First List Item! #7: Making Pasta From Scratch

I had a birthday party yesterday which involved a fairly random decision to make Christmas pavlova — baked meringues with whipped cream and pomegranates — despite not my usually liking meringues; I had a bunch of pomegranates I felt should be eaten.  They ended up being delicious as well as beautiful, and a festive treat indeed.

Making the meringues, since they involve egg whites, naturally left me with a bunch of egg yolks to decide what to do with.  I realised that one can make pasta with egg yolks and a bit of water, so I’ve started in on my list rather earlier than I’d imagined.  I looked at a few recipes, and this seemed to be the proportions:

– Four egg yolks, plus water to make it up to 1/2 cup.

– 2 cups / 9 oz. plain unbleached all-purpose flour (I prefer weighing to measuring by cup when baking, since I tend not to be very precise with volumetric measures but can manage accuracy with the scale).

– Pinch of salt.

All the pasta recipes appear to call for doing it on the table, with a well in the middle into which one pours the liquids — a method that, given my background, makes me think much more of northern bannock (something else I should make!) — then you mix it in from the outside with a fork.

And then, plenty of kneading.  It’s a very stiff dough, so I put on Wicked and listened to several songs to get me over the hump of ten minutes staring out the window.  I usually try music or phoning someone, because then I don’t think about the length of time.  One trick I learned recently for kneading (bread) dough is that when it’s very tough, it’s worth pausing for a minute and letting the dough rest.  Even with a non-yeast dough such as this, it seemed to help.  Or perhaps my wrists just felt better.

As I was going out, I then let the dough sit in the fridge (wrapped in plastic wrap) for several hours.  Upon coming back, I cut the dough into four pieces, and rolled out two of them as thinly as I could manage before cutting it into approximately pappardelle-sized strips.  These I then hung over the back of the chair to dry:

And the verdict:

Well, on the whole, a success, though I have to say the flavour was good, but the texture was just on the good side of okay.  I might try ravioli with the other half of the dough tomorrow, in the hopes I can roll it out more thinly than I managed for the pappardelle. And I might yet try gnocchi . . .

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4 thoughts on “First List Item! #7: Making Pasta From Scratch

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