Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

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.

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For many people, making pasta, especially ravioli, seems like something you can only do if you’re Italian.  Not true!  I took take a couple cooking classes to learn how to make ravioli, but you only need to read this post.  Once my family discovered I could make ravioli, our Thanksgiving dinner entree was set.

There are a variety of tasty fillings, but today I filled my Thanksgiving ravioli with an artichoke filling. When I use two fillings, I also make spinach ravioli in addition to the plain ones.  That way people can tell which ravioli has which filling.

One great thing is that you can make ravioli and freeze them.  And just today, I finally figured out the best way to freeze them without trying to dry them first.   So put on your apron.  Here we go.  (There’s still plenty time to make them for Thanksgiving or plan ahead for Christmas.)

Pasta

2 ¼ c. flour
3 large eggs
1 t. salt

Mound flour on clean countertop or table.  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 bits from hands/table/flour.  Knead dough for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic, adding in more flour if it becomes sticky.  Dough should spring back when poked gently with a finger. Let rest for 20 minutes, covered with a slightly damp dishtowel.

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I love pasta!  Pasta’s always been my go-to dish.  What to make for lunch/dinner?  How about pasta…with tomato sauce…or olive oil and garlic…or olive oil and Parmesan…or olive oil and sauteed mushrooms…of something else entirely?  But when I took a few cooking classes and learned to make ravioli, my pasta life changed. (more…)