Pasta Making

The Flour

The traditional flour used in pasta making is made from Triticum durum, durum wheat, whereas bread is made from Triticum aestivum, bread wheat. The two wheats are closely related but not the same, to put it simply, both wheats have the same genetic makeup, but then bread wheat has one third more closely related DNA.

You can make pasta out of Tipo 00 flour, I don’t actually know if that is durum or not, but I think the best pasta is made from durum semolina, with a little flour added if you like to make it easier to work.

The Eggs

The nicest you can find, free range 700g is what I use.

The Salt

I normally use flakes of Maldon salt but for pasta I use fine grained salt- or the flakes disrupt the pasta when you are rolling it out.

The Pasta

In a mixing bowl, for each egg add 100g durum semolina or mixed semolina and Tipo 00 flour and ¼ tsp salt. Mix (I use a mixer) until it forms a dough, it takes a while, be patient. Refrigerate for 1 hour or so.

You are ready to roll it out. If you are making a ravioli etc make the stuffing while the pasta is resting.

Rolling out

I was taught to make pasta by a formidable Sicilian lady we called Senora Maria. She came down to our house in Italy one day (she lived above us on the mountain) and took over the kitchen.

Modern trappings such as aprons and pasta machines were scorned. I was taught how to roll out pasta with a rolling pin, with a tea towel wrapped around my waist, until I could read the local rag, Corriere della Sera through the pasta. It was then dried on tea towels draped over our chestnut wicker chairs, and then cooked in boiling salted water before becoming lasagna.

That’s it really. It takes time and patience to get the feel for pasta, if it is not rolling out very well, just fold it over and keep going, using strong (high protein) flour means it very resilient.

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