Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Linguini me

October revision: Made this in spaghetti form for some dinner guests - and found the trick: knead it a lot!!!! And only go up to the second thinnest setting on the crank before cutting it into spaghetti/linguini... it was so much easier to handle and had a lot more distinctive flavor. 

Also - get the water boiling in advance, flatten out all your pieces of dough, and then run them through the slicer one after the other so that you can just throw them into the boiling water as you go. Having dough piling on top of itself is bad news. It clumps.

A slightly less helpful post... but gosh dang it, I am making things from scratch!
Pasta is supposed to be really difficult. But it seems that if you know how to deal with dough, pasta is easier than bread. Thank goodness for friends who are professional cooks and no longer want to store their expensive equipment... Thanks Jennifer for the Pasta maker loan!!!

2 c flour

~I used my usual 3/4 c all purpose, 1/4 c whole wheat,
really love King Arthur's brand 100% whole wheat

3 eggs
1 tsp salt

Try some fresh chopped herbs in it!

**Combine the flour and salt and create a little bowl out of the flour on your counter as shown below.
~This shape allows you to add the flour slowly to the eggs as you stir the eggs. This is a similar
technique to the breadmaking trick a beautiful German friend taught me (thanks Tina!).

**Crack the eggs into this bowl and gently scramble the eggs using a fork.

**Once the eggs are scrambled begin stirring more vigorously, lightly hitting the sides of the flour bowl, knocking small amounts of flour into the eggs at a time.
~ this is kind of tricky. I usually use one hand to hold the flour in place... whatever. Mix them!

**When you have a ball of dough, knead it enough so that it is smooth, and also to add more flour.
~ I have never actually worked all of the 2 cups flour into the bread. The liquid/flour ratio just doesn't seem to hold that much flour. But try to add as much flour as you as you knead, because if it is sticky it wont go smoothly through the pasta machine. Basically, keep going until it is a very firm dough, and not at all sticky.

** When the dough firm, let it sit for about 10 minutes
~all the recipes say this, i don't know what it does. It might give the gluten a chance to bond in the dough because in bread the kneading activates the dough's stickiness which allows it to hold
in the air that is created by the yeast, making it fluffy...

** cut off small chunks of dough, 1.5 inch balls, for example

**making sure the ball is not sticky (and rolling it in flour if it is), put the pasta machine on the lowest setting (or check directions) and run the dough through. twice for good measure.

** turn the setting up to the next dial and repeat for each setting.
~The dough will start getting really long, and stickier as you go, so cut it in half and powder it in flour as needed to keep it manageable. Also, make sure that it is coming cleanly through the rollers, and not sticking to the machine. This is especially true when you start running it through the linguini/spaghetti cutter, so you might need a third hand your first time. No fear, though. It is easy enough to get a hang of.

** finally, run i through the cutter settings and lay the pieces flat.
~If you start laying them on top of each other they will stick together and you will just get another mass of dough.

**Boil!! in slightly salted water, just until there is no stickiness in the middle when you chew it.

** You can rinse the noodles if you aren't planning on using them quickly, and you can dry them if you want to save them. Though, I am unsure how long they are good dried.

Note: They dry in exactly the shape they are sitting, so make sure it is a store-able shape.

Tomato sauce recipe coming soon...

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