My experiment for this batch of fresh pasta was to try white all purpose whole wheat flour and it worked beautifully. Cooked in salted water and dressing with say Roman artichokes, grated parmigiano, and extra virgin olive oil, the final product was delicious. I used a hand cranked pasta machine with a four inch roller and “fettuccine” cutters for this batch.
makes 1/3 pound (150 grams) fresh pasta
cost $2.70 per pound
serves 2 to 4 depending on portion size
white whole wheat flour, ¾ to ⅞ cup (100g)
egg, 1 large
Weigh out (or measure) flour. Place in bowl or on a board. Add the egg. Knead until the moisture from the egg has absorbed as much flour as it can hold. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Working one piece at a time, finish the kneading process by putting each piece through the large rollers until it is soft and pliable. Then flatten the piece by progressing from the wide roller setting to the narrow roller setting and cut the piece using one of the two cutting blades. Form into a nest, use immediately, or freeze.
The exact amount of flour depends on the moisture content of the flour and the moisture in the egg. The goal is just the right amount of flour and moisture and is more dependent of getting a feel for the dough than on an exact measurement. If the dough is too dry, it becomes brittle, lacks pliability, and cannot be rolled or cut successfully. If the dough is too moist, it gets stuck in the rollers and the cutters and ends up making a sticky mess.
Using the same ratio of 100 grams flour to 1 extra large egg, different combinations of flour can be used: all purpose unbleached white flour, whole wheat all purpose flour. You can also experiment with using semolina flour, up to 25% of the total amount. Because the recipe is weight based, proportions are expandable.
NB: Making fresh pasta requires a pasta making machine. Models available today come with a wider cutting surface which makes the process go faster. If I were getting one today, I would get the wider cutting surface. But I don’t make enough pasta to warrant replacing the one I have and my machine has a lot of sentimental value for me because I bought it on my first trip to Rome and hand carried it back home.
Cost. I priced fresh pasta and it runs $3.50 to $4.00 per pound in one of my local supermarkets. Making it at home cost me less, but the difference is not significant enough however to justify my labor. Pasta only gets made at home if you like the taste better and you think it is fun.
Calories. Proportions for fresh pasta used consistently in my Italian source books are 200 grams flour and 2 eggs for 4 people. These classic proportions are a little larger that our current Serving Size for pasta which is 1 about cup. I prefer a smaller portion, say half the size of the classic Italian portion.
Classic Italian Portion (163g): Calories 210, Fat 3.5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Sodium 270mg, Carbohydrate 36g, Fiber 5g, Protein 10g. My Smaller Portion (82g cooked): Calories 100, Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 0g, Sodium 135mg, Carbohydrate 18g, Fiber 3g, Protein 5g.
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