20 August 2008

A first attempt at making fresh egg pasta

New silicone rolling pin in hand, I have been trying to make my own fresh pasta. Following Ursula Ferrigno's recipe in Truly Madly Pasta, I had first to find somewhere to sell me some semolina flour. This appeared to be only available in a 5kg sack, the shopkeeper assuring me it was completely unnecessary to use it and that his mother never bothered with it.
Then, my brain didn't kick into warning mode at the instruction to make a well in the centre of the flour and put 7 eggs in it. By the time the 7th egg went in the structure was leaking all over, and the mixing became a made dash to stop raw egg from escaping over the edge of the board. Proper mud pies, and nothing like the delicate one-handed operation shown in the pictures!

I then tried to follow Marcella Hazan's instructions on how to roll and stretch your own pasta. This is tremendously complex, requiring a different sort of rolling pin and a large table, neither of which I had. It goes through 3 different stages of rolling and stretching. I thought I'd done quite well, until we tried cooking it. Everything became much thicker, and only the paper-thin-about-to-tear parts came out seeming normal. It took much longer to cook than I expected, and didn't show any signs of over-cooking after 8 minutes in the water.

It was quite pleasant eating, but still definitely in the "experimental" category, rather than the successful one.

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