We were all kneading our pasta dough.  One after another, people began getting ready to make whatever type of pasta we were making.  I was frustrated.  My dough still wasn’t ready.  Loretta Paganini, of the eponymous cooking school in Chesterland, Ohio, saw my frustration.  She said she was told she should be a pastry chef, as her hands were always cold.  Cold is good for pastry, not as good for pasta.

Although it takes a bit of time, pasta isn’t difficult to make.  Filled shapes take more time than those just cut, such as linguine.  Although little Italian grandmothers may roll the dough out with a rolling pin, it’s much easier to use a pasta machine.  And by the way, noodles are a type of pasta, not pasta itself.  Here’s the recipe I’ve been using since I learned to make ravioli, along with some photos from my ravioli-making day and the link to Loretta’s Italian grandmother’s walnut sauce.

Pasta

2 ¼ c. flour
3 large eggs
1 t. salt

Mound flour on countertop.  Make a well and add salt.  Carefully break in eggs.  Gently mix salt and eggs together with a fork.  Slowly incorporate in the flour until you get a paste.  Use your fingers to continue incorporating flour until the dough has absorbed as much as it can without becoming stiff and dry.  Keep getting rid of hard, crusty bit from hands/table/flour.  Knead dough for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic, adding in more flour if it becomes sticky.  Let rest for 20 minutes.

© janet m. webb 2017

Divide into four pieces, working with one at a time while keeping the others covered with a dish towel.  Take a piece of dough and lightly dust with flour.  Dust the rollers of the pasta machine with flour.  Start with the rollers on the widest setting.  Put the dough through the machine, then dust with flour and fold into thirds.  Do this three or four times.  Then go to the next smaller setting.  Roll through twice on each setting, making sure to flour rollers so dough doesn’t stick.  You may need to stop at the second to last setting if dough is already quite thin.

© janet m. webb 2017

At this point, you can cut the pasta into ribbons, lightly flour and place on a lightly floured surface.  Let dry about 20-30 minutes, then store somewhere covered.  Fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook.

© janet m. webb 2017

The top row is ready to cut. Be sure to wet the edges that you want to stick together. This is the artichoke filling.

To dry, you can drape long pasta over a drying rack, but smaller shapes of filled pasta has to sit.  If it sits with nothing under it, it will stick and the filling will fall out when the bottom sticks to the pan.  Sprinkle some cornmeal on the pan. I tried using flour until this year, but cornmeal is has some thickness, so it allows for non-stick drying.  I always freeze my ravioli, as I don’t use them immediately.  It only takes a few more minute to cook from frozen.

© janet m. webb 2017

Filled ravioli in spinach dough, drying

That day, Loretta also share the walnut-cream sauce that her grandmother in Italy made.  It goes well on many shapes of pasta other than just ravioli and is a cinch to make.  The link to the post containing that recipe is here and I know you won’t regret trying it.  It’s gotten nothing but rave reviews.

Any questions on making pasta?  I’ll try to answer any of them.  Homemade pasta is worth the time it takes to make it!  Give it a try.

I’ll be traveling today, visiting a very close friend, her husband, and their relatively new baby, so pardon the lateness of my responses to your comments.  Happy Friday!

Advertisements
Comments
  1. I rather buy my pasta after a lot of fails …. but the walnut sauce I’ve found on your blog once is still one of our favorites :O))))

  2. I’ve known a few people who make their own pasta. I buy mine either at the store or we have a pasta company here in town. Making pasta is not something that I want to do, but I admire your skills. 🙂

    • I understand, Judy. I only make it for special occasions at this point,although I may make some linguine or something that doesn’t require all the filling. I just added the recipe for the walnut-cream sauce, though, and that you should try. It’s wonderful; easy and quick to make, too.

      janet

  3. Your post inspires me to want to try, but my hubby will not eat pasta if he can help it so I’d be making it just for myself, lol. I don’t have a roller, though, so not sure how thin I can make it. If I give it a go one day, I’ll report back!

    • I just included the link to the sauce recipe, Madison. It’s wonderful and will go on “regular” pasta as well. I’ve never tried without the pasta machine, either. 🙂

      janet

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’ve never made pasta before, but I have made a few Italian pastries that my family traditionally had at Christmas. The method of making the dough is exactly the same … although your dough doesn’t have a liberal amount of white vermouth in it 😉

    One of the most challenging parts of making these pastries is rolling the dough in order to get the desired thinness. It never occurred to me to try using a pasta maker!! Thanks for that brilliant tip!

    btw – your artichoke ravioli sounds amazing!

    Happy Friday and hope you have a great weekend.

    • Good morning, Joanne. The artichoke filling is wonderful. A pasta maker sounds as if it would be the answer to your dough issue. Glad I could inadvertently help! 🙂 Have a great weekend as well.

      janet

  5. Miam! Your raviolis look delicious! I’ll check out that walnut sauce.

    Have a wonderful week-end!

  6. anne leueen says:

    I’m not a pasta maker but this looks delicious!

  7. Su Leslie says:

    I’m not a fan of pasta, but my boys are and reading your post reminded me that making pasta was one of the things they used to do together when the boy-child was little. Lovely memory; thank you Janet.

  8. I can still remember my grandmother making pasta by hand with a rolling pin. She would place it on flat pans and slip the pans under the bed to dry before making ravioli.

  9. marianallen says:

    I used to make pasta, but the pasta machine I had was such a pain to clean, I quit. #lazy

    • Since you’re not supposed to get the machine wet, I use a silicone brush and give it a long, thorough cleaning when I’m done, then let it sit until any dough bits have dried and do it again. A toothpick helps get dried dough bits out of hard-to-reach places and as nothing is wet, it doesn’t seem to be a problem even if there are a few bits left.

      janet

      • marianallen says:

        MAN, yeah, I remember! That’s why I stopped using it. If it takes that much longer to clean it than it does to use it, I have to really want to use it. Plus, I have to listen to my ever-lovin’ husband complain about it sitting around during the cleaning process.

  10. bythebriny says:

    Looks like fun, but I don’t know if I’d have the patience to roll it out with a rolling pin! I guess if one were to do this regularly, then an investment in a pasta machine would make sense.

  11. joey says:

    I’m a third-generation Italian-American and I rarely make pasta, but when I do, I tend to do ravioli just for me, or just for us two. Or gnocchi. I probably make gnocchi the most. I don’t enjoy the pasta machine, it gave me the dread and I HATED cleaning it. I’d rather roll it out with a pin. I use wax paper. And only for people who will truly appreciate my efforts ❤

  12. There is nothing quite like homemade pasta. It’s so simple, yet truly transcendent when made with care. Such a shame that so few people take the time to enjoy that experience.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, that or the other thing.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s