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Jul 06, 2022 | Samuel Albert
Making your favorite pasta dish is just a boil away. With the readily available store bought pasta in supermarkets, this Italian dish has become a staple in our kitchens. But there is more to pasta than that! Have you ever tried making them at home? Trust me! Fresh pasta tastes divine.
Pasta dishes had been an all-time favorite in our kitchens. However, busy work life and timelessness have made us opt for store bought pasta rather than the delicious fresh homemade pasta. Yet, everything can be made from scratch at home, from making your own pasta to customizing your ravioli pasta fillings. But, before that, let's take a look at the tools needed for making them.
The basic ingredients are found in any kitchen, and as a rookie, you can use what you have around in your kitchen. But, once you become a pro and make fresh pasta every now and then, consider buying authentic pasta tools to try more challenging pasta-making recipes.
The ingredients you will need for making good old throwback pasta is,
Choose a wooden board (or a suitable spot, usually a kitchen counter) and transfer your flour onto the work surface. Make a deep well in the center and add the eggs plus some water/oil. With the help of a fork, gently mix in the flour.
When you can no longer mix the dough with the fork, use your hands to mix the dough. If you have a bench scraper in your kitchen, use it to bring the sticky dough together into a dough pile. The sticky consistency will soon become a yielding one. Stop here and wrap it with a clear wrap. Rest the dough.
After resting for a while, it is now time to roll your dough. Divide the dough into portions and roll it. Flour the surface liberally with semolina so the dough doesn't stick to the surface. Roll till you can see your hand through the dough sheet. Yes, that's the transparency we aim for in our pasta sheets!
Generously dust with semolina on both sides of the sheet and on the wooden surface. Next, fold and cut thinly to make your spaghetti pasta. Then, transfer your spaghetti to a baking sheet sprayed generously with semolina. Let it dry!
Dry the pasta if you want to store them and cook them later. However, you can cook them immediately if you prefer to cook the pasta right away!
Make pasta nests at this stage, portioning your pasta and letting them dry. When kept at room temperature, cook them within 3-4 hours. If you prefer to refrigerate them, do so but use them within a day or two.
Plans of freezing them? You can flash freeze them and store them in ziplock bags. Then, when you want to cook them, take them straight out of the freezer and put them directly into the boiling water. Avoid thawing them as it will cause the pasta to become mushy.
Traditional spaghetti pasta making requires just a rolling pin, a simple fork, and a plain knife.
The pasta machine is the best bet when you want to upgrade your pasta-making gear. Pasta making is made easy by using your pasta machine, so you can divert your energy for more creative endeavors. Your options are endless once you've got the knack of using your pasta machine.
Cooking your spaghetti is a different story altogether. The long strands of spaghetti are challenging to be spooned out using a regular spoon; they can easily slip away. So instead, simple tongs with a good grip are just the thing we need. Grab the pasta from the pasta pot using the tongs and transfer them straight into the cooking sauce, with all the dribbling pasta liquid.
Voila! A big pot full of starchy pasta liquid is now at your disposal, from which you can dole out a spoon or two into the sauce to make it rich and creamy.
A pasta fork is designed to scoop out pasta from your pasta pot to your plate. Also called a spaghetti server, this pasta fork/spoon/ladle is useful in spooning all kinds of pasta.
Primarily designed to function as a spoon, the pasta fork has teeth along the circumference of the spoon for grabbing the pasta and holding it. It is also notable that the pasta fork has a hole in the center, making it easy for the pasta liquid or sauce to drain instantly.
They can also be used instead of tongs for transferring the pasta from the pasta pot to the sauce.
Once you've mastered the art of making pasta sheets, this is no biggie. If you don't have ravioli tools with you, don't worry. All you need is a bit of creativity and imagination.
First, let's make the filling! While making the filling, remember that it should not be too watery or coarse. The pasta sheets are very delicate, so any rough contact can tear them apart - and we don't want that to happen. Also, if it is too wet, it can make the sheet soggy and damage the wrapping when boiling in water.
Once you have your ravioli filling made, let's start assembling. Cut two rectangular sheets of pasta of the same size, trimming their sides. Next, place a single pasta sheet down and scoop out equal portions of the filling. Place them on the sheet at regular intervals, keeping the sealing and crimps in mind. Use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut them into individual ravioli and a kitchen fork to seal the edges.
