With the cold weather fast upon us in New Zealand, we tend to get into our comfort foods more than we do in our bikinis or togs wearing, sunbathing, barbecuing in our warm summers…oohh the memories!!! Yes people, winter is here, whether we like it or not . To comfort us during this time of turtlenecks and bright coloured woollen hats, I have come up with a kitchen exercise to pasta time with. All you need is flour, eggs, and a pasta machine…don’t panic! Pasta machines are relatively cheap at any kitchenware shops and for just $70 to $100 you’ll soon realise it will be well worth it.
4 whole eggs
500gms of flour
(high grade is better but standard also works)
Put the flour in a food processor
Break in all 4 eggs
Blend for a good minute or two
By now you should have dough that is like fine and sandy in texture
Place the dough on a clean bench and knead it for about 2 minutes
Wrap the dough in cling film and leave somewhere cool to rest for about 30 minutes
When it is ready, divide the dough into 4 equal parts
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough flat until it is about 5 millimeters in thickness
Keep them covered with cling film so they don’t dry out while you set up your pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Put the dough one at a time through the pasta machine and roll through 3 to 4 times on each setting before reducing the thickness setting until you reach the thickness that you want
That’s it. You have successfully made pasta!
Cooking your pasta
Cover your pasta with a lightly damped tea towel to keep it from drying out
Put a pot of water on the heat
Add some salt to the water and a tablespoon of olive oil and bring to the boil
Roll each pasta sheet up like you rolling your sleeping mat
Using a sharp knife cut your rolled pasta through at about 5cm intervals to form very wide fettucine
When the water is ready place your pasta in and cook for about 2 to 3 mins
Drain in a strainer place the pasta in a big pasta bowl and add a good pour of olive oil
Mix well and grate some parmesan cheese over it and serve.
Now you can make your favourite sauce and add the pasta to it after the cooking process. Remember, there are no restrictions to what you want to serve it with. A little imagination winter won't be harmful. For you readers, I made lamb and pinenut meatballs with tomato, roquette and spinach.