.
Using the widest setting (1 on the Kitchenaid), turn mixer to speed 2 and taking one piece of the flattened dough, feed through rollers. Fold dough in half & roll again. Repeat 3 more times, lightly dusting the sheet of pasta in between each rolling if it feels the slightest bit sticky.
Move adjustment knob to setting 2 and feed the dough sheet through the rollers once.
Move adjustment knob to setting 3 and feed the dough sheet through the rollers once.
Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached: 3 for Thick “kluski” type egg noodles; 4 for standard egg noodles; 4 or 5 for lasagna noodles, fettuccine, spaghetti, and ravioli; 6 or 7 for tortellini, thin fettuccine, and linguine fini; 7 or 8 for VERY thin “angel-hair” type pasta/capellini or VERY fine linguine.
Separate sheets once desired thickness is achieved with a thin towel or piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour, so the dough doesn’t dry out too much.
On a flour dusted cutting board, lay out a sheet of pasta. We put our ravioli filling (see recipe below) in a gallon zip-lock bag and snipped off the corner to use as a piping bag.
On one side of the pasta, pipe a row of about 1 tbsp of filling about 2 inches apart. See picture above for example. Lightly brush pasta with water and fold pasta over. Use fingers to seal pasta, working out air bubbles. You want to make sure your ravioli are well sealed, so the filling doesn’t come out in the boiling process.
We didn’t have a rolling pasta cutter,so we just used our pizza cutter to cut our ravioli. This worked fine! We didn’t get the fancy edges, but those don’t make it taste any better!
Once all your ravioli are filled and cut. Cook in salted, boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Fresh pasta does not need to boil as long as dried pasta.
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, squeezed out of casings into frying pan
1/4 cup finely diced fresh basil
15 oz container Ricotta cheese, drain off any liquid
In a frying pan, brown turkey sausage breaking up into small pieces. Once browned, remove from heat and add basil. Stir while pan is still hot to wilt basil. Add sausage, basil and Ricotta cheese to food processor and blend until finely mixed. Spoon into piping bag or gallon zip-lock and then snip off corner.