You can cook the ravioli right away; you don't need to dry them.
Gently drop the ravioli into boiling water to cook them. Your ravioli will float when done in 2-3 minutes.
Scoop them out to a plate or into the sauce. Choose a pasta sauce that goes along well with your ravioli filling. Bingo! Time to relish the scrumptious dish.
Think tagliatelle! You can trust your pasta slicing knife to cut them perfectly.
Pasta slicing knife originates from the home of pasta, Italy. While this knife cuts your freshly made pasta, its broad blade transfers them into the boiling pot.
You can also chop vegetables and slice cooked meat and sausages with this knife. But if you are a frequent pasta maker, reserve the pasta slicing knife for the sole purpose of cutting your pasta to give it a long life.
These pasta tools are used to cut homemade fresh pasta. They come in all shapes and designs. Circular/square stamped cutters and straight or fluted wheel cutters (also used for cookie/pastry cutting) are some of the few you will find in the store.
The wheeled ones are also called pasta bikes. These cutters come in different adornments - single, double, or multi-wheeled.
Single-wheeled cutters can cut pizzas, pies, ribbon, or spaghetti, just like a pizza cutter.
Double-headed pasta cutter has two wheels, one smooth and one fluted, and is a go-to tool for any kind of pasta cutting function.
Double or multi-wheeled pasta bikes are of great help when making pasta for a crowd. Pasta bikes with fluted edges create distinct designs along ravioli edges or lattice strips. In addition, the width between the wheels can be adjusted to make different pasta forms like fettuccine, tagliatelle, ravioli, and so on.
Primary Method: To make delectable portions of ravioli the fundamental way, all you need is a fork to mix, a rolling pin to roll, and a pasta cutter to cut the dough. Roll the pasta dough, place the filling, place the second sheet over the first and cut with a knife or a pasta cutter.
Stamped Cutters: For making square or circular ravioli, there are stamped cutters from which you can stamp cut every single ravioli. These ones are designed to cut individual ravioli.
Ravioli Rolling Pin: This is the easiest way of making handmade ravioli. Over the first pasta sheet, spread your filling in a thin coat and cover it with the second pasta sheet. Now, gently roll the ravioli-die rolling pin over the sheet assembly. Your ravioli sheet is ready!
Pasta Machine with Ravioli Cutter Attachment: When hard work is not your cup of tea, the pasta machine helps like no other. Relax while the machine does the job. The pasta machine not only rolls your pasta these days but also makes your ravioli.
I would like to call this versatile spider ladle a mini colander with a handle. The scoop design and easy-to-carry structure make it an efficient tool in any kitchen. These lightweight tools are very good at fishing out all pasta, even the noodle kind, from the boiling pot of water. They can be transferred straight into the saucepot or to your plate - no colander required.
Pasta basket/pasta strainer insert that comes with a pasta pot.
Pasta nests are a delicious treat for any pasta lover. The pasta nests are perfect portion size, and once you know how much you need, it's easy to portion the servings even before you start cooking.
Place them in a pasta basket and dunk them into the boiling pot of saltwater. Once they are done, quickly lift them up and empty the pasta basket into the sauce, allowing it to absorb the cooking sauce. Finally, plate them.
To dry pasta - like angel hair, tortellini, fettuccine, pappardelle, or spaghetti. They must be completely dry before storing them. So, to perfectly air dry the sheet pasta and noodle pasta, you can use pasta wooden dowels/drying racks, which allow good air circulation around them.
But you definitely can make your own makeshift drying racks, and you don't necessarily need to invest in one.
Pasta die is responsible for the distinctively shaped pasta. These dies are etched in rolling pin/wooden boards and incorporated in pasta machine attachments.
The traditional way is to cut pasta dough into small portions. Then, with the help of these wooden dies and the pasta maker's fingers, each one transforms into a different shape.
You don't have to worry if you don't have these dies. When making handmade pasta, kitchen tools like forks and knives are great substitutes for the pasta dies. You can create the same magic with these kitchen tools and your fingers.
If you are a true pasta fan, consider making pasta at least once from scratch. Although mastering the art might be difficult initially, your hard work eventually pays off. There is no better way to go both frugal and indulge in the taste of authentic Italian pasta from the comfort of your home.
Happy pasta making!