Real Homemade Pasta Restaurant
Italian food is hitting the world by storm. It seems like more and more people are learning to appreciate Italian cooking, especially in the United States where a lot of Italian restaurants are starting to open in many different areas. Looking through the entire Italian menu we may be unsure of all the other strange dishes and terminologies, except for one thing and that is pasta.
Everyone has heard about pasta and knows it is Italian in origin. Even most kids would know that. But does ordering spaghetti at a fast food joint enable one to discern and distinguish quality pasta from inferior ones?
Flour, water, and eggs are the three main ingredients of pasta. There are 350 variants of pasta with different shapes and sizes. The only kind of pasta we may know of may be the kind that comes in a box and is boiled until tender. That is only one type of pasta, and it is called dried pasta. Another type of pasta is the fresh variant, which cooks better and lends a more exquisite taste.
Most Italian families have a special recipe for making homemade pasta which, if traced, may even date back to their ancestors from centuries ago. The processes they use are quite similar, though. You may need to have a stand mixer to combine the three basic ingredients together. If a stand mixer is not available, what you can do to make pasta the old fashioned way is to prepare a flour-covered working surface and pour the flour on it in a small heap. The next step would be to make a "well" in the middle of the flour heap, and add eggs onto it. You may then start to knead everything together, beginning from the sides then moving towards the center. The dough tends to be sticky and the kneading process can be quite time-consuming, but keep going until you your dough looks good. If your dough is way too wet, add more flour little by little. If your dough feels dry, water can be added. It is really about your preference.
You can flatten the dough in sections with a rolling pin or pasta press once you are done kneading. How much you flatten your dough would depend on whether you prefer your pasta thick or thin. Once the dough has reached your desired thickness, you may cut your pasta into your chosen shape. To shape your pasta into the perfect linguine or spaghetti, you can use either a kitchen knife or a pizza press. Meat extruders have also been used for pasta shaping by some Italian families.
Thinly cut fresh pasta cooks in as little as one minute. Your pasta is cooked perfectly when it is al dente – just the right balance of firmness and tenderness. The great thing with using fresh pasta with your dishes is it does not give you that heavy feeling after you eat an entire serving of spaghetti Bolognese made with dried pasta. In addition, fresh pasta tends to be more flavorful than dried pasta, because the pasta sauce adheres very well to it.