Friday, April 18, 2008


I finally got a pasta machine. I took a cooking class on making pasta and it is a lot more difficult than it looks. It isn't a matter of just putting the dough through the pasta machine, it's a matter of feel. Is it too dry, too wet, too thick, too thin. In class I didn't roll out the dough think enough and was told I ruined the pasta.. oh well. Here is the recipe for basic pasta dough:

3/4lb flour and semolina (half and half) the more semolina you use the harder the pasta
2tsp salt
2 eggs
water.. enough to make a smooth dough.
Measure out the flour,semolina onto the work surface. Make a well in the center of the mound of flour. Break the eggs and add the salt into the center of the well. Begin mixing by pulling in flour from the inside out, adding water a little at a time until you have a nice dough. You can also do this in a bowl (as I did) until most of the flour and water are mixed. Knead the dough for at least 8-10 min. on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Let rest for at least 15 min. covered with a towel. Cut off a piece of dough and roll thin enough to roll through the pasta machine at #1. Roll through #1 a couple of times then move to #2. If the dough is thin enough roll through #4 . You may have to cut the piece of dough in half at this point for easier handling.
At this point you can leave it as is in sheets for ravioli or lasagna or you can run it through the cutter for fettuchini.
I decided to do fettuchini with clam and shrimp.
for the sauce: 4-6 TBS olive oil warmed, 4or 5 garlic cloves minced or pressed. Add the garlic to the olive oil and slowly heat to extract the the garlic flavor. Heat the garlic until lightly browned. Add 2 cans of minced or chopped clams w/juice and 1lb shrimp (either salad or prawns peeled), thyme or oregano and salt to taste. Simmer to heat through or cook the prawns.
Add cooked pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Add some Parmesan cheese and toss again.
Serve.. I let it sit for a few minutes so the pasta can soak up some of the sauce. It is even better the next day. Very quick and easy.

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