Saturday, March 23, 2013

Homemade pasta test...

I decided to do a test on making fresh pasta with two different flours; Durum Wheat Semolina and Typo "OO".  I usually use All purpose flour and its always good but I knew it could be even better.  I have always liked the job of making pasta because your sipping on a glass of wine (that's a rule when making fresh pasta) and watching a cooking show or listening to some music... I think it's fun.  It's really not complicated, it's two ingredients....flour and eggs.  The conclusion was that we liked the Durum Wheat Semolina better.  It has a better texture and more flavor.   I can imagine the fine texture from the OO flour would be awesome as a ravioli that has a creamy or soft filling.  The Durum Wheat was perfect for a fettuccine shape, it has that al dente quality.

Here are the two flours...the one on the left has a super fine texture (the softest flour you ever felt) and the one on the right is almost the texture of fine cornmeal.  I put about a cup or a little more of the flour on the butcher block and made a "well" in the center; add 2 large room temperature eggs to the "well" and using a fork start to break up the eggs and slowly incorporate the flour; you also need a bench scraper to help release the egg and flour from the board as you add more flour; start to knead by hand adding enough flour so your hands aren't sticking to the dough but be careful not to add too much flour; keep kneading for about 6 -7 minutes (the longer the better); dust the finished dough with a little of the flour and wrap in plastic; do the same for the other flour and let the two dough's rest on the counter for about 30 minutes; roll out the pasta to the finest setting and leave the pasta sheets on kitchen towels to dry for about 10 minutes; fold each sheet a few times and cut into fettuccine or linquini shapes (if you are using the cutting attachment on the pasta machine I would cut it into the finished shape right away instead of letting it dry for 10 minutes, I like cutting it with a knife)

Here is the pasta after I cut each into strips and I just have them sitting here while we wait for dinner time.
They didn't sit any longer that an hour or so; boil them in salted water for only 3 minutes (separately of course) add the pasta to the sauce (below) to "marry" the pasta and sauce together.

I was feeling creative so I made a new sauce which was sliced Shiitaki mushrooms and shallots cooked in butter and a splash of olive oil until nicely browned then add a splash of Mederia wine; reduce; add some pasta sauce ( I had some left over) then finish with a splash of cream and let that reduce; season to taste.

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