Pasta recipe and tips

We always have a busy events calendar at Watergate Bay, one of the highlights is the Fifteen Cornwall Farmers’ Market.

The Spring Farmers’ Market was on the 16th March, we sent our Digital Marketeer, Lucie, along to check out the local suppliers and growers and all their Spring produce. As well as chef demos throughout the day Fifteen Cornwall chefs and apprentices held pasta making workshops, where they taught her how to flavour and fill the pasta and how to create all the familiar shapes including farfalle, pappardelle, tortellini, ravioli tagliatelle and taglierini.

”I was really surprised how easy it was to make your own pasta and the difference it made when you ate it, so much nicer than normal dried pasta. I would recommend anyone to get hold of their own pasta machine and have a go at home.”

Here’s the pasta recipe and a few tips picked up from the workshop:

Pasta equipment

Serves 6

600g of 00 pasta flour
6 free range eggs
Pinch of salt

Place the flour onto the work surface or in a large bowl, and create a well in the middle.
In a separate bowl beat six eggs together.
Tip the eggs into the well and start to combine with the flour a little at a time.
Keep going until all the eggs and flour has stuck together, then tip the dough ball onto a slightly floured surface.
Knead the dough using the palm of your hand, constantly turning and reshaping the dough to ensure the gluten is properly worked. It’s hard work, and should take about eight minutes, but you’ll know when to stop; once the dough is of a smooth consistency as opposed to a lumpy, floury one.

Kneading the pasta dough

Wrap the dough securely in cling film and leave for at least half an hour in the fridge before use.

Rolling your pasta

If you don’t have a pasta machine it’s not the end of the world, a rolling pin will work just as well but take a bit more elbow grease and a lot more time.
If you do have a pasta machine make sure it is clamped onto a long, clean work surface.
Dust a little flour on the machine and the work surface so your pasta doesn’t stick.
Take half of the pasta dough and work it into a flat round piece – as if making a pizza base
Set the pasta machine at its widest setting and pass the pasta through.
Fold the dough in half and pass the pasta through at least eight more times, this way you’ll work the gluten in the pasta and achieve a much nicer finish.
Finally work through all of the settings consecutively on the machine to stretch and thin the dough.
You will now have a long rectangular shaped piece of pasta. Fold this neatly in half and in half again.

Sheet of pasta

Turn the square of pasta 90° and pass through all the settings of the pasta machine again, from widest to thinnest.
Sporadically dust the pasta with flour to make sure it doesn’t stick.
You will now have a silky smooth rectangle of pasta ready for shaping.
Repeat the above method with the other half of the pasta dough or leave sealed in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Pasta shaping

Top tips when making pasta

  • Always use pasta flour – we’d recommend Tipo ‘00’.
  • To stop the pasta from becoming sticky, dust with flour at regular intervals.
  • Don’t wash your pasta machine; just give it a wipe down after use.
  • Cutting the edges of your pasta helps to catch more sauce when cooking; otherwise the pasta sauce will just drip off. Pasta sauce should only coat the pasta, it should not be swimming in it.
  • Pasta can dry out very quickly – if you do not intend on cooking it straight away lay a damp cloth over it so it retains moisture.
  • Cooking time is reduced with fresh pasta, it only needs a few minutes, so keep an eye on the pasta so it does not over cook.
  • Boil your pasta in a large pan of salted water, keep some of the pasta water to add to your sauce to make it the right consistency.

Finished pasta ready to cook

To learn how to make pasta with the professionals, attend one of the Fifteen Cornwall Farmers’ Markets held at Watergate Bay where the chefs from Fifteen Cornwall will be holding classes. The Autumn Farmers’ Market will be on the 2nd and 3rd November 2013.

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