Tag Archives: homemade pasta

How You Doughin’?

27 May

I received my pasta maker as a gift over the holidays and I was super excited to begin making homemade lasagna like my idol Aunt Raffy*.

Call me Nonna Niffy

But then other emotions began to overtake me and I went through the classic five stages of pasta maker ownership; glee, hunger, feeling overwhelmed, frustration and ordering a pizza. Making your own pasta is hard!

There are so many variations on recipes and the process from ingredients to chewy pasta is arduous. I read different cookbooks, watched YouTube videos, scoured the food blogs and ultimately came up with a recipe that worked for me.

Recipe adapted from Mario Batali

  • 1 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (more or less depending on dough consistency)

Combine the semolina and all purpose flours

Create a well in the middle of the flour and add two eggs at a time to the well.

With a fork, slowly scrape the sides of the well and incorporate the flour into the eggs. Each pass of the fork will make the well a little wider and once the flour and eggs are mostly combine, add more eggs and repeat

       Once all the eggs are incorporated, your mixture will look like this. Time to nead and get messy! You should nead the dough for about 8 minutes. If it is too dry and not coming together, add some olive oil, if it is too wet and stick, sprinkle in a little more flour.

Your dough should look like this after kneading. Cover with saran wrap for 20 minutes and let it rest. Don't skimp on this step your dough needs a break and so do you!

Divide your dough into 6 so that they can go through the pasta machine. My dough was a little dry so I added a little more olive oil.

Set your machine to the widest setting and roll out the dough. I like to fold the dough and feed it through several times to really build the gluten in the pasta.

After several pass throughs on the widest setting, your dough is now turning into sheets of pasta. My roomate always things these are ready to eat, but we are just getting started!

Keep raising the number on your pasta machine, I usually run the dough through each setting several times. If the sheet rips, just fold it back up and run through again.

Once you have rolled out your pasta to desired thickness, cut into equal length sheets. Store the pasta in the fridge by lightly dust each sheet with flour so they don't stick and wrapping in saran wrap. Or, you can immediately turn these sheets into spaghetti, linguine, lasagna or ravioli, anything you want!

As you can see this process takes time, patience and above all a love of fresh pasta. Stay tuned for a recipe for summertime ravioli with roasted mushrooms and tomatoes.

*One note about the recipe I made for Giada’s Spinach Rollatini – that recipe was for baking and was not right for a lighter everyday pasta. This recipe is much better for a variety of pastas.

Giada’s Spinach Rollatini

8 Mar

Everyone has someone in their family who is overbearing, critical and a little bit sassy. In my family it’s me, but for Giada de Laurentiis, it’s her Aunt Raffy.

Rollatini with spinach, pancetta and ricotta filling

Raffy is an old school Italian mama who is constantly criticizing Giada – watching them bicker is a  delight! Aunt Raffy passed down all her recipes to Giada but poor dear, she never wrote them down.  So on a recent episode, Giada tries to solve this problem by extracting the details of Raffy’s famous spinach Rollatini while adapting the recipes for her TV family. By the end of the episode I wanted to be adopted by Raffy and eat Giada’s pasta. Click here for the delicious recipe.

Despite the numerous steps, the pasta was relatively easy to make. You have to make the pasta dough, the filling, roll it up, boil it, slice it and bake it, working up quite a sweat in the process. Giada suggests making it with someone you love since it took about 2 hours from start to finish. I made the pasta with my Italian (not Jersey shore Italian, Italy Italian) childhood friend who was just as grating as Raffy but no less lovable. She mostly offered moral support as she was drunk and is generally unable to boil water. See what I mean about me being the critical family member???

Ti amo come una sorella EVR!!

I only made a few tweaks to the recipe – I cooked up some pancetta instead of using prosciutto, and I doubled the recipe since it was so laborious. Enjoy!

Ricotta, parmesan, spinach and pancetta filling

Homemade dough portioned and ready to roll

Ready to assemble!

Leave a border of dough so you can egg wash the sides for a secure pasta bundle

Roll it up into 5-6 inch log

Secure rolls with cheese cloth and kitchen twine, place in boiling water and lower to a simmer for 20 minutes

After rollatini is cooked, sliced and bake at high heat with a dusting of parmesan and butter until top starts to brown

You can serve with tomato sauce or plain, both are delicious. I only served half of what I made, the rest I cooked and then the following night sliced and baked off for another meal.

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