How to Make Pasta, Flavoring and Shaping Pasta and Pairing Sauces with Pasta
How to Make Pasta? In this post you will learn all the curiosity about pasta. How to make homemade pasta? How do you make macaroni in spicy colors? All pasta varieties and puffs are on this page. In addition, very delicious pasta recipes are prepared for you below.
- Dried Pasta Types
- Flavored Pasta
- Pairing Sauces With Pasta
- So Which Sauce for Which Pasta?
- Making Basic Pasta Dough
- Using a Pasta Machine
- How to Make Homemade Pasta
- Flavouring and Cooking Pasta
Dried Pasta TypesPasta comes in a huge range of shapes, sizes and lengths, falling into the basic categories of strands, ribbons, tubes and shapes. Which one you choose will depend mainly on the sauce you are serving with your pasta. Strands (such as spaghetti) and ribbons (such as fettuccini) are ideal with light and oil-based sauces, which coat the strands evenly. Tubes (such as penne) or shapes (such as conchiglie) go well with chunky or meaty sauces, as their insides catch the sauce. But these are just guidelines, not a set of rules -you should choose pairings that you like or that simply suit your mood. Strands and Ribbons Long pasta, known as ‘pasta lunga’, comes either as long strands (hollow or solid) or as flat ribbons, called ‘fettucce’. Strands: spaghetti, spaghettis, bucatini – which are hollow. Ribbons: tagliatelle, linguine, tagliolini, fettuccine, pappardelle. Tubes and Shapes Tubes and shapes are either plain or ridged – ‘rigati’. The ridges help the sauce cling to the pasta. Tubes: penne, chifferi, rigatoni, macaroni. Shapes: fusilli, conchiglie, farfalle, orecchiette, gemelli. Pasta for Soups Very small shapes are ideal for soups, as they look very pretty and delicate and don’t dominate the soup. Soup pasta: anellini, fedelini, stelline, alfabetini, ditali. Pasta for Baking Lasagne are flat sheets of pasta, layered with sauce in baked dishes. Cannelloni are large tubes for stuffing and baking.
Flavored PastaPasta flavoured and coloured with spinach, tomato or squid ink are the most common, although beetroot, basil and saffron flavour are also available in many shops. Scroll down to see different ways to flavor a pasta.
Pairing Sauces With PastaGiven the variety of sauces and the similar abundance of pasta types and shapes that are available, it can often be difficult to choose which sauce to combine with which type of pasta. Although the choice is very much down to the individual, here are some handy tips to help you on your way to creating a combination that would make the Italians proud. Some sauces take no time at all to prepare, involve very little cooking and are more like dressings than sauces. In fact, the word condimento (dressing) comes to mind; the Italians often use It rather than salsa or sugo (sauce) when talking about pasta. Other sauces, particularly meat sauces, can be prepared in advance (a plus when having friends over), then reheated when required. Many have store-cupboard equivalents, which are great for unexpected guests and ‘home-from-work, straight-onto-the-table’ meals. All are easy to make – the choice is yours.
So Which Sauce for Which Pasta?Homemade pasta made with eggs and wheat flour comes from the north of Italy. The sauces that are served with it are, on the whole, rich meat- and dairy-based sauces enhanced with Parmesan cheese, reflecting the rich agricultural heritage of the north. Spaghetti made with durum wheat flour, cultivated in the more arid south, comes originally from Naples. Myriad homemade pasta shapes, made with this flour, water and the spirit of invention brought by necessity, are set in the traditions of the cooking of the south. There is a simple rule to follow when deciding which pasta to serve with which sauce. Egg pasta, long or short, is perfect for sauces based on dairy food and meat, while spaghetti and other pasta shapes made with durum wheat are more suited to the lighter, olive-oil-based sauces made with fish and vegetables. Cream and meat sauces also go well with ridged tubes, especially if there are small delicious bits to get trapped inside. Ridged pasta is particularly good for creamy sauces, as the sauce binds itself to the ridges. One last word – don’t be afraid to try different sauces with different pastas and find out what you like!
Making Basic Pasta DoughNothing beats homemade pasta – not even shop-bought ‘fresh’. A mixture of 50% Italian ‘00’ flour and 50% Farina di Semola (pale yellow, finely ground, hard durum wheat flour for making pasta and some breads – fine Farola baby food is semolina flour) works particularly well. This mixture of soft and hard wheat flours gives the dough a firmer texture. You may also use strong white bread flour. The dough must not be too soft – it should require some serious effort when kneading! However, too much extra flour will make the pasta too tough to handle (or put through the pasta machine) and when cooked, taste floury. Generally allow one egg to 100 g flour per portion for a main course. It’s best to make a large batch in one go and freeze it once cut and shaped. To make the pasta in the traditional way, sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center with your fist. You will need:
- 200 g Italian ‘00’ flour or 100 g Italian ‘00’ flour and 100 g Farina di Semola
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Break the eggs into the well and add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and the oil.
- Gradually mix the eggs into the flour with the fingers of one hand, and bring it together into a firm dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water; if too wet, add more flour. You will soon grow accustomed to how the dough should feel once you’ve made it a few times.
- Knead the pasta until smooth, lightly massage it with a hint of olive oil, pop into a plastic food bag and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before attempting to roll out. The pasta will be much more elastic after resting.
- Roll out by hand with a long wooden rolling pin or use a pasta machine.
Using a Pasta MachineFeed the rested dough 4-5 times through the widest setting of a pasta machine, folding into three each time, and feeding the open ends through, the rollers to push out any air. This will finish the kneading process and make the pasta silky smooth. Next, pass the pasta through the machine, starting at the widest setting first, then reducing the settings, one by one, until reaching the required thickness. The pasta sheet will become very long – so if you are having trouble, cut it into two and feed each half through separately. Generally the second-from-last setting is best for tagliatelle; the finest is for ravioli or pasta that is to be filled. Once the required thickness is reached, hang the pasta over a broom handle or the back of a chair to dry a little – this will make cutting it easier in humid weather, as it will not be so sticky. Alternatively, dust with a little flour and lay out on clean tea towels. Next, pass the pasta through the chosen cutters (tagliolini, tagliatelle, etc) then drape the cut pasta over the broom handle again to dry further, until ready to cook. Alternatively, toss the cut pasta lightly in flour (preferably semolina flour) and lay out in loose bundles on a tray lined with a clean tea towel. Use as soon as possible before it sticks together.
How to Make Homemade PastaTagliatelle: Roll the dough out thinly on a lightly floured surface or using a pasta machine.
- Roll or fold one end loosely towards the center of the sheet, then do the same with the other 80 that they almost meet in the middle. Lift one folded side on top of the other – do not press down on the fold.
- Working quickly and deftly with one motion, cut into thin slices with a sharp knife, down the length of the folded pasta.
- Immediately unravel the slices (or they will stick together) to reveal the pasta ribbons -you can do this by inserting the back of a large knife and shaking them loose. Hang to dry a little before cooking or
- Dust well with semolina flour and arrange in loose ‘nests’ on a tray lined with a clean tea towel.