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Italy and Pasta

home made pasta

Photo Public Domain via pixabay.com

Did you know that Italians are probably the world’s most prominent pasta eaters? Many of today’s pasta recipes, such as spaghetti and lasagna, were originally developed in Italy.

Did you know that Italian lasagna looks different from American? In the U.S., we tend to use lasagna noodles with ripples in the end. Whereas in Italy, lasagna noodles are usually un-rippled.

Did you know that the two main ingredients — tomatoes and pasta — of much of Italian cuisine are not native to Italy? Noodles were imported from Asia and tomatoes from the New World. But, they embraced those ingredients and made them their own.

One of the great things about pasta is the many different forms it is available in. There is dried pasta or soft, homemade pasta. There are large noodles and small noodles. Long noodles and short noodles. Pasta made from wheat, rice and even potatoes.

The wonderful thing about fresh pasta is that while it takes a little bit of time to prepare, cooking to perfection is faster and easier than with dry, manufactured pasta. I don’t have a pasta machine, but once my sister and I had a babysitter who did. She brought it over once and we made homemade pasta. It was a lot of fun.

Would you like to learn how to make your own fresh pasta? Here is a recipe for you to try:

Fresh, Homemade Pasta
Yield: 1 Pound

Ingredients Needed:

2 Cups Unbleached Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Eggs (large)

Instructions:

Take the flour and place it in a mound on your workspace. Make an indentation in the center of the mound.

In a bowl, mix the salt and eggs thoroughly with a fork.

Pour the mixture into the indentation you made in the flour.

Start to mix the flour and egg mixture together gently and with only a little flour at a time.

Once the egg and flour have been mixed together, use a bench knife or your fingers to get a well blended mixture smooth and well mixed.

Form a dough ball, using your fingers and hands. If your ball is not wet enough to form the ball, add some more eggs to your dough. If the dough ball is too sticky, add more flour.

Knead the dough to create a smooth texture. Typically, you will knead the dough for roughly 7 minutes. Using your bench knife, divide the dough into sections, three equal ones is a good number. Using a bowl or towel, cover the balls for about fifteen minutes to activate and rest.

Now the fun really begins, see our next article on finishing up this fresh pasta recipe and learn how to make the actual noodles and cooking them to perfection. We are celebrating National Noodle Month in March and are focusing purely on noodles in this series.

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Come back next week when I finish the recipe!



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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.