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If you have never had fresh pasta then you are in for a treat! It is difficult to describe just how tender and delicious it is. For this recipe, four hands are better than two!
ingredients and materials:
about 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Although you don't need a pasta machine to make the noodles, it sure does help. There are all kinds available, so think about how many times you might make pasta and purchase accordingly. There are electric versions and some that attach to your KitchenAid mixer. Have you clean work surface ready to go.
|1. Pour the flour into a bowl or directly on the work surface. Make a crater in the center and break in the eggs. Break the yolks of the eggs with your fingers and then gradually begin to incorporate the flour.|
|2. When the dough begins to form a ball and becomes firm, lift it out of the flour and start kneading it with your fingertips. If the dough is too sticky add some flour from the reserve, if it is too dry, wet your hands and work the dough until it is moist. Cover the dough with an inverted bowl and let it stand for at least 30 minutes or up to two hours.|
|3. Divide the dough into fourths. While working with one fourth keep the others covered.|
|4. Following the manufacturer's directions set the rollers of the pasta machine on the widest setting. Flatten the dough into an oval and guide it through the rollers. This is where four hands really help. Fold the dough into thirds and pass it through the widest setting again. Repeat this process 5 or 6 times. If the dough sticks dust it and the machine lightly with flour.|
|5. Move the dial to the next notch and pass the dough through. DO NOT FOLD. Continue decreasing the width of the rollers until you have passed it through the thinnest setting. As you can see, the strips can get unwieldy. If you want to make lasagne, or ravioli stop at this point. For lasagne, you would simply cut the pasta into the desired length and begin to assmble the dish. For ravioli, prepare the filling and place little mounds equally spaced about an inch apart on one length of dough. With your finger, spread a little water around each mound to make sure the next layer of dough sticks. Now place the other length on top and press around each mound. Simply cut between each mound and you are ready for the boiling water.|
|6. If you wish to cut the dough into strips add the proper attachment and pass the dough through in the same manner as above. If you want to cook the pasta immediately place it in clumps on kitchen towels sprinkled with flour. Add to 2 quarts of boiling and salted water. Because the dough is so fresh it cooks almost immediately. We made lasagne with this batch, so we simply cut the flat pasta into large retangles.|
|7. To dry the dough for later use we use an inexpensive wooden clothes dryer. Just remember to flour the dowels before you hang any pasta or it will stick and you will have broken pasta all over the floor. This pasta is not made to be stored indefinitely, but should be eaten soon after preparation.|