22 July 2011

New Toy!

I've been toying with the idea of a pasta machine for a while, having seen all the rave reviews about the superior taste and texture of homemade pasta vs store-bought dried pasta.  It's too expensive to buy fresh pasta here in Singapore, so the next best thing is to make it yourself.  Imagine all the possibilities - spinach pasta, carrot pasta, wholemeal pasta, chocolate pasta, porcini pasta... the list is endless!

After almost having a heart attack from hearing that the KA pasta attachment is $300, I promptly settled on a manual crank pasta machine, like this Italian one I found for a more affordable $60.  I am just so thrilled with my new toy!  Can't wait to try all the different pasta flavours.

The pasta machine is really easy to use. Feed it through the rollers from the widest to thinnest setting till you get the thickness you desire, then pick either the vermicelli or fettuccine cutters for the final step.

Basic Pasta Dough
Makes enough for 2, or 1 very hungry person.

1 cup durum wheat flour (or semolina flour)
1 egg
1 tsp salt
drizzle of olive oil
water, as required

Make a well in the middle of your bowl of flour.
Crack an egg into the well. Add salt and olive oil.
Then slowly stir in the flour till a dough is formed.  If it feels too dry, add water till you get a firm but smooth dough.  Knead till it comes together.
Rest the dough for about 30 minutes.

Flatten or roll out the dough into a disc, then feed it through the rollers at the widest setting. Slowly work your way through the narrower settings till you get the thickness you desire, flouring the dough as required so it doesn't stick to the machine.

Finally, feed it through your choice of the vermicelli or fettuccine cutters, and you get beautiful fresh pasta.

If durum wheat flour is not available, use bread or plain flour.  But your noodles will probably end up tasting more like mee pok or mee kia.

Now, don't fret about having to repeat this whole process every time you crave for pasta. Just make a larger batch and freeze whatever you don't use.  The next time you want a quick pasta fix, just thaw the amount you need and cook it for about 3 minutes in salted boiling water till al dente.

Once you give this a try, you will never want to pick up another pack of dried pasta.


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