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Saturday, 3 August 2013


Sorry I've been away for a while! I've been busy working and catching up most of the summer and have had little time to sit down and blog! Anyway, for my birthday (way back in june) I received a pasta-maker, which for me, was very exciting. I've spent a lot of the summer experimenting with what I can make, using various recipes and adapting my own. A long the way I've made some amazing dishes; smoked salmon and ricotta ravioli, saffron papardelle, spicy chorizo giant ravioli, homemade tagliatelle and fresh lasagne pasta sheets. The most surprising thing was how easy it is to make the pasta dough and how simple the pasta machine is to use. I have obviously made mistakes a long the way and my hand-crafted ravioli is in no way perfectly cut into equal individual squares. But I have learnt some important lessons in the pasta-making craft which prevent pasta from turning out into a sticky mess. For example; whilst rolling the dough out, it is important to keep both the dough and the pasta maker well floured, otherwise the pasta can stick together and ruin the batch. Additionally; I would always reccomend making the pasta JUST before you cook it, unless you have some kind of drying rack (at one point I used a broom to hang my spaghetti over), this again keeps the pasta fresh and non-sticky.

Do NOT overknead pasta, some recipes I saw reccomend you knead pasta for up to 10 minutes, which from experience can be a bit excessive. If the pasta gets too warm, again it will be difficult to stretch and roll out. In that sense it is similar to making pastry- overkneading is a definite no-no. Also I found that buying specialist pasta flour, is overall better than using plain white flour, which isn't as fine. Lastly, when making ravioli, I ALWAYS overcatered, and 4 pieces of giant ravioli were enough for everyone in my family, but it's important to remember that you can freeze it and use it again for a lunch or light dinner- don't waste your wonderful creations. Again I hope I've inspired some of you to invest in a pasta-maker (they are quite cheap) or at least convinced you to use your own more often if you have one!

